As it has been most of October, the best fishing is being found on the lower reaches from Moose Bridge down to Sheep Gulch. BWOs are what you’ll see. Mahogany duns will be just as important some days. October caddis will be seen from time to time as well. Dry fly fishing has been solid but is squarely in the afternoon from about 2pm until 5pm in riffles, riffle pools, seams, bankside troughs, and along banks and structure with slow currents and shallow to moderate depths. Prior to 2pm, getting into grabby fish is possible in riffle pools, the margins of riffle currents, and along shallow banks and structure with slow currents is in the cards.
Nymphing will get you into fish throughout the day and might be the only consistent game in town (other than streamers) in the morning hours. Going with light to moderate weighted double rigs with five to seven feet of leader from line to trailer is working best in riffles, seams, bankside troughs, and slow current banks. Dry-droppers will produce best in the afternoon in the same water. Three feet of dropper tippet is the way to go.
Streamer fishing is still spotty but has been more consistent on the reaches from South Park down to West Table. Go with floating or intermediate sinking lines or sinking tips in the 1.5 to 3ips range and target banks, structure, bankside troughs, riffles pools and the confluence of side channels. Moderate size baitfish imitations are working best.
Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Winged Peanuts, Stimulators, Tent-Wing Caddis, Goddard Caddis, Parachute Extended Body BWOs and Mahogany Duns, Parachute Adams, Parachute Hares Ears, Comparaduns, Booty’s PMD, BWO, and Mahogany Duns, Rusty Spinners, and Film Critics.
Nymphs – Rubber Legged Soft Hackle Princes, Hares Ear Nymphs, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Lightening Bugs, Psycho Princes, BWO Redemption Nymphs, Zebra Midges, and Booty’s Day-2 Midge Pupa.
Streamers – SRA Double Bunnies, McKnight’s Home Invader, Arum’s Lil Kim, Booty Call Minnows, Strung-Out Leeches, Sculpzillas, Kreelux, and Chicklets.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir are at 1,800cfs. Fishing has been fairly consistent on just about every reach – not a lot of fish but you have a chance of getting into some big boys, BWOs and mahogany dun are the most prevalent bugs on the water. Their imitations are working best when fished in riffles, seams, eddies, and along banks and structure. As on the Snake, the best action has been in the afternoon hours from approximately 2pm until dusk. Consider fishing adult midge pattern from noon until BWOs start to make their appearance. Fish are taking them at the tail of riffle pools and along banks with moderate depths and slow to moderate current speeds.
Nymphs will get you into fish in throughout the day but really shine in the afternoon. Fish double or triple rigs with six to eight feet of leader from line to trailing fly and target banks, riffles pools, seams, and eddies. Dry-dropper rigs with three to four feet of dropper tippet will produce later in the day (2pm on) in the same water but also at the head of riffles and when fished along bankside troughs.
Streamers fish has been better over the past week or so, particularly on the lower reaches from Cottonwood down to Lorenzo. Nonetheless, you will still need to work for them. A fish an hour is not a bad average. But ya might get a bruiser. Target banks, structure, the head of riffles, and the margin of eddies.
Dry flies – Parachute Extended Body Mahogany Duns and BWOs, Parachute Adams, Pink Parachutes, Parachute Extended Mahogany Duns, Booty’s Mahogany Dun and BWO Emerger, Film Critics, Snowshoe Midges, and CDC Parachute Midges
Nymphs – Lightening Bugs, Psycho Mays, Bruised Mays, Copper Johns in copper or red, Dorsey’s Mercury Baetis, Redemption BWO Nymph Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, Zebra Midges, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.
Streamers – Chicklets, Kreelux, Beldar Buggers, J.J. Specials, Booty Call Minnows, Sculpzillas Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, and Booty’s Quad Bunnies.
Yellowstone National Park
Firehole River – October is a favorite month for many of us to fish the Firehole in YNP. It has been fishing exceptionally well this year. Blue-winged olives are prevalent on almost every reach and are out in strong numbers in the afternoon. Target riffles, seams, and undercut banks with caddis imitations, as well as pheasant tail nymphs and small wooley buggers. The upper reach around Midway Geyser and above the Canyon are fishing best.
Lewis Lake and Lewis River – Take your pick: As it always is this time of year, you can hit the browns that are moving up the channel and below the lake mouth, or target the mackinaw and browns that are actively spawning on the lake flats. Lewis Lake is fishing solid at the moment with streamers and slow to moderately retrieved nymph patterns. Dangling caddis and midge imitations is also worth a try for lake trout as spawning starts to subside and these fish begin to actively feed on subsurface aquatic invertebrates.