Firehole River offers the best dry fly fishing in the park with BWO, PMD and caddis life cycle patterns getting the most attention from trout. Be sure to try soft hackle versions of emerger patterns for these insects. Lewis River channel offers good streamer fishing for brown trout. Use generous insulating layers or insulated waders for comfort while wading the ultra-cold river water. Ice is off Shoshone Lake, but trails to it still have areas with snow and with muddy stretches. You will need a non-motorized boating permit and a free Yellowstone Park invasive species sticker on any floatation device to be used on the lake and on any park still water. Go to Yellowstone Park web site boating regulations page for details.
We hear big fish stories coming from the lake and have seen pictures of such. But we also hear that fishing on the lake has slowed down somewhat.
Some of our small streams are beginning to shape up. Beaver, Birch, and Medicine Lodge creeks are all in good shape with flows about normal for this time of year. Both Big and Little Lost Rivers drain higher country, and therefore are still running higher than normal. The Big Lost still runs water past Arco and onto the INL. McCoy and Bear Creek are high and a bit discolored, but offer some fishing if you do not mind presenting anything that looks like a drifting earthworm. Cutts are in both creeks either having spawned or are about to, and the sizes they range to will surprise you. I avoid areas where they are spawning, but concentrate on presenting flies on slower and deeper waters. Both Buffalo and Warm River are in good shape with PMDs and caddis being active in good numbers. Forget about fly-fishing the Blackfoot River below the reservoir until the first of October. The river above the reservoir opens to barbless hook, C&R (for cutthroat) fly fishing on July 1st.
Flow out if Palisades Dam was reduced to 20400 cfs yesterday (22300 cfs at Heise) and is dropping. The reservoir is about 85% full, with more water coming in (at least 25000 cfs) than leaving. We are past the peak of run-off season, but plenty of snow remains in the upper Snake River drainage. So expect high water remaining in the river for the near future. Look for the river to shape up in the fishing sense by the end of the month
Any where you fish on the river expect plenty of company. The main reason is the South Fork not being in good fishing condition. That drives more anglers to this river.
It is drake time on the Henry’s Fork from the Henry’s Lake Outlet section on down to the confluence with the South Fork. True PMDs, midges, and caddis are present and some golden stoneflies remain to attract trout. But for the next few weeks any fly-fishers on the river cannot go wrong if they switch to emerger, dun, or spinner patterns where appropriate for each of these drakes. The trick for the best measure of success is knowing how, when, and where to do so. Just a few days ago, Mike Lawson offered an excellent Green, Gray and Brown drake summary for the river. It’s on the June 13th Henry’s Fork Anglers fishing report. Go to his blog at the end of the Harriman Park report to read Mike’s thoughts on the characteristics of each drake species, where and when to expect them, and fly pattern recommendations. The information within is sure to increase your chances for successful fishing during the Henry’s Fork drake season.
Current flow out of Palisades Dam is 24100 cfs (about the same at Heise). Palisades Reservoir is at 82% of capacity, and the rainy weather we have means new snow in some higher elevations. So South Fork flows are unlikely to decrease significantly in the near future.
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The Firehole River continues to produce well, but is somewhat crowded. Here’s a way to avoid its crowding; try Duck Creek. The creek is in great condition, and any thing that imitates an earthworm or dragonfly nymph will bring responses from rainbows ranging to over twenty inches as well as from some brown trout. Ice is off Shoshone and Lewis Lakes, but we have no reports on how fishing is going there.
Most reservoirs to the southeast are full and fish are in the shallow water in such as Winder, Lamont, and Johnson Reservoirs and Twin Lakes. With warmer weather, look for warm water fishing to be good. Further good news is that boat inspection permits can now be purchased ($15.00) at Twin Lakes. Launching watercraft at Twin Lakes is now permitted ONLY at the main boat ramp.
The big stoneflies are mostly gone from the river, but various mayfly species are coming on. A few gray drakes are beginning to appear on the lower river, and green drakes are also emerging there. Add to these ongoing PMD and caddis activity, and the fish have plenty of bugs from which to choose. It’s a fun time of year to fish the Henry’s Fork, and the name of the game is to figure out which bugs interest fish at any time. Clearly the Henry’s Fork is the place to now for great fishing, and we can help you decide what patterns to present where and when.