Many Waters Getting into Shape
Flows from Jackson Lake Dam continue to stand at 280cfs. Lake turnover has subsided and there is increased visibility. Nymph rigs are the name of the game on the upper reach while streamers can be used throughout but especially below the Oxbow. Time of day doesn’t really matter at the moment. The most productive nymphing water includes seams, eddies, and deep flats.
There is surface action on midges and, on wetter day, with BWO imitations but it is very inconsistent. Callibaetis, BWOs, and midges making an appearance at certain times of the day. The most consistent production is occurring from 11am until around 5pm. Target the head of seams, deep flats, and exposed structure. Eddies and riffles are not quite there yet. Don't expect off-the-charts action but it is a welcome change from weeks of subsurface focus.
Streamers have been getting into size for the past several weeks but now they are producing with numbers as well. Moderately sized bath fish imitations have been the most productive but larger counterparts are worth throwing as well. Go with floating or hover lines and target banks, structure, Eddy pools, and seams. Vary up your retrieves and hesitations as much as possible but focus on slower line strips.
Dry flies –Will’s Micro Ant, Micro Peanuts, Furimsky BDEs, Parachute Adams, Parachute Extended Body BWOs and Cahills, , Booty’s DL BWO Cripple, Parachute Midges and CDC Midge Emergers.
Nymphs –Pat’s Rubber Leg, Duracells, Keller’s Peach Fuzz, Brillion’s Lucent Jig, Nymph Formerly Known as Prince, Copper John’s in red or black, and Two Bit Hookers.
Streamers – Galloup’s Dungeon, Silk Kitties, Goldilocks, Mojo Minnows, Booty Call Minnows, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, and Kreelux.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir are at approximately12,000cfs. The river has cleared as tributaries recede and the South Fork is starting to fish in a more consistent fashion. Certainly more so since mid-April. Success still requires some concentration. A good day can be had if you are focused.
Double/triple nymph rigs are producing well on the upper reaches from the dam down to Cottonwood. Riffles are fishing best, as are seams, eddies, and confluences. Go fairly long with eight to nine feet of leader from your trailing fly to line/suspension device.
Streamers are fishing best in the upper Canyon reach and to a lesser degree on the upper reach in Swan Valley. They are not red hot on the lower reaches but are at least fishing as well as nymph rigs down there. Seams, structure, and troughs are fishing best. Eddy and riffle current margins are also worth targeting in the afternoon hours.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, San Juan Worms, Duracells, Brillion’s Lucent Jig, Brush Hogs, Nymph Formerly Known as Prince, Chez’s Biot Bug, Mercer’s Woven Caddis Pupa, Mathews’ Sparkle Caddis, Military Mayflies, and Zebra Midges.
Streamers – Galloup’s Boogeyman, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Strolis’ Headbanger Sculpin, Lynch Mobs, Craven’s Swim Coach, Rustics, Goldilocks, Geisha Girls, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Booty Call Minnows, and Kreelux.
Rio Verde has plateaued once again, is now receding, and the Green is starting to get into shape. Nymph rigs have been most productive upstream of Daniel when fished as part of a dry-dropper rig or short double rig (4 to 6 feet) in the right water. Undercut banks and submerged structure are fishing best with seams and the inside turn of riffles also producing in mid-day hours.
Streamer fishing has been very productive on all reaches if you are focused on size as opposed to numbers. Undercut banks, bankside troughs, and seams are prime targets. Larger patterns have been more productive than moderately sized baitfish imitations. Go with floating lines or short sinking tips in the 3ips to 6ips range and fast to moderate retrieves with hesitations after a few too several line strips. Slow down your line strips if going with a downstream retrieve (which has been outperforming other presentations.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, San Juan Worms, Rubber Legged Flashback Hares Ear Nymphs, Nymph Formerly Known as Prince, Duracells, Keller’s Peach Fuzz, Copper John’s in red, or black, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph.
Streamers – Keller’s Nightmare, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Strolis’ Headbanger Sculpin, Galloup’s Dungeon, McKnight’s Home Invader, Goldilocks, Craven’s Swim Coach, Booty’s Tri-Bunny, Chicklets, Sparkle Yummies, and Kreelux.
Yellowstone National Park
Firehole River – A smorgasbord of emergences at the moment with caddis, yellow sallies, PMDs, and midges to some degree each day, but specifically in the early afternoon to mid-afternoon hours on the reaches upstream of Midway Geyser Basin. Expansive riffles are key targets throughout the day. Seams and eddies are also producing from noon until around 5pm. Targeting undercut banks with small streamers has been hit-or-miss but this tactic has picked up in terms of production over the past few days or so.
Lewis Lake – Lewis is pretty much ice free and is fishing in good fashion at the top of the water column on flats and on the edge of drop-offs. Baitfish imitations are working as well and damsel/dragonfly imitations. The key is slow retrieves on hover and intermediate sinking lines. Don’t bother with countdowns after the cast. Hesitating during retrieval is working from time to time but not wirth focusing on at the moment.
Yellowstone Lake – The West Thumb and the South Arms are fishing best with baitfish imitations and, to a lesser degree, damsel/dragonfly imitations. Balanced leeches are also a good way to go. Fish are not spread out at all at the moment, so when you find pods of fish, sit on them for a while. Focus primarily on littoral parts of the lake except islands which are lacking activity currently.