Looks like we are around the peak of action in many still waters thanks to damselfly and speckled dun hatches. Chesterfield, Daniels, and Hawkins reservoirs seem to offer the best, although they are warming as expected in mid summer. Take your favorite patterns dry and wet, for these. Early in the day is a great time to be on all of these, and before the wind comes up Daniels offers good shoreline fishing. So does Twenty-Four Mile but on a smaller scale. Twin Lakes is still produces fast action for warm water species.
Discolored water is from wave action caused by wind. When you see this discolor, fish at its outside edge. Fish will forage there for food forms washed from the banks. We can recommend taking fly patterns !
Last week we talked about Joe Allen’s double renegade. This week let’s look at another South Fork favorite with decades of popularity. It’s Wes Newman’s super-X, and few flies have proven as effective there. Wes took the old super renegade, first created in the late 1950s by Ardell Jeppson, and made changes. Wes’s modification initially was to replace the central brown hackle with rubber legs tied diagonally to form a horizontal “X”. Thus the super-X. Later Wes replaced the rear grizzly hackle with gray Antron yarn. Later changes by Wes and others were mainly in body colors. Wes saw that his fly was most effective when swept slightly submerged close to overhangs, sweepers and undercut banks, then pulled back into the stream. Trout lying under these features would interpret it as an escaping food form and chase it. Seeing that the super-X has never lost its effectiveness, we stock and highly recommend it. We also thank Wes for his wonderfully effective pattern.
Big story here is that the Madison River below Slide Inn is fishing as well as ever. PMD, yellow sally, caddis, attractor, and terrestrial patterns all are bringing success. Any day now gulper fishing will begin, not only on Hebgen Lake, but along the shallows of Wade and Elk lakes. Want to find light weight equipment action on a small stream? Drive up the West Fork of the Madison River where attractor, caddis, and sally patterns will bring bring sure-fire action.
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.
Flow out of Mackay Dam, 650 cfs, is still high for extensive wading. Give it a few more weeks.
With terrestrial season coming on, most small waters will be excellent choices. The only “fly in the ointment” will be warming water. So for those at lower elevation it won’t hurt to check water temperature profiles. We have reports that the upper Blackfoot River is clearing. This is just in time for terrestrial season. Warm River below the spring always has water of an ideal temperature. It’s pretty much the same for Birch Creek in the Family Area above Lone Pine where numerous springs flow in. So it is a good choice, especially if you want to give some light-weight equipment a try.
Blackfoot River on IDF&G Wildlife Management Area
Flow out of Palisades Dam dropped another 500 cfs to 11700 cfs last night. This is going in the right direction to bring more gravel bars and islands into fishing range. Fish are beginning to move into riffles, but they remain a bit picky. So bring life cycle patterns for PMDs, sallys, caddis, even some small renegades (#14-16). A further golden stone emergence is going on above Cottonwood and mutant stones should be moving soon. Terrestrial patterns are also increasing in importance. We’ve had a few reports of success with hoppers, but the best is yet to come.
The river is low enough, and therefore approachable, that evening streamer fishing can be an option. You can’t beat the mainstem Snake River for convenience. There are numerous locations for walk-in wade fishing now that flows are dropping. Get in touch with us to find the best at any given time.
They are all fishing well except for some headwater streams that have warmed up. These include such as Rock, Squirrel and Conant creeks. Right now Big Elk, Palisades, Rainy, Pine and McCoy creeks are fishing quite well. Use traditional attractor and terrestrial patterns. Same can be said for Salt River tribs; Jackknife, Tincup, Stump and Crow creeks. Warm River just below the spring is a great choice for traditional attractors in small sizes. The upper Blackfoot River is clearing, but small leech patterns work best until fish begin looking for terrestrial insects.
As demand for irrigation waters drops, this wonderful fishery will become a great fishing choice. Whether PMD emergences, streamer fishing, or fish responding to a growing terrestrial insect population, this river will offer so much whether you wade of fish from a boat. Get in touch with us to find out more about it.