Not much going on here. Many locations are still iced over or difficult to approach. Springfield Reservoir has been slow fishing lately. Some action can be had through presenting midge pupa under an indicator after finding the taking depth.
It’s a different year than the last few because of our winter with abundant snowfall in the high country. Not only is access difficult or impossible because of road conditions, and with warmer weather coming on, most streams are high and with discolor. For example, last year at this time the lower Blackfoot River was worth fishing with flow around 100 cfs at the Shelley gage. This year with roads mostly blocked and nearly 500 cfs at the same gage, it is time to go somewhere else.
With 18300 cfs coming out of Palisades Dam, the river is high enough to make most riffle fishing difficult. At Heise flow is about 17500 cfs meaning “more of the same” with respect to riffle fishing. Water is cold to be sure but relatively clear, so streamers and such as rubber legs presented deep can bring some interest from trout. Look for further increases in flow as room must be made in Palisades Reservoir (and Jackson Lake) for increased run-off as weather warms.
Run-off from farmlands is beginning to come into Fall River as well as from higher elevations. This means discolor in Fall River impacting the Henry’s Fork at Chester Dam and below. From there downstream presenting streamers and nymphs is the best way to attract fish. On the river above, the same strategy works (a great way to attract fish in Box Canyon), but include midge life cycle patterns. Give BWOs and march browns a bit more time before their activity become significant.
Winter still reigns on much of the lower river, and the best way to visit is walk-in and wade as opposed to boating. Nymphing with rubber legs and bead head nymph patterns will get you into action. When we have wind-free days fish will be on the surface taking midges, and a #18 griffiths gnat will do a good job of imitating the clusters trout look for.
Flow out of Palisades Dam was raised to 11900 cfs yesterday and to 13400 cfs today. Plans are to raise it again to 15000 cfs by this coming Friday. River below should stay clear or clear quickly, so streamer and nymph presentations are best bets for action. These flow levels make for better boating conditions.