The good BWO and mahogany dun hatches continue making for good fishing. Having a stable river sure helps. But because the reservoir is at 33% capacity and dropping, expect flow reductions coming in the near future. When they happen, we will post such information here, because these will impact fishing.
We have not said much recently here, so let’s get caught up a bit. Water is very low at Chesterfield Reservoir, but fish are hitting leech and damselfly nymph patterns. It’s easier to launch flotation devices than boats there. Daniels Reservoir is offering good fishing with the same patterns because water is in good shape thanks to the conservation pool. Springfield Reservoir offers good fishing for those folks concentrating on the “donut holes,” that is the spring holes between the weed beds. Try scud, damselfly nymph, damselfly adult, and midge life cycle patterns. Sand Creek Ponds still fishes well for those presenting speckled dun life cycle patterns. Try a soft hackled patterns (ie, partridge & orange) in size 14 or 12 with a slow retrieve, just under the surface and close to rising fish. Evenings and late afternoons seem best. Forget about the Harriman Fish Pond until next year or later. Looks like the holdovers will be few & far between.
Flow out of Henry’s Lake into Henry’s Lake Outlet has been reduced to 53 cfs. That means fishing is pretty much over there for the year. Larger fish will move down to the Henry’s Fork.
Finally, the lake is turning on! We have reports of large fish being caught in good numbers. The south and west sides seem to provide the best action. Try big woolly bugger types or streamers in about ten feet of water. Some of the reasons for this turn-around is that the blue-green algae mats are decreasing and water temperatures are also going down. These mean more dissolved oxygen thus more active fish. With the decrease in algae and lowering water temperatures, we could be heading for some of the famed fall fishing Henry’s Lake is capable of providing.
River flow has been stable for several days: just a tad below 9000 cfs out of Palisades Dam and just under 9900 cfs at Heise. You could not ask for better weather for good BWO and Mahogany dun emergences than what we have today and coming up for the next few days. The prevailing low light conditions also means better conditions for trying streamer patterns. So whether you wade or fish from a boat, now is a great time to try the South Fork.
This cool wet weather is making a difference with respect to fishing the lower river. BWO and midges are emerging in abundance, and mahogany duns are around. With terrestrial insects remaining top water fishing should be good for days to come, but as we move into October consider that presenting streamer patterns under low light conditions will become more important.
Idaho Department of Fish and Game is proposing to transfer some Big Elk Creek kokanee to Bear Creek with the idea of starting another run from Palisades Reservoir. Lets hope it works because if successful, there would be more forage fish for large trout in the reservoir. Right now Bear Creek might be a good choice to try with the great terrestrial insect population in its meadows. Also with the daytime becoming shorter and cooler, fish in beaver ponds there will become more interested in small leech patterns.
As a result of flow out of Palisades Dam being raised to just over 9000 cfs, mutant golden stonefly hatch and resulting action to them by trout has slowed a bit. The best of this activity can be found now on the lower river. Activity from fish feeding in riffles has slowed a bit, but fishing these can be productive. Try parachute or traditional Adams, purple haze, renegade, or cinnamon ants, all in size 16. Fish still respond to drifting hopper patterns, evening caddis emergences, and streamers fished around pods of baitfish. Under low light conditions presenting streamers can result in larger trout encounters.
With most summer vacations over such streams as Teton River in Teton Basin and lower Fall River will see fewer recreational boaters. This means mid day fishing will have fewer interruptions. The Teton River in the Basin is fishing very well with terrestrial insect and mahogany dun life cycle patterns producing during afternoon hours. Now that days are shortening and cooling most of the best dry fly fishing on small streams, excepting during remaining trico activity, will take place during afternoon hours. More time is now needed for the atmosphere and therefore waters to warm up to point of best insect activity.
The Forest Service is closing the Ashton-Flagg Ranch Road in late September through October in order for heavy equipment to perform some upgrades. More details on the closure can be obtained from the Caribou-Targhee National Forest web site. We place this announcement here because the road provides access for fishing waters in the south side of Fall River Basin within and outside the Park. Access to Grassy Lake Reservoir and the Beula Lake trail head will be available from the east end of the road at Flagg Ranch Resort. Speaking of Beula Lake, now that the nearby scout camp is closed for the season, your chance for solitude while fishing there is a lot better.