The recent stormy days are just what is needed to pick up fishing action on the lower river. Tiny BWOs and mahogany duns are emerging and attracting fish. With terrestrial insects still around in good numbers, and cooler water temperature, dry fly action will benefit. These will accompany the increasingly effective presentation of streamer patterns. So stock that fly box with patterns appropriate for all these.
Flow out of Palisades Dam was reduced to just under 5000 cfs ( resulting in just over 5500 cfs at Heise) early yesterday. That’s more good news for walk-in wade fishing. The other good news is that the BWOs and mahogany duns are doing a great job attracting trout, especially on these cool, cloudy days.
Observing USGS flow gauges reveals much information, even for streams not hosting such items. The big rain we had the last few days increased flows significantly according to readings on these gauges. So it is likely that a temporary flush happened on all these streams including those upstream of a reservoir (most of which are just beginning or soon to be impounding water). The increases are enough to bring about a temporary change in fly-fishing strategy by causing enough bank erosion that such as worms and immature burrowing insects are temporarily abundant food forms. So for the next few days, be sure to have such as San Juan worms, Suede Juan worms, and wooly buggers in that fly box.
Rod & Reel Found at a South Boat Ramp: Redington 8-weight with reel.
Contact Jim Wyatt 208-589-8927. Describe reel and rod models and any other characteristics.
Late in the day of September 13th flow out of Palisades dam was reduced to 5400 cfs. With the reservoir currently at 8% of usable capacity, more flow reductions are a given. The current flow and promise of more reductions to come is great news for the wading angler as more of the river becomes safer for walk-in wade fishing. That’s particularly true for the near future as a storm is forecast for the rest of this week meaning that prime time for enjoying the BWO and mahogany dun emergences is coming up. When moving from riffle to riffle, try fishing hoppers with a rubberleg and small beadhead dropper fished over gravel and to the banks. Streamer fishing has been improving with good success being reported on sparkle minnows and kreelex minnows. Nymphing has been productive as usual with small rubberlegs and bwo or pmd nymphs being the golden ticket. If you find yourself in a riffle with picky fish, try fishing a swung soft hackle to entice picky fish.
The south entrance is now open to traffic. Start thinking about brown trout migrating to “The Channel” between Lewis & Shoshone lakes as well as to the Lewis Lake outlet. Shoreline fishing on Lewis Lake will also pick up, but be sure to wade with reliable, leak-proof waders with warm clothing beneath! Pitching big streamers will be the name of the game here for the rest of the season.
Flow out of Blackfoot River Dam was reduced yesterday resulting a drop at the Shelley gage from 128 cfs to 87 cfs. This flow is not good for hosting fish and means they will face a tough time this winter. Let’s hope for their sake there are no further flow reductions.
Flow out of Palisades Dam was reduced to about 7500 cfs Wednesday. That action took place in the midst of trout responding very well to BWOs and mahogany duns. Some unsettled weather appears to be coming into the area next week, so look for a repeat of fish working these two emergences. Also because Palisades Reservoir is down to 10% of capacity, look for further flow reductions coming up soon.
Henry’s is showing signs of improvement, but overall fishing remains pretty tough. The key has been finding fish, if you can do that, the fish have been pretty willing. Wind storms have pounded the lake this late summer/early fall and combined with the blue/green algae bloom, half the battle has been finding clean water. The good news is with the cooling temperatures, the algae is disappearing and the weeds are dying off.
Now for the fishing……Concentrate your efforts in fairly shallow water (10ft and less) with type II and intermediate lines. There is still a fair amount of weeds present but don’t let that discourage you. The best fishing has been in amongst the weeds. Prospect with fly patterns until you find something thats working. All the traditional leech patterns (california leech, hot chocolate, Brown CB, Olive CB, mohair leeches, etc…..) have been working in sizes 6 & 8. Later in the day switch over to scuds, mighty mouse, HL renegade, and other smaller flies. If your into drifting with flies, there have been some large fish caught recently drifting between Targhee Creek and the State Park. Use a fairly fast sinking line if your planning to drift that area.
We have also had quite a few people calling and asking if the cutthroats have moved into the state park area, and the answer is not yet… That could happen any day now though so I would check it if your on the lake. The water temps are right and it feels like the lake is just about to go off, lets hope its soon!
Flow out of Island Park Dam is down to around 400 cfs. With such a low flow, streamer patterns are the best way to encounter the larger fish in Box Canyon. Concentrate your efforts on deeper holes and runs where there is the best overhead cover for the big guys. Until we have a killing frost, look for the hopper fishing to hold up on other parts of the river. With the current unstable and cooling weather, BWOs and mahogany duns will become the principle mayfly species available to trout along much of the river.