The fishing is still great but the report has not changed too much. With the temperatures still being high definitely head out early to any of your favorite spots. Dries are working well in the morning/cooler temps…try royal wulffs, stimulators, adams, trudes, elk hair caddis, and humpies. If you are out a bit later or the fish are not rising try nymphing with pheasant tail flashbacks, woolly buggers, san juan worms, baetis nymphs and midges. Don’t be afraid to change things up and use a dry fly as an attractor and use a smaller nymph fly as a dropper about 12inches behind your dry fly.
UMR. Go early for the best action. Large streamers-rabbit strips-using a dead drift technique has been the best option for the fish down low. The dry fly action is up and down. Best suggestion is using a stimulator or other attractor fly with a smaller caddis or bead head prince nymph flashback behind it. Try using other terrestrials such as ants and beetles to change things up.
LMR- The restrictions are still in place that the lower Madison is closed from 2pm to midnight to recreation due to drought conditions.
Yellowstone – This is the hot spot. Use hoppers; try a variety of sizes and colors. Stoneflies (Pat’s Stones or rubber legs in brown and olive colors) are still working their magic but will decline as the hoppers take over. Zonkers in olive and white color are getting great reactions from the fish.
Gallatin River– Spruce moths still a great option for the morning. Nymphing using smaller patterns of bead head hares ear or lightning bugs. Hoppers are working great used in combination with a dropper such as copper bobs in green and black colors or MREs.
Dailey Lake-Temporary closure of the west shore access road to Daily lake.
Drought conditions in Southwest Montana continue to linger and keep the fishing to a minimum.
Jefferson river, Lower Big Hole and Upper Big Hole River are on 24 hour closure. The Ruby River, Beaverhead river and Divide canyon area of the Big Hole River are the only local rivers available for fishing at the present time.
Parachute Purple Haze, Parachute Hoppers, and Spruce Moth have been great flies for the Big Hole. Yellow Sallies, Hoppers, Damsel Flies and Brown Bear Black Nymphs have been hot on the Beaverhead.
Hoppers and small Caddis have been choice flies on the Ruby. Panther Martin spinners and Rapalas in various patterns are great choices for spin fishermen.
Don’t forget the Fly Fishing Festival in Ennis on the 30th and 31st of August this Labor Day Weekend.
(Report by Ryan Corwin – Bob Ward and Sons; Cover Photo: riverroadcreations.com)