Yellowstone Is Open
The tailwater reach below Jackson Lake is the only game in town on the Snake. Clarity is good and flows from the dam are at 2400cfs. Nymphs continue to work well on the upper piece of this section of river as part of a double nymph rig or a dry dropper fished on seams and in eddy pools. Streamers are working best from Cattlemans down to Pacific Creek. Moderate sized streamers on floating, hover, or intermediate sinking line, or 3 to 6 ips tips have been the most productive tackle. Go with rapid retrieves and six to twelve inch line strips, but also vary your retrieve up from time to time. There has been action with slower, longer retrieves. Callibaetis have been present on the upper reach from the Dam down to the Worm Hole. Not a lot of action on the surface with their imitations, but there has been fish eating moderately sized surface attractors from time to time.
Dry Flies - Mary Kays, Will's Red Ant, and Circus Peanuts.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Legs, San Juan Worms, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, RS-2s, Zebra Midges, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.
Streamers – Arum’s Lil’ Kim, J.J. Specials, Chicklets, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, and Sundell’s Night Fire.
Yellowstone National Park
Firehole River – The Firehole is a good place to be right now with good water levels (approximately 200cfs) and water temperatures in the low 50s. Even better is the fact that all of the new closures from last year have been removed, leaving a lot of water that can once again be fished. There are caddis present on most reaches from around 10am on. Riffles, riffle pools and seams are the most productive water. Nymphing is the best way to go with Hare’s Ears, Rainbow Warriors, and Batmen, as well as Soft Hackles swung through prime holding water and just under the surface.
Yellowstone Lake – Ice is off of the West Thumb and fishing has been decent with sparsely dressed streamers like Clouser Minnows, Booty Call Minnows, and Kreelux fished on floating, hover, and intermediate sinking lines with slow, even retrieves. Nymphs are working on most flats with depths in the three to six foot range with slow retrieves or suspended.
Lewis Lake – limited ice off at the moment but the warm temperatures forecasted over the next two weeks should change this pretty quick.
Ririe is offering good stillwater opportunities for smallmouth bass and rainbows. It typically does this time of year. Surface poppers are producing when fished tight to bankside vegetation and submerged structure. Retrieves should be rapid but short, and pause your surface fly for two to four seconds after several retrieves. Better action is being found below the surface with baitfish and crayfish imitations fished in the same water as well as shallow (four to eight feet) bay water. Floating, hover, and intermediate sinking lines are all that you will need. Rapid retrieves with short pauses is the best way to go. Let your crayfish pattern rest on shallow bay flats and gift if short and moderate speed retrieves with retrieves. You won’t hammer it home with numbers, but it is a fun way to get into a couple of fish.
Surface – Pencil Poppers, Fat Heads, and EP Poppers.
Subsurface – Clouser Minnows, Kreelux, Bendbacks, Squirrel Zonkers, Stalcup’s Baby ‘Dad, and Booty’s Crawdad.