Yellowstone fly fishing report 5.28.17

Firehole River Yellowstone National park

The Firehole River on day one of the 2017 Yellowstone fly fishing season

Yellowstone Fly fishing report – Firehole River

The Yellowstone fly fishing season opened yesterday! Opening day typically means dry flies on the Firehole River, but this year nymphs and wet flies were the best. We began our day in the Firehole Canyon with flows around 500 cfs. Flows had dropped from 1000 cfs a few days earlier with cooler weather and some light rain. Word was that the Stonefly nymphs were already on the banks, so we had to see for ourselves.

Yellowstone fly fishing - Firehole canyon

Salmonfly and Golden Stone nymphs in the Firehole Canyon

The Stonefly nymphs were there and the trout were looking for them! We fished #4-10 Rubberlegs with varying droppers – #12 Prince nymph, #16 Pheasant Tails and Red Copper Johns. We found several willing trout in the slower moving runs close to the Gibbon confluence. A few Brown trout even ate big foam dry flies in the pocket water closer to the falls.

Fish on Firehole River

Fish on!

After lunch we moved upstream to look for some more dry fly fishing. We were deterred by the crowds at Fountain Flat. We kept going to the Mallard Creek area and found fewer people. The long runs in this area looked promising for finding trout rising to dry flies, but we only found a few fish looking up. They were willing trout and smashed a #16 Yellow Film Critic on first pass.

Upper Firehole River

Good dry fly water

Yellowstone brown trout

Yes, I do like dry flies!

The water was still a bit high, and as a result nymphs and wet flies were more consistent. Red Copper Johns and Pheasant Tails were really all you needed. Swinging small yellow soft hackles through the riffles was also very productive.

All in all, it was a solid day on the Firehole. The flow drop definitely helped the fly fishing. Weather for the next week is forecast to remain in the 50’s, so it looks like flows will remain consistent in the 500-600 cfs range. We will be run guided Yellowstone fishing trips here for at least the next three weeks.

Yellowstone fly fishing – Lewis Lake

Lewis Lake Yellowstone

Is that a boat ramp?

I drove through the Lewis River drainage on my way up to the Firehole and stopped to see how Lewis Lake looked. It looked great, if you were going to ski across it! The parking lot was plowed, but the boat ramp and lake itself were still under a couple feet of snow and ice.

Frozen Lewis Lake

Got skis?

What a difference a year makes! On Opening Day in 2016,we motored all the way to the Lewis Channel and caught numerous trout. Lewis Lake should thaw out by June 10th, but it all depends on the weather!

Call us at 307-690-1139 for the latest Yellowstone fly fishing report and to book your trip!

Jackson Hole Fishing Report – Snake River 5.4.17

Fly fishing Jackson Hole- April

Jackson Hole fishing Report – Snake River

Here’s the latest Jackson Hole fishing report, sorry to keep you waiting! Fly fishing has been solid, despite higher than average flows on the Snake River.

The Snake River dropped and cleared last week and the results are in the net! Flows were dropped out of Jackson Lake Dam to 2000 cfs and the cooler weather brought runoff to a halt on our tributaries. Great hatches of BWO’s, Skwalas, Caddis, and a few March Browns had our Snake River Cutthroat looking to the surface for their next meal.

Focusing on slower water types and side channels with less volume saw the best surface action. We used the drift boat to float to likely fishing spots and walked around on foot. We also parked on relatively slow riffles for the most consistent action. Fly fishing from the boat was best with streamers such as Olive and White Double Bunnies or Black Leeches. Flies that were retrieved with quick 1-2 foot long strips were the most productive.

Slower riffles or banks were great places to toss a streamer or nymph rig. We fished a two fly nymph rig, with 5-6 feet of leader before the first fly, typically a #8-12 Stonefly nymph on 3X.  Our droppers have been a mix of #12-16 Pheasant Tails and #10-14 Hare’s Ears, roughly 18″ below the point fly. Both Olive and Red Copper Johns were successful droppers as well.

Upper Snake River Basin Snowpack Discussion

The Upper Snake River basin is currently at 165% of average for this date. Not surprising since we received 3-4 feet of snow above 8000 feet through the week!  The switch has flipped to more Summer like weather this week, and as a result river flows are on the rise.

Runoff will last into July this year on the Snake River. Our long-term forecast for the next few months shows more precipitation. Call us to find out where we are fly fishing before you arrive.

Stay tuned here for an up-to-date Jackson Hole fishing report! Or give us a call at 307-690-1139 to book a guided fly fishing trip in Jackson Hole.

Jackson Hole fishing report

Beautiful 20″ Snake River Finespot Cutthroat trout

Invisible Invaders

Invasive plants and animals are the subject of much research and managers are constantly working to develop new programs designed to manage, control or prevent the spread of these invasives. However, an entire class of invaders often goes unnoticed. Microorganisms have the capacity to devastate our fish and wildlife resources and a new scholarly paper helps to make us all more aware of the threat. The authors of “Invisible invaders: non-pathogenic invasive microbes in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems” provide an excellent overview of invasive microbes and offer a compelling argument that significant new research is needed. Read More –

Jackson Hole Feb 2017 - Snow

Snake River Fly Fishing Report, Jackson Hole, WY 3.4.17

My oh my, has it been a snowy Winter here in Jackson Hole! February brought us significant moisture and we have the deepest snowpack to date ever!

Jackson Hole Feb 2017

Is there a Van underneath there?

We currently sit at 152% of water content in our snow pack. This is great news for our fisheries since we’ve seen a few dry years in a row as it will replenish our aquifers for this year and next. It will bring some Spring flooding and we will have to wait a bit longer to fish our rivers, but it will be worth it. The Bureau of Reclamation has already begun raising flows on the South Fork to 6750 cfs to make room for runoff. Flows for the Upper Snake here through Jackson will most likely be raised this coming week to roughly 1000 cfs from 300cfs. Our fly fishing season has picked up some as of late with warmer air temperatures above freezing and reaching 40 degrees. This has sparked our Spring midge hatch and a few Little Black Stones and our Cutthroat are looking for them. Mostly this is sub-surface activity with #14-18 Red or Black Copper Johns, #16-18 Zebra Midges, and smaller Stonefly imitations, but there are a few trout looking up to eat off the surface mid-afternoon. The streamer bite is slow, but might pick up a few trout if they are just swung through the current and not stripped. The best news is that we are running guided fly fishing trips! Give us a call at 307-690-1139 or shoot an email to to get a date with one of our guides.    

Yellowstone brown trout

Yellowstone National Park fly fishing report 11.17.16

The fishing season in Yellowstone Park closed with a bang!! The weather since our last fishing report has mostly been wet, which is truly a blessing after one of the driest Summer seasons on record here in Wyoming. A lot of this moisture came slow and steady, which kept the rivers around here fishable before they all blew out in last week of the month. The fly fishing on the Upper Snake River as it dropped was off the chart!

Yellowstone Snake River

Pumpkin brown trout from the Snake River in Yellowstone

I had the pleasure of spending a day with Bob and Adler Mercier chasing browns as the Snake dropped mid-month. Bob was a former hunting guide near Torrington and wanted to show Adler what the great state of Wyoming was all about. We arrived to the perfect storm of conditions for big brown trout- dropping flows, scuzzy weather, and a fresh run of browns up from Jackson Lake. We put several trout in the 20″ class in the net that day and I overheard Adler telling Bob, “Dad, I don’t want to leave Wyoming!” The skies cleared and it warmed up considerably in to the first week of November. We were reaching daytime highs close to 60 degrees as the Park was closing for the year, which is rare to say the least. I had a free day to run up to Lewis Lake with a couple of buddies and we had a blast. We launched into the fog and perfectly still conditions which I had never experienced there before, what a treat!
Lewis Lake fog Yellowstone

Where does the fog end and Lewis Lake begin?

We rigged up as the fog cleared and sight fished a handful of spooky Lake trout and even a few nice Browns that had not yet begun to spawn. Our best action was at the inlet to the Lake to cruising trout. The Lake trout near Mac Point were not to be found and the outlet bay held more brown trout.
Lewis Lake Yellowstone brown trout

Fish the Fly owner Jason Balogh is all smiles!

Needless to say we can’t wait until opening day of fishing season in Yellowstone Park next year! Mark your calendars for May 27, 2017 and come join us!