This report is fueled by our guides and visiting anglers. The Salmon fly hatch has been the talk of the valley this past week. The fly fishermen have arrived as expected and the fishing has not disappointed. The hatch kicked off around Ennis with scattered adults emerging along the grassy river banks. There were more shucks found than confirmed adult sightings early on, but eventually we saw an abundance of adults later in the week as the hatch moved up river. Also in the mix was a consistent caddis hatch with the smaller caddis present all day and the larger specimens emerging in numbers by the evening. We also had Golden stoneflies, PMDs, yellow sallies and mayflies emerging as well.
Throughout the week the shop received reports from all sections of the river. It seems that with the high pressure settling over the valley that the best fishing has been moving up the river as the water temperature rapidly rises during the day. Just yesterday we had a temperature reading at Storey Ditch of 70 degrees in the late afternoon. There have been many reports that the best fishing has been occurring before 11 am and after 5 pm. In fact, many boats have reported epic fish counts with many 18”+ fish caught on salmon fly dries and various droppers. Hot patterns have been Dan’s Secret Salmon Fly, The Royal Chubby, the Delektable Bomber Caddis, and small Purple haze. There have been spans of slow dry fly fishing midday, and for numbers a #14 or #16 dropper set at least 3 feet below has been the ticket. Sure Strikes, pheasant tails, Prince nymphs, Delektable lil’ Spankers and the new Delektable Hammerhead tied on a jig head has been red hot. With the boat traffic and water temperature, tight lining nymphs has been very effective. It’s a little early in the summer for “small ball”, but it is definitely working with low flows and sunny days. Streamer fishing has been put on the back burner for a lot of us but definitely give it a shot if you can sneak out early or late.
More warm weather is expected as we progress into the final week of June. SLIGHTLY cooler temperatures are forecasted for the beginning of July. Watch the flows as more water is expected to be released from Hebgen Dam to maintain water temperature. This could help the fishing during the day. We went down to 750 CFS at Kirby Ranch on June 21 and 22. Since then the river has been slowly rising to 950 CFS today.
Here are some words of advice: fish early and fish late; don’t be afraid to fish the small stuff; lighten and/or lengthen your leader; play and handle the fish efficiently but gently to reduce fatigue and stress; wear sunscreen; drink tons of water and smile because it’s beautiful out there.