The smaller private ranch lakes that we target like Burns and Sitz are just getting going right now. The bugs aren’t hatching in great abundance yet but trout are starting to cruise and look for food after a long winter. The larger lakes like Hebgen and Ennis are just starting to ice off, there might still be some ice in the protected bays. Fishing can be spectacular on still water right as the ice comes off. As our other rivers enter into run-off mode, consider lakes and ponds for a nice change of pace, and typically some large trout. Hyalite Reservoir is ice free and the road is now open. The water is still very cold up there, and it tends to fish a bit better in the evenings than first thing in the morning. Small leeches, and bead head nymphs such as a brassie work very well for cutthroat trout and grayling up there. Swing by the fly shop downtown if you are heading that way for a fresh report, as some of the shop employees tend to fish there a bunch this time of year. Remember that the inlet creek is still closed until July so stick to the reservoir.
The Month Ahead:
As we move through May, the lakes will continue to get better. Many of the smaller private ranch lakes we fish will produce incredible days with good numbers of large trout. Leeches and small nymphs on long leaders and a slow strip retrieve is a great way to cover water and find fish in the lakes.
Long Term Fishing Forecast:
Lakes are always an interesting option in the summer. Sometimes we forget about the stillwaters in mid summer when the rivers are all fishing so well but they offer a nice change up and the shot at sight casting to trophy trout can be addictive!