We are getting into the time of summer when care helps when choosing small streams to visit. Many of these are now at base level, but some are even lower because of our long dry spell, meaning warmer water. The upper Blackfoot River is a good example where flows are well below 100 cfs. This will warm the stream to where the resident cutthroat will have a tough time being revived after being caught, so early AM is the best time to fish if you are concerned about their well-being. On the other end Palisades Creek will always have a good flow of water. That is because both lakes in its drainage have underground as well as surface outlet flows into the creek. A stream with deep beaver ponds will be a good choice, because these offer cooler water. Such as Bear Creek and upper reaches McCoy, Big Elk, and Sawmill Creeks are some. Warm River near its spring, the Birch Creek Family Area above Lone Pine or any stream having a good component from springs will have cooler water. A tail water situation is another to consider if water is coming into the stream is from the bottom of the reservoir above. Big Lost River Below Mackay Dam is an example. So there are plenty of choice in enjoying some of our smaller waters.
Overall fishing the South Fork has been good. There have been a couple of days where it has been slow but the cooler water temperatures this July has made the fishing better than recent summers.
Most days there is some good activity in the riffles with pale morning duns, both olive/yellow and pink. When fishing the riffles your best success will come by constantly changing your patterns from high silhouette duns to emergers and then maybe a nymph suspended in the surface film. Drift purple or gold bodied chernobyl stones against the slower grassy banks and over the riffle drop offs. There are some big hoppers out on the lower river below Byington and down to Menan. We are starting to see some golden(mutant) stone casings along the shore but we need to see some drops in the river flow to really get those bugs emerging. If you stay on the river late there has been a good caddis hatch. Finally we have still been relying on a brown rubber leg/small tungsten nymph combination when nothing is going on topside.
The next two to three days we are suppose to have some good cloud cover and that usually makes for better fishing. Good luck!
Sage is constantly moving forward with rod design and this year is no different. Sage is introducing two new rod series this summer; The Salt (to replace the classic XI3) and the Accel (to replace the VXP). Below is some additional information on these two new rod series. If you have any questions, feel free to give us a call here at the shop! We should be getting these new rods in sometime around the first week of August.
The new SALT series is, you guessed it, an all-new addition to Sage’s saltwater lineup that will replace the Xi3 series. The new SALT rods are Sage’s first saltwater fly rods built on its newer Konnetic technology, which Sage’s very popular and award-winning ONE and METHOD series of rods are built upon. Like all of the Konnetic-built rods, Sage has proclaimed a focus on quick loading, high line speeds and pinpoint accuracy when developing the SALT series. According to chief rod designer Jerry Siem, “The ability to adapt to quickly changing conditions is imperative when saltwater fishing, and Konnetic Technology allows deft sensitivity and the ability to track extremely straight. The new SALT shines in all fishing scenarios.”
The SALT rods feature a dark sapphire blank with distinctive black wraps, oversized Fuji ceramic stripper guides, hard chromed snake guides and an anodized aluminum up-locking reel seat which includes a hidden hook keeper. The SALT series has offerings from weight 5 through 16. All of the rods in the series have an MSRP of $850 and are slated to be available come August 2014.
You can View more info on the Sage Salt Fly Rod Here
Also coming from Sage in August is the New Sage Accel Fly Rod
The Sage ACCEL fly rod series is a new medium-fast action rod series that includes single hand, switch and spey rods. For the ACCEL fly rod Sage has reinvented its G5 blank technology that was so well loved in the now classic Z-Axis series and the VXP series that the Sage ACCEL fly rods will replace.
According to Siem, Sage “[added] a graphite hoop core and axial fiber material in the new Generation 5 technology [which] allowed for a lighter, ultra-responsive, and livelier blank with a narrower shaft.” The result is a rod that Siem says “permits anglers to feel the rod load for optimum casting control.”
The Sage ACCEL fly rods feature an emerald green blank color with, like the Sage SALT fly rod series, distinctive black wraps, Fuji ceramic stripper guides and hard-chromed snake guides. Reel seat and cork configurations vary depending on rod model.
Sage ACCEL single hand fly rods range in weights from 3 to 9 and are priced at $595. Switch rods come in weights 6 to 8 and are priced at $695. Spey rods will be available in weights 6 to 8, for $750. All ACCEL models will be available in August 2014.
Area stillwaters have slowed down for the most part due to the summer heat and water levels being drawn down. The reservoirs to the southeast have been most affected by the summer heat. The only real option on lakes like Daniels and Chesterfield is fishing deep and fishing early. Fast sinking lines and deep indicator fishing with double chironomid set ups have been most productive.
Lakes and Reservoirs to the North have fared a little better as far as water levels and water temperatures. We have received good reports from Hebgen, Cliff, Wade, Island Park, and Henry’s Lake in the past week. Henry’s Lake has been fishing well around the Targhee Creek area early in the morning with patterns like the Henry’s Lake Pheasant tail, Henry’s Lake Renegade, Lt. Olive Crystal, and Henry’s Lake scud. Concentrate on shallow water early and work your way to deeper water as the sun continues to rise.
The Sand Creek Ponds have been fishing well lately too. After a slow opener, things seem to have picked up a little bit. The best fishing has been early and late in the day with damsel and Callibaetis nymphs under an indicator. On certain days, the dry fly fishing on Callibaetis spinners has been very good. If you prefer to fish sinking lines, a slow sinking line and darker brown/olive mohair leeches have been producing well.
We have received word that the Nature Conservancy is temporarily closing access to Silver Creek because of low flows, high water temperatures and low dissolved oxygen levels. We will post any changes we learn about on this closure.
Looking for another great small stream to take a youngster or physically challenged person to for a chance for a good fly fishing experience? For sure Birch Creek is a great selection, but McCoy Creek is another. It is currently in great fishing shape. Go south on US Hwy 89 from Alpine, Wyoming, then about three miles below town, take the McCoy Creek Road back into Idaho along the Palisades Reservoir southeast shore. After the road crosses McCoy Creek and closely parallels it going upstream, you will see a number of pull-out with the creek close by. Meadow and riffle-run stretches are present. This time of year dry terrestrial patterns, caddis life cycle patterns, traditional attractor, and on occasion flav life cycle patterns will bring cutts up. It will be rare to attract a cutt over fifteen inches, but you never know for sure. So easy to access, scenic country, and eager trout makes for a good selection!
Flow out of Mackay Dam is currently about 185 cfs and has been just below 200 cfs for several days now. This is a great flow for not only good wading conditions in the river below, but also enough to provide good cover for trout residing there. Look for PMDs, afternoon flavs, and evening caddis activity to attract trout into a feeding mode. So bring life cycle patterns for all of these, plus traditional dry and wet attractors.
Interested in fishing small streams? They offer solitude, scenery, and aggressive salmonids. Some are roadside, others require some effort and time to be enjoyed. Right now nearly all are in great shape and capable of offering a fun outing. With so many are in this shape right now, the best strategy here is to get in touch with us for suggestions.
No big change since our 7/14 report. Flows are stable (13200 cfs at dam, 13700 at Heise) with water temps in the mid 50s coming out of the dam. The upper river offers the best fishing. A few golden stones remain.Try PMD and pink albert life cycle patterns in the riffles. Timing is nymphs early, then emergers as the day progresses, on to duns if you see fish taking on the surface. Afternoon caddis activity can bring fish up. Terrestrial patterns will be important soon. Try your favorite streamer pattern early in the morning, and around sunset. And remember that for all your dry patterns, presentation and ability to see them on the surface trumps choice.
Sand Creek Ponds opened to boating Wednesday. Results were mixed. Most reports we have talk of smaller fish coming from Pond #4. Water temps seem to be in the mid 60s in degrees F., so water temp is not yet an issue. could be the best days are ahead