We have not heard much about quality of fishing in the Park. That is except that the Firehole River is fishing as expected with fish responding to BWO and caddis life cycle patterns. Don’t overlook presenting soft hackled patterns for the emerger phase of these insects.
The main event here is big stoneflies hatching on the lower river. To be sure presenting big dries brings great returns, but it seems that every fly-fisher around, whether wading or boating, is on the lower river. This presence will soon happen on Box Canyon where nymphs are moving and such as rubber leg patterns are working well. Downstream from Riverside Campground would be a good location in the upcoming days to enjoy fish responding to the drifting big stoneflies. You might have to put up with boat traffic, but such will not be as concentrated as on the lower river or that which will happen soon in Box Canyon.
Some roads to small waters remain closed. For example the Ashton Flagg Road is closed beyond the South Boone Creek crossing, and the Snow Creek Road has yet to open. The Cave Falls Road is open, but soft in places. Warm River is one of the better small streams to try. The lower river will be crowded because of the nearby campground and easy access. Fewer anglers will be near the Warm River Spring or near Pole Bridge campground because the giant stonefly hatch on the nearby Henry’s Fork is in full swing. Try wet attractor, small bead head nymph,and caddis life cycle patterns. Tributaries to Palisades Reservoir are sure to be high for a while. Of the Salt River tributaries, Jackknife Creek might be in the best shape where small woolly bugger types and bead head nymphs would be best bets for action. All streams draining high country will host run-off for a while.
Flow out of Palisades Res. is reduced to 9700 cfs as the reservoir is filling (nearly half full) for the agricultural season. Flow at Heise is a bit over 10000 cfs. Flows are likely to increase later as irrigation demands kick in. Currently the lower flows make for good fishing, whether boating or wading, mainly by presenting nymphs. Try riffles and drop offs. For best responses try rubber legs trailed with small bead head nymph patterns, San Juan worms, and small bead head patterns by themselves. Use sink-tip or floating lines depending on depth of water to be fished.
Harriman East Fish Pond, non-motorized, is scheduled to be stocked with rainbow trout this week. It’s a good action because up to now it appears that there are very few or no trout in the pond. Horseshoe Lake is schedule for rainbow stocking next week. The same is for Teardrop Lake, but will the road be open?
There is a good number of escapee trout from Henry’s Lake now in the Henry’s Lake Outlet. These fish are mostly cutthroat trout with some hybrids and brook trout. Until stressed by wading anglers, these fish will take streamer and woolly bugger types. Fishing space in the outlet is somewhat limited above the Highway 20 crossing, and will likely be crowded the upcoming holiday weekend. Eventually these fish will disperse into the river going through and offering good fishing in the Flat Ranch property.
The big news for this river is that the giant stonefly hatch is out big time with adults flying from Warm River to Ashton. Look for the hatch to expand to the river below right now and angler presence to expand greatly. Boat traffic is thick and will increase on the lower river above Chester during the upcoming holiday weekend. Cooler weather expected later this week means that presenting big nymph patterns may be the best way to go for now in such as Box Canyon and upper Cardiac Canyon, but because the progress of this hatch is so unpredictable, be sure to have dry stonefly patterns along.
Post spawning rainbow trout are now in the South Fork of the Madison River estuary. These fish range from around sixteen to over twenty inches and will attack any streamer or woolly bugger type pattern presented nearby. With time these fish will disperse into Hebgen Lake, but for the next several days they will offer good localized streamer fishing.
It’s worth the time to drive to Arco just to see the Big Lost River doing something it has not done in decades. That is flow through town (currently 383 cfs) and beyond. Flow out of Mackay Reservoir is currently 1300 cfs and has been at least as high for weeks, so it is no wonder that Arco is experiencing the river again. This high flow below Mackay Dam makes approaching the river tough and fishing slow.
Chesterfield and Twenty-Four Mile reservoirs have been stocked. We have no fishing success information for these as well as for Treasureton Reservoir. Daniels Reservoir has been fishing fairly well, and action at Springfield Reservoir has been picking up. Midge pupa patterns under an indicator work after the taking depth is found on both waters. Damsel fly, leech patterns and small fly rod jigs also produce on these.
Many back country roads are opening up meaning that some of our quality small waters are now approachable. However those that drain high country remain high and discolored. The Blackfoot River provides a good example of this situation. The river above the reservoir is running very high, but opens to fishing on July 1st. Roads leading to the river below the reservoir are open, but the river, now open to fishing, is running very high. The same applies to Fall and Teton rivers: approachable but running high and discolored. Expect the same for Palisades Reservoir tributaries, Salt River tributaries, Little Lost River drainage, Medicine Lodge Creek, and Robinson Creek. Warm River above Robinson Creek is running high and clear. Birch Creek is the exception. It is in good fishing shape. Being mostly of spring creek origin, it will remain so through the season.