Some of our reservoirs are beginning to lose ice. As we hear of any opening up, we will pass such on in this report
With flow out of Mackay Dam just a bit above 100 cfs, wading is easy. Midges are active, and a few BWOs are emerging. Not much snow is around, and the days are warming up. Looks like all aspects are together for a trip to the Big Lost. Don’t forget those small bead head nymphs or size 12-14 bead head peacock leeches! Want more info on the Big Lost River? Take a look at the 3/19/13 offering on it in our web site Articles post.
We fished Springfield Reservoir yesterday. Beautiful day, but slow fishing except when one hung a midge pupa below an indicator. The reservoir is about a foot and a half low and appears to be turning over. I don’t know whether this was really the case, but the water (53 deg. F. near the surface by mid PM) was more discolored than usual for this time of year. A few midges were flying, but no damsel nymphs visible in shallows. That’ll change!
Fishing on the Henrys Fork is really good right now. I fished around Ashton and around Vernon bridge this week and did well on rubberlegs and various droppers. Streamer fishing immediately below Chester dam has been good too with some nice fish being caught.
Whether you intend to visit this area or if you reside nearby, put the Grey’s River on your “have to try” list for next August and/or September. Without a doubt, this western Wyoming river is one of the most beautiful high country rivers on earth. Mostly of moderate gradient, it flows mainly through pine forests but has some meadow reaches especially in upstream locations. Once you get to Alpine Wyoming via either US highway 89-91 or US Highway 26, look for the Grey’s River Road heading east out of “downtown” Alpine. If you need a Wyoming license, fly-fishing gear, accommodations, or a good meal, Alpine can serve you well. Back to the Grey’s River road. Just the drive along it is worth a trip, and not having a good camera in possession is a tragedy. For better than forty miles the Grey’s River Road parallels the river which at times is a stone’s throw away, then other times out of sight. It is one of the better maintained gravel roads anywhere. Along the road, mostly in its middle reaches, are some of the best US Forest Service campgrounds that can be found. These make great locations for anglers wishing to stay within casting range for days to enjoy fishing the river. With exception of a few large ranches, the river courses through Bridger-Teton National Forest. Thus access is not problem.
The Grey’s drains the country between the Wyoming Range and the Salt River Range. It’s beginnings are above elevation 6000 feet and no where is it below 5000 feet. All this makes it a run-off stream of major proportions. That’s why we cannot recommend fishing it until around late July in normal run-off years. So let’s look at what this river offers with respect to fishing. Snake River fine spotted cutthroat trout and mountain whitefish are the natives. In the lower reaches one can encounter a few brown trout. I use to believe that a sixteen inch cutt would be a braggin’ fish from the Grey’s. Was I ever wrong! After concentrating a few years back on some undercut banks with ant patterns, I nailed a couple of eighteen inch guys. LeRoy, one of my fishing buddies did even better by fooling a twenty-two inch beauty. Another prime place to concentrate attention would be where willows overhang a deeper run. Fish residing here have “double cover” from depth and the overhang. So laying here looking for drifting food items gives them comfort. If you fish early in the late July time frame, you may see golden stoneflies emerging and cutts sipping them. About the same time PMDs will begin a summer-long emergence and attract fish with their activity. Afternoons will be the best time to enjoy the PMDs because, as with all “non-tailwater” high country rivers, time is required for water to warm up to their activity levels. Caddisflies are plentiful all along the river, and some late afternoon swarms can invade your eyes, ears, nose, and throat. In the September time frame tricos will make for some morning fishing, but generally afternoon to early evening are the best times for dry fly fishing. Presenting nymph patterns can be good throughout the day.
Here’s a couple of thoughts to consider for the Grey’s River. Below the Little Grey’s River confluence the river flows at a higher gradient through a canyon beloved by local kayakers and rafters down to near the confluence with the Snake River (beneath the topmost part of Palisades Reservoir early in the season). Further upstream above the Murphy Creek Bridge fishing is permitted with artificial flies and lures only. Throughout this reach the river can be waded with care. The bottom consists mostly of rocks and cobbles. You might encounter a few drift boats or rafts on the river above Murphy Creek bridge, but that is only a once in a while happening. Afternoon thundershowers are always possible here, and heavy ones can discolor the river to a coffee and cream color. But normally the Grey’s River runs as clear and sparkling as any stream can. If you decide to give the Grey’s a try, don’t forget that camera!
Like I mentioned yesterday I am playing a little game of catch up on getting you all information on the new materials we have gotten into the shop.
If you haven’t noticed we have starting stocking a lot of the Spirit River UV2 materials. As more of this material becomes available we have been getting it in and on the shelves. This stuff is awesome! The added “UV” allows it to have a so called glow under the surface that makes the fish go crazy. We have gotten the Marabou in stock and we have a large variety of colors for tying steelhead and trout patterns. This stuff really is good looking, come check it out!
We have been getting a lot of new fly tying materials in the shop and I am playing catch up from the last two weeks with posts. This week I will be featuring these new materials and tools.
We got in the new Renzetti tying tools last week and these things are awesome. You can be assured that these tools have been built with the same high quality Renzetti is known for. We have an assortment of hair stacker’s, dubbing brushes, dubbing loop tool and dubbing picks. All the tools have been built out of aluminum and have been built to last.
The streamer fishing has been picking up on the lower river. I have not had any great reports on Blue Wing Olive’s, however I would make sure I had a good selection of BWO patterns in my fly box. Any day now we should start seeing good BWO hatches and fish feeding on the surface. Nymphing has also been effective with Rubberlegs and bead head nymphs.
Fishing has really improved on the South Fork. Great midge hatches over the weekend with fish feeding on the surface. Other than the increase of midge activity all other tactics for catching fish have not changed from our previous reports.
All the boat ramps are open however the river is still at 900 cfs. This means that the river is a fraction of the flow we normally see. Short 3-4 mile floats will take you the majority of the day. We don’t advise going into the canyon. Cottonwood is still closed for wintering wildlife and it would be impossible to float the entire canyon in one day. Irwin slide to Spring Creek or Spring Creek to Conant and Wolf to Byington are good floats. Heise is inaccessible right now because the water is to low. Lorenzo to Menan is also a good float this time of year.