Upper Madison (Hebgen-Ennis)
After about a week of flushing flows coming out of the dam, we are now going to see flows decreasing incrementally each day. That being said, the water is still much higher than average, so your fishing strategy need not change much. Nymphs and streamers are still going to be the name of the game. Try to focus your efforts near the banks, as fish are seeking refuge there from the fast moving water. As one of our guides said recently, make a cast where you’re going to step into the river, because there’s probably a fish there. Don’t let the conditions discourage you, we have been having some very good fishing days.
Flies: #8-10 Sili-legs, #12 Red Tag Jig, #12 Quill Jig, #14 Olive Bullet, #8 Wire Worm, #2 Slap-N-Tickle, #4 Sparkle Minnow
Hebgen has been a little hit-or-miss as of late, but when you do hit it right it has been fantastic. You can fish dry flies in the mornings if you find fish rising to midges, but fishing chironomid nymphs like Snowcones and Chromies under an indicator has been far and away the most productive method.
The Madison is still a little high and tea-colored, but it has come down quite a bit in the last few days and is fishable at this point. Big stonefly nymphs, hot spot nymphs, and streamers will be your best bets. When nymphing, make sure you are getting your flies down and bumping bottom. Streamers will fish best along the banks and in slack water.
Flies: #8-10 Sili-legs, #8 Wire Worm, #14 Olive Bullet, #16 Iron Lotus, #4 Sparkle Minnow
The Firehole has been fishing well and is probably your best option for fishing in the Park. Swinging small streamers and soft hackles continues to be the most productive method, but be sure to bring some White Miller caddis and baetis patterns along because you are likely to run into rising fish at some point.
Flies: #10-14 Partridge & PT, #10-14 Partridge & Green, #8 Simi-seal leech, #6 Olive Zonker, #8 Olive Crystal Bugger, #14 Tan Spruce Moth, #18 Baetis Cripple, #18 BWO Parachute
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A non-guide perspective on when to fish around West Yellowstone