Is This The Best Fishing We Have Had Since July?
BWOs dominate the surface scene most days with a smattering of mahogany duns and October caddis around every now and then. The best dry fly action is occurring after 11:30am each day but as late as 1pm occasionally. Focus on the middle and lower reaches from Wilson Bridge down to Sheep Gulch and target riffles, troughs, submerged structure, side channels, and ledge rock pools.
Nymph rigs are a good way to go throughout the day but are producing better after 11am. Double and triple rigs are working best. Dry-dropper rigs are still a good way to go in the afternoon, especially from Wilson Bridge down to Astoria. Target the same dry fly water mentioned above.
Streamers are working well but it is very much an afternoon affair on just about every reach. Use moderately sized streamers primarily and target banks and structure with slow currents, no-current side channels running alongside main channels seams, and riffle pools. Vary up your retrieves but concentrate on slow line strips.
Dry flies – Mary Kays, Circus Peanuts, Tent-Wing Caddis, Elk Hair Caddis, Stimulators, Parachute Extended Body BWOs and Mahogany Duns, Parachute Adams, Purple Haze, Copper Haze, Comparaduns, Booty’s DL BWO and Mahgany Cripple, Film Critics, Booty’s BWO and Mahogany Emerger, and Pheasant Tail Emergers.
Nymphs – Duracells, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Brillion’s Lucent Jig, Mopsicles, Psycho Princes, Egan’s Iron Lotus, Lightening Bugs, Perdigons, and Zebra Midges.
Streamers – Silvey Sculpins, McKnight’s Home Invader, Mojo Minnow, Galloup’s Mini Dungeon, J.J. Specials, Booty’s Tri-Bunny, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Marabou Bunny, Booty Call Minnows, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, and Kreelux.
Some very good fishing being found on the South Fork with streamers easily taking the cake in terms of production most days, particularly on the lower reaches from Heise Bridge down to Menan and on the upper reaches from the Dam down to Cottonwood. Riffle heads, seams, and side channels should be your primary targets. Use floating lines or sinking tips in the UNT to 3ips range and fish moderately sized streamers for the most part.
Dry fly action is good in the afternoon as BWOs continue to hatch in an impressive manner most days. As on the Snake, mahogany duns can also be around, especially on days with cloud cover and precipitation. Target riffle pools, seams, eddies, side channels, bankside troughs, and banks with moderate depths and slow currents.
Nymphs are working well throughout the entire system and are working as good as anything else on the Upper reach in Swan Valley and the lower Canyon. Double and triple rigs in the six to seven foot range from trailing fly to line/suspension device are working best on the upper reaches. Dry-dropper rigs with dropper tippet in the three to six foot range are producing just as well as double/triple rigs on the lower river from Wolf Eddy down to Lorenzo. Target riffle pools, seams, side channels, and eddy current margins.
Dry flies – Mary Kay’s, Micro Peanuts, Hippie Stompers, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body BWOs and Mahogany Duns, Purple Haze, Snowshoe Duns, Pink Parachutes, Booty’s DL BWO and Mahogany Cripples, Film Critics, and Pheasant Tail Emergers.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Brush Hogs, Duracells, Copper Johns in red or copper, Hickey’s Auto Nymph, Egan’s Green Dart and Blue Dart, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, and Perdigons.
Streamers – Galloup’s Mini Peanut Envy, Goldielocks, Rusty Trombones, Booty Call Minnows, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, and Kreelux.
Yellowstone National Park
Note: Yellowstone National Park closes to Fishing on November 7th.
Snake River – Browns continue to run up the Snake from Jackson Lake and are in the Lower Lewis River below the canyon in numbers that are heavier than normal for this time of year. Streamers fished on floating lines or sinking tips in the INT to 6ips range has been productive for these fish when employing moderate to fast line retrieves. Large nymph patterns suspended deep or mid-water column can also work in larger and deeper riffle pools when brown are begins to prep and stage for upstream runs.
Lewis Lake – Still very good fishing on flats on the north end of the lake for spawning lake trout, although long casts in the 50 to 70 foot range might be required. Browns have moved in the gravel beds in the channel between Lewis and Shoshone lakes. Still a good number of these fish in the deeper parts of the channel just above the inlet. There are also a decent number of browns in the Lewis River below the lake. Fish to all of these with floating lines on INT sinking tips and use fast to moderate retrieval speeds. Lake trout on the flats should be targeted with full sinking intermediate or hover lines.
Firehole River – Decent fishing for the most part on the Firehole with some slow days for sure here and there. Call it inconsistent. Not much by way of hatches, although BWOs dominate some days. The best action has been below the surface with Chironomid imitations and small mayfly nymphs. Swinging soft hackles and small streamers through riffles and along undercut banks is working as well as anything else.
Madison River – The Madison is fishing well throughout the entire reach in the Park with some of the best production occurring on the upper river above Riverside. The Brown run from Hebgen is occurring everywhere and a case can be made that these fish are making up the majority of your catch if you are targeting them. Use large nymph patterns, as well, as roe imitations, and fish riffle pools primarily. Resident rainbows can also be caught in this water. Target deeper deflection pools as a back up, as this water is fishing pretty good also.