It’s the middle of March, yet feels like the first week of May. Comfortable weather for fishing, but the fishing is also pretty damn good over the past week and a half and should continue until runoff starts. The big news is the increase in surface action. We are seeing this more and more each day. The best action has been at current margins of riffles and seams and at the head of riffles with shallow to moderate depth.
Midges and black and brown winter stoneflies are active, but we are starting to see blue-winged olives in bits and pieces. You can nymph larval imitations of these bugs throughout the day. Production with adults and emergers on the surface has been starting between 1 and 2 pm and continues until dusk. And don’t be afraid to throw streamers. These are picking up cutthroats in slower pools and at the current margins of riffles and seams with slow retrieves on floating lines and intermediate sink tips (but no real bank/structure action as of yet).
Effective nymphs – RL Flashback Hare’s Ear, RL Soft Hackle Prince, Flashback Prince, Zebra Midge, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Ice Cream Cone Midge, Copper Johns in red or olive, Lightening Bugs, and Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph in olive or red.
Effective dry flies – Griffith Gnats, Air-Flo Trico, Furimsky BDEs, Parachute Adams, Film Critics, Booty’s BWO Emerger, and Quigley Cripples.
Effective streamers – Beldar Buggers, J.J. Specials, Lite Brite Zonkers, and Baby Bunnies.
We are having some beautiful days on the South Fork with temps in the high 50s on many of the days over the past two weeks. Surface action has been getting better and better but is starting to hit an early spring stride at the moment. It is safe to say that fishing is good everywhere – from Palisades Dam down to Lorenzo. Midges are the name of the game on the surface, but blue-winged olives are starting to gain a lot of attention by trout. We are seeing just a bit more of them each day.
Action has been best from approximately 11am and then continuing until dusk. Target the tailout pools of riffles and seams early with nymphs and streamers. By early afternoon, activity shifts to the heads of riffles and seams as well as flats with depths of three feet or less. You can keep going subsurface in the afternoon, but dry fly action is good enough to make the shift and fish on the surface for the rest of the day.
Effective nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, RL Flashback Hares Ear, Foxy Sally Stone, Rojo Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Zebra Midges, Bionic Midge, Lightening Bug, Rainbow Warrior, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Hickey’s Auto Nymph, and San Juan Worms.
Effective dry flies – Air-Flo Tricos, Sanchez’s Krystal Wing Midge, Griffith’s Gnat, Parachute Adams, Film Critic, Pheasant Tail Emerger, Booty’s BWO Emerger, and Q’s Loop Wing Cripple.
Effective streamers – Bow River Buggers, J.J. Specials, Tequilley’s, B-Yotch Buggers, SRA Bunnies, Chicklets, Galloup’s Zoo Cougar, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, and Booty’s Quad Bunny Leech.
The Henry’s Fork has been one of the best places to be over the past month. From Vernon downstream to St. Anthony, the fishing is better than just about anywhere in the Yellowstone region. Riffles and seams are fishing well throughout the day. There has also been decent action along submerged structure. The best production has been with double nymph rigs. There is, however, little pockets of dry fly activity in the mid-afternoon hours as trout feed on midges and blue-winged olives. Don’t expect a 20 fish day on the surface. But a half dozen or so can keep ya smiling for a couple of hours.
Effective nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, RL Flashback Hares Ear, PR Muskrats, Rojo Midges, Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa, Ice Cream Cone Midges, Zebra Midges, Bionic Midge, Lightening Bug, Rainbow Warrior, Copper Johns in red, olive or black, Hickey’s Auto Nymph, and Dorsey’s Micro Baetis.
Effective dry flies – Halo Emergers, Sanchez’s Krystal Wing Midge Emerger, Griffith’s Gnat, Booty’s BWO Emerger, Pheasant Tail Emergers, and Furimsky BDEs.