Yellowstone National Park management is evaluating prohibition of items having high potential to transport invasive species. Among these items is felt soles commonly used as secure footing on waders and boots. It is possible that felt soles could be prohibited for use in park waters in a few years.
All types of park fishing licenses will be available in Jimmy’s for the Memorial Day park fishing season opening
Stillwater fishing has been very tough on area reservoirs since ice out. The cold weather has been keeping water temperatures way down and bug activity to a minimum. Of all the lakes Springfield has been fishing best, although even that hasn’t been very good. If you go to springfield, small chironomids and leeches have been best. We really need water temperatures to get and stay above 50 degrees before things really get going. Once that happens, look for chironomids to start popping on all area reservoirs and fishing to drastically improve.
Flow out of Palisades Dam currently is 14600 cfs (15700 cfs at Heise). Wading remains a bit perilous, and boating gets you to the best waters. Presenting rubber leg and streamer patterns remain the best ways to encounter trout. Smaller nymphs presented in or at the base of riffles will get action from trout as well as from whitefish.
Action at Springfield Reservoir is improving. Just find the taking depth for a midge pupa pattern under an indicator, and action will come. Small leech or damselfly nymph patterns also produce.
The lower Warm River to Ashton reach featured a blanket caddis hatch last weekend. So fish seemed filled with these. From Warm River downstream to Chester the river is a bit high but clarity is about normal. The same applies from Ashton Dam to Chester. Streamers and big stonefly nymphs are the best patterns to try both places for larger fish. Midges abound, but BWOs seem spotty (good numbers some places, not so good others). Midges are dominant at Last Chance were your choice of bead head nymphs in sizes around 12-14 work best.
On April 11th flow out of Palisades Dam was raised to 18000 cfs. Result is flow at Heise is 19600 cfs, so use caution when wading. Water temperature is around forty degrees F. so don’t fall in! Use same fly-fishing tactics as offered in the April 4th fishing report..
Although flow out of Palisades Dam has dropped some (16000 cfs out of Palisades Dam), the river remains dangerous for wading. Boating is the best way to reach “fishable” gravel bars, the tails of islands, and current-free back waters. Rubber leg,egg, and streamer patterns are the best choice for encountering trout in these water types. Because of the high flows, a trip from Conant to Byington without stopping takes about four hours!
The American Falls West Side Boat Ramp is closed to boater and angler traffic while repaving of the parking lot and approach ramp takes place. It will reopen Memorial Day weekend. During fall this year the old boat ramp will be removed and replaced.
Flow in the Blackfoot River above the reservoir is much higher (710 cfs at the Henry gage with 110 cfs being normal) than it has been for years. This is great news because silt accumulation compromises parts of this river. A flush from these flows can benefit both trout and aquatic insects. With more than normal snow pack remaining in the drainage, high flows could be around for a while making the outlook for cooler flows through the summer very good. What could really be beneficial here would be to have a number of consecutive years with flow this high in the river.
Although some midges and some BWOs are on the surface, presenting nymph patterns in the lower river above Chester seems the most productive approach lately. Streamers also bring responses from trout, especially under low light conditions. Look for Fall River, with flow at Yellowstone canal diversion more than double normal, to increase flows significantly and add discolor to the river below Chester.