Flows have been level all week from the USGS site at Kirby Place, staying right arpund 1,150cfs. Small pulses of dirty water will come out the West Fork from the frequent rain showers, but nothing to keep you from fishing. We're seeing lots of nice fish right on the bank, make sure to get that cast within 2-3' of the bank! Stonefly nymphs have been the most productive; #10 Black/Olive Sili Leg, #12 Gold Biot Stone, and the #12 Tungsten Goldie.
It's getting to be that time where a 'Hopper/Dropper' rig will work at times, grab a few #10-12 Chubby Chernobyls or #12 Hot Cake Stonefly for the dry. For smaller nymphs, the spring standards are your ticket; #16 Shop Vac, #18 Green Machine, #16 Rainbow Warrior, and #16 Black Lightning Bug to name a few.
As of my last drive to Big Sky, the Gallatin was a still a chocolate milkshake below Taylor Fork. Fan Creek is also pushing a lot of sediment through as well, going to be a few weeks before this river gets into the early summer swing.
Yellowstone Nat'l Park
The Madison within YNP's borders fished well opening weekend. Water color isn't perfect, but just a little tea-stain to it. Soft Hackles, Nymphs, and Dries all worked. Baetis and Caddis fishing have had their moments, be ready to jump on a hatch as soon as it gets going. A few dries to keep handy are the #16 DOA Cripple, #18 Purple Parachute, and #16-18 Sprout.
Fishing soft hackles on this water is always fun, a good way to find a few big dogs! Our favorites for spring are the #10 Partridge and Peacock, #12 March Brown Spider, and #8 Partridge and Orange.
Yes, there are Salmonflies hatching in the Firehole Canyon. Certainly not huge numbers yet, but enough to get the fish thinking.
As for above the Canyon, pick your favorite water and wait for the Caddis and Mayfly hatches to get going. If fish are denying your advances on the surface, swing a few #12 Orange/Green and Partridge soft hackles.
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A non-guide perspective on when to fish around West Yellowstone