Springfield Reservoir offers the best still water fishing right now. Follow the strategy we suggest in previous reports on Springfield. The only other ice-free water we know of at this time are American Falls and Hawkins reservoirs. We have no reports on fly-fishing activity at Hawkins to date.
Flow out of Mackay Dam has been almost constant at around 135 cfs so far, but with warming weather it could bump up soon. BWOs are on the increase to the point that fish seem to take them more than taking midges. Take your favorite BWO life cycle patterns (small bead head nymphs,too!) when you go and take the advise that as the weather warms, the flow out of Mackay Dam will increase.
Flows have been moving around lately however I don’t feel like they have been moving so much it is affecting the fishing. Right now flows are at 6,000cfs. Due to construction on a bridge by the dam these flows should remain steady for the time being. Most boat ramps are open right now however make sure you can get in out before you float. These flows are good levels for float fishing, however I would still concentrate on specific water where the fish are holding. Eddies, deep holes and slow pools.
Good midge hatches on the water right now. Fish a pulsating midge to rising fish and a Zebra Midge to fish holding under the surface. Clouser minnows have been effective when presented really slow with not much movement. Pat’s Rubberleg in a size 8 have been also producing good numbers of fish below the surface.
Fly-fishing from the banks at Springfield Reservoir is effective lately. Locations are limited, and water has not warmed much. But try the unoccupied docks near the culvert under Highway 39 and at the east end park. There is some room to move around on the south shoreline behind Homer’s resort, but be careful of the deep mud in places. You do not want that cold water inside your waders! Try small wooly bugger types or small prince nymphs on an intermediate line and a slow troll. Midge activity should soon be on the increase as water warms, so have your floating line, indicators and midge pupa patterns available.
Just an update on our earlier report from a few days ago. The water has discolored from Vernon Bridge downstream due to field runoff. This should clear in a few days as the low runoff melts and the ground thaws allowing the water to sink into the ground. This is probably a good time to use #4 and 6 Stonefly Nymphs and the streamer of your choice.
We got our first shipment from SIMMS for spring 2012! We have some really cool new items in the shop. First of all I want to show you the new Flyte jacket. This is a softshell jacket with WindStopper. Some of yo might be thinking whats the difference between the WindStopper Softshell and the new Flyte?” Well first of all the price is less for the new Flyte. However with the reduction of price you loose some of the features like storage space in the form of pockets on the jacket. The new Flyte jacket is basically a streamlined version for those angler who don’t need or want all the pockets and technical features offered in the Windstopper Softshell.
We also got a new selection of Simms hats, including the flex fit Derek Deyoung hat that has been super popular and very hard to find. We have them in Gray and Black. Come grab one while supplies last.
Fishing on the Henry’s Fork has remained steady. Midges have been hatching and anglers are finding success on the surface. Nymphing is still the most productive throughout the day. Stonefly nymphs in a size 6 or 8 have been effective. Blue Wing Olives should start hatching anytime now. I would make sure I have BWO nymphs and dries in my box. Floating still seems to be a bit of a challenge right now because of the snow banks at the boat ramps, when this changes we will report on it.
Flow out of Mackay remains at 135 cfs. Good flow for wading & water is clear. Midges galore and BWOs coming on. So bring life cycle patterns for these plus small bead head nymphs.
We fished Springfield Reservoir last Friday. Beautiful almost wind-free day, but to our surprise water temp was about 44 Deg. F. No wonder our feet below the pontoon boats began to ache after an hour or so. Very few rises and very scarce midge population on the surface. Best method to catch action was a SLOW troll of a small (#10) bead head peacock leech. All fish were ‘bows in the 17-21 inch range with one small brown. Stories have it of some large browns now present here.
The flows have been increasing during the past week and are up to 5050 cfs at Irwin and 6000 at Heise. There is some muddy low elevation run off draining into the river from Antelope Flat which gives the river a nice green color (good for streamer fishing) by the time it reaches Heise. Flow out of Palisades Dam will be below 6000 cfs through April because of bridge construction going on just below the dam. The bridge is being constructed to decrease traffic flow across the dam. In May flow out of the dam may be up 12000 to 15000 cfs depending on weather and runoff conditions. By June flows could increase to around 20000, again depending on weather and run-off rates.
We are seeing good hatches of midges and have been using Harrop Fluttering Midges and Kingrey”s Lowrider Midges on top. Under the surface we have been using effectively Bennett’s rubber legs, zebra midge nymphs, and golden stone nymphs. Of the streamer patterns that we’ve tried olive or tan sculpzillas seem best especially when presented on thirty foot sink tip or full sink lines.