Think Stillwater! Here is the latest from my nech of the woods
The tailwater reach from Jackson Lake Dam (flows currently at 3,700cfs) has cleared noticeably from two weeks ago when lake turnover occurred. We were still getting into fish during the turnover period and action should pick up even more over the coming weeks. And we are starting to see a lot more bugs, including infrequen PMDs, caddis, smaller stoneflies, and bwos (the later especially on those days with cooler, wetter weather). There are also callibaetis appearing from the dam down to Cattlemans. As a result, more fish are starting to eat on the surface on just about every piece of water.
Double nymph rigs are producing best on seams, eddies, and troughs. Dry flies are working in slower water along banks and structure. The streamer bite isn’t quite what it was, but there is still action on moderate-sized baitfish imitations on floating, hover, and intermediate sinking lines fished along banks and structure. Go with slow to moderate retrieves.
Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Circus Peanuts, Mary Kays, Parachute Extended Body BWOs and BWOs, Booty’s BWO emerger, and Furimsky BDEs.
Nymphs – Pats Rubber Leg, San Juan Worms, Pink Jigs, Lightening Bugs, Copper Johns, Big Horn Scuds, Zebra Midges, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.
Streamers – Chicklets, Kreelux, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Krystal Buggers, and Coffey’s Sparkle Minnows.
Yellowstone National Park
Lewis Lake – Still getting into good action on drop-offs more than flats, although the latter still has action later in the day. Small to moderate-sized baitfish, damsel nymph, and dragonfly nymph imitations are producing on 3ips to 6ips sinking tips with slow to “very slow” retrieves. If fishing flats, use the same patterns and retrieval speeds but go with floating or hover lines. More fish are beginning to hit the surface as carpenter ants, chironomids, and callibaetis are starting to appear. It is a good strategy and a lot of fun to target individual feeders on flats and drop-offs.
Yellowstone Lake – A little slower in the West Thumb, no doubt due to the fact that resident cutthroat are beginning to run up tributaries to spawn. Nonetheless, there are several pockets along flats and drop-off slots with a fair number of small to good-sized cutthroats. I wouldn’t call them schools of cutties, but they are large numbers podded up that are averaging about 14”. Fish to these with small streamers (Slump Busters have been one of the go-to patterns) on intermediate sinking lines and 3ips tips with slow to moderate retrieves.
Fishing the same as it has been over the past month, except that there is more action on the surface and we picking up fish with faster retrieves than we have. There is still a lot of submerged structure to target and will be for the rest of the summer most likely. Use hover and intermediate sinking lines and vary up the sink rate by giving five second to eight second countdowns every so often. If fishing on the surface, squeeze your casts in tight to exposed structure and begin your retrieve immediately. With hesitation thrown in from time to time.
Surface Patterns – Pencil Poppers, Epoxy Poppers, and Gorilla Ants.
Subsurface Patterns – Clouser Minnows, Kreelux, Shaka Zulus, Beldar Conehead Buggers, Deadly Damsels, Fuzzy Dragons, Rickard’s Seal Buggers, and Fruit Roll Ups.