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Finish Off October Strong!


Yellowstone and Flat Creek close up shop for the season on Halloween, so get out and fish them. And keep hitting the Snake and the South Fork while you are at it.

Snake River

The Snake is in prime October form with both stream levels and bugs on the water, which include PMDs, mahogany duns, blue-winged olives and caddis. Most of the surface action is starting around noon and lasts into the early evening hours. Prior to this grabby fish can be had on dry-dropper rigs.Most days are producing good to great action, but there will be slower days here-and-there as well.

The middle sections from Moose down to South Park Bridge are producing best, with the lower reaches in the Canyon from South Park down to Sheep Gulch a close second. Riffles, seams, side channels, bankside troughs and banks with moderate currents are fishing about the same. Look for riffles and side channels to be at their best in the afternoon hours.

Streamer fishing is getting into better production than dry flies or dropper in the morning and is starting to pick up fish more consistently in the afternoon. Banks, bankside troughs, seams, and the inside turns on riffle pools fishing best. Use intermediate sinking lines and 3ips tips and go with variable retrieves with pauses during strips incorporated from time to time. Moderately sized streamers are working best.

Dry Flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyl, Purple Bruces, Stimulators, Tent-Wing Caddis, Parachute Extended Body Drakes, Parachute Extended PMDs, Mahoganies, and BWOs, Parachute Adams Booty’s BWO Emerger, Quigley Cripples, and Film Critics.

Nymphs – Rainbow Warriors, Lightening Bugs, Flashback Pheasant Tails, Psycho Princes, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Soft Hackles, and Copper Johns in red or black.

Streamers – Galloup’s Mini Sex Dungeon, Kreelux, Booty Call Minnows, Chicklets, Shaka Zulus, and Gonjas.

South Fork

Still chuggin’ along with releases from Palisades Reservoir at 3800cfs. Our typical October hatches of mahogany duns blue-winged olives and caddis are present most days in the afternoon hours and can intensify on those days with cooler and wetter weather. Each reach is offering decent fishing with down-right good fishing on the lower reaches from Wolverine down to Lorenzo.

Riffles and riffle pools are fishing as good or better than they have at any time this year. Seams, eddy current margins, banks, and flats (especially on cooler and wetter days) are all water worth targeting. Tandem dry rigs and dry-droppers (with 18-inches to three feet of dropper leader) are working best. Expect the best action to start at around 11am and intensify through the afternoon.

Streamers are producing better with each passing week when fished on floating lines, intermediate sinking lines, and 3ips to 6ips tips (the latter in riffle pools and deep seams with rapid retrieves). Go with moderately sized baitfish imitations, although there is definitely action on larger articulated bugs. As with dry and dry-dropper rigs the best action has been on the lower reaches of the river.

Dry flies – Circus Peanuts J-Slams, Stimulators, Stimulator-Xs, Tent-Wing Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Extended Body Cahills, Mahogany Duns and BWOs, Parachute Adams, Pink Parachutes, Parachute Extended Mahogany Duns, Booty’s Mahogany Dun and BWO Emerger, and Comparaduns

Nymphs – Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors,, Psycho Mays, Bruised Mays, Copper Johns in copper or red, Psycho Princes, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, and San Juan Worms.

Streamers – Chicklets, Kreelux, Clouser Minnows, Beldar Buggers, J.J. Specials, Booty Call Minnows, SRA Double Bunnies, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, and Booty’s Quad Bunnies.

Yellowstone National Park

Firehole River – After the month of June, October is a favorite month for many of us to fish the Firehole in YNP. It has been fishing exceptionally well this year. Caddis and blue-winged olives are prevalent on almost every reach. Target riffles, seams, and undercut banks with caddis imitations, as well as pheasant tail nymphs and small wooley buggers. The upper reach around Midway Geyser and above the Canyon are fishing best.

Lewis Lake and Lewis River – Take your pick: hit the browns that are moving up the channel and below the lake mouth, or target the mackinaw and browns that are staging or actively spawning on the lake flats. Either way, you can’t go wrong. Lewis Lake is fishing solid at the moment with streamers and slow to moderately retrieved nymph patterns. By no means is there a prolific push of browns moving to the gravel beds, but there is still A LOT of them. And there is a lot more to come, because we are still picking up some aggressive feeders on the flats at the inlet and in Brookie Bay.

Snake River – Many more browns coming out of Jackson Lake have pushed into the Snake over the past week. The riffles below Glade and Polecat Creek are filling with these fish. You will also find many below Flagg Canyon. We have been using hover and intermediate sinking lines with slow to moderate retrieves to get into most of the fish we are catching. Small to moderate sized baitfish imitations are working best by far.


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