If you prefer dry flies, terrestrial patterns are the way to go almost everywhere on Park streams. We tend to overlook ant and beetle patterns compared to those of hoppers. But a delicately placed ant or beetle can be very effective along banks and overhangs not in direct light.
Its terrestrial time almost everywhere on moving water and lakes. Break out you favorite hopper, ant and beetle patterns. Head for Slough Creek, Soda Butte Creek, Fall River Basin, Gibbon Meadows, Duck Creek, the upper Gallatin River, Grasshopper Bank on the Madison River and such. And if you prefer still waters and don’t mind a short walk, Beula and Riddle lakes will not disappoint you for action.
For all streams be sure to have terrestrial patterns on hand. That’s the best way to find action on through this month. Soon it will be time to add spruce moth patterns to yor terrestrial array especially if you fish forested reaches. Guplers will be active on most still waters, but the best gulper fishing will be found on the smaller waters such as Grebe, Grizzly, Cascade, Wolf, Beula and Riddle lakes.
Almost everywhere except the Firehole River would be a good choice. For some like the Madison and Gibbon rivers early and late in the day offers the best times. Terrestrials insect are now a major food item for trout everywhere. Concentrate on banks and overhangs not in direct sunlight On still waters, such as Beula Lake shown below, speckled dun emergences are bringing gulpers to the surface. Adult damselfly patterns will also bring top water responses.
Many small stream are great places to try now. They remain relatively cool because of the high elevation. Some of the more convenient, because of roads nearby include the upper Gallatin River, Grayling Creek, Soda Butte Creek, Gardner River, Lava Creek, and Aster Creek.
The Yellowstone River in the Hellroaring and Blacktail areas has been featuring fish responding to the giant stonefly hatch. Look for terrestrial patterns to be important, and never overlook traditional attractors here. Some golden stones remain on the Gardner River. Terrestrial patterns are becoming most important on such as Slough Creek, Soda Butte Creek, Grayling Creek, the upper Gallatin River, and all Fall River Basin streams. With respect to still waters, Beula Lake is the best with Cascade, Grebe, and Riddle lakes also being a good choices with dry damselfly, midge, and speckled dun adult patterns bringing top-water action.
Slough Creek is fishing very well after a somewhat late start. Brown and gray drakes are pretty much done for the year. Same can be said for Fall River Basin streams. On both the above waters ant and beetle patterns are almost sure-fire when fished around cover abnd overhangs. Beula and Riddle lakes still offer great fishing for those using damselfly and speckled dun life cycle patterns. Forget the Firehole until September but look for hoppers and other terrestrials to work on the Madison, Gibbon and Gallatin rivers, and Duck, Cougar and Grayling creeks.
Except for the Firehole River and the Yellowstone River above the falls, all waters offer great fishing experiences. Turn to early AMs and evening hours for the best action on the Madison River. Slough Creek is fishing very well with hopper season not far away. Same applies for Fall River Basin streams. Small streams such as the upper Gallatin River, Grayling Creek, Boundary Creek, Mountain Ash Creek, Fan Creek, and the upper Gibbon River below Virginia Cascades provide great action for those using traditional attractor patterns ( sizes 12-18). Beula Lake continues to provide the consistently fastest action in Park waters with Riddle Lake not far behind.
All streams have rounded into shape. The Slough Creek-Lamar River-Soda Butte waters are offering action during brown and gray drake activity with good PMD hatches. Drake hatches are over on Fall River Basin streams, but PMD, ant and beetle patterns will bring action. So will attractor patterns in medium sizes. The Firehole River has warmed to levels where larger fish are moving into spring-fed tribs. Likewise, the Madison River within the Park has warmed to offer best fishing in the mornings and evenings. Caddis, spinner falls, ants and beetle patterns work best. The Gallatin River and Grayling Creek are good choices for attractors and sally patterns during the day and caddis patterns late afternoons and evenings.
This weekend will be a great time to fish Park waters as entrance fees are waived on both Saturday, 7/18 and Sunday, 7/19. However, a valid fishing license is required. A three-day license costs $15, a seven-day license is $20 and a season license costs $35. Children under 15 years of age fish free. Check the Park web site for non-fee permit requirements for children. It is a great time to fish Park waters as all are in fishable shape now. Be aware that there are temporary fishing closures along the Gibbon River from a half mile above Gibbon Falls to a mile south of the falls because of road construction.