The cooler mornings and evenings are just the ticket for keeping these waters cool enough for fish not only to remain active, but to have a better chance of survival when subject to catch and release. This really is the case for shallow water bodies such as Sand Creek Ponds #2 and #4. Pond 4 is fishing well for those folks presenting speckled dun life cycle patterns, with evenings being a great time to be on the water. The Trude Springs area of Island Park Reservoir continues to produce for those offering midge pupa patterns at depth. To the southeast, Daniels Reservoir seems to be the best bet. Although speckled dun emergences there are sparse compared to such as Sand Creek Ponds, their life cycle patterns are working well. Want to try a different still water? Snow Creek Pond, also known as Teardrop Lake, has holdover rainbows. It’s ideal for flotation devices. Get there by taking the Snow Creek Road off the Fish Creek Road which leaves at Warm River Campground. Dry damselfly patterns seem to be producing well on both Chesterfield and Springfield Reservoir. Water in Chesterfield Reservoir has dropped considerably, but enough remains for ‘bows at moderate sizes to provide good fishing.
Flow out of Palisades Dam has been raised about 800 cfs in the last day. Water temp there is 62 deg. F. Water temp at Lorenzo is 60 in the same degrees. Water there is less influenced by what comes out of Palisades Dam, so loses heat by radiation more quickly. Mutant golden stone emergence is the big attraction now. Look for them emerging early AMs from slower water, near drop-offs, and heading toward vegetated banks. Fish know they are moving, so use your favorite nymph patterns for action. Riffle fishing has slowed a bit, but is still productive with mainly pink alberts emerging. Slamming banks with hopper and chernobyl types is also productive. Try two fly rigs like a chernobyl type trailed by a hopper or ant. Responses by fish to late afternoon caddisfly activity continues to be good.
Flow out of Mackay Dam had been pretty constant at around 340 cfs ( very near its mean flow for this time of year) for the last several days. This AM, however, it was upped to about 430 cfs. That’s a pretty good jump for this small river, so wade carefully. Any day now tricos will be the major emergence, so be ready to try the river during the AM hours.
Flavs are emerging from all major Palisades Reservoir-South Fork tribs. This event is an afternoon happening because waters must warm to around the mid fifties in degrees F. for the bulk of the insects to emerge. Big Elk Creek will soon be crowded because kokanee (redfish!) are already in its lower portions. It’s a fun time of year on all small streams because hoppers and other terrestrial insects are numerous on banks, and trout know they are present. So pay particular attention to presenting around and underneath overhanging vegetation and when breezes move such around!
If you enjoy fishing small streams being in this area right now is like being a kid in a candy shop. July and August have seen a surplus of rainfall in much of the area which helps these streams maintain good flows with water temperatures more suited for active fish. The “where to go” choice is almost endless, and we can help point out some of these depending on your preferences. So for now let’s just point out the few “where not to go” locations.
Water flow out of Blackfoot River Reservoir is variable enough to slow fishing in the river below.
Robinson Creek is down to base level and therefore warmer making fish migrate downstream to deep holes such as near Teton View Estates on downstream.
Pine Creek is slow fishing for much the same reason as for Robinson Creek.
Shallower beaver ponds on such as Jackknife and Tincup Creeks have warmed enough that during afternoon hours fish there will move to riffles above in order to find more dissolved oxygen.
Flow out of Palisades Dam has been going down in a gentle manner (now at 8500 cfs). This means that riffle fishing, although diminishing a bit, is still good. These drops in flow should also help bring on mutant golden stoneflies and open up a few more wading locations. Hopper populations are up, so dropping patterns for them close to vegetated banks anywhere along the river is going to be effective. The evening caddisfly emergence is a great way to find action, but also try skittering an adult cranefly pattern this time of day.
When honey ants show up on the river in the Harriman-Last Chance reach, fishing will really pick up. We cannot recommend the river below Ashton Dam as a great fishery until after Labor Day. The best fishing on the lower river now is between Warm River and Ashton. Try streamers, big nymph and rubber leg patterns under low light conditions. During day time hours slam (from a boat) or drop (while wading) hopper or hopper-like patterns beneath overhanging vegetation. Try the same with ant, adult cranefly and beetle patterns.
Springfield Reservoir continues to fish well on its surface. Try adult damsel patterns over channels between weed beds. Best time to fish Sand Creek Pond #4 is early AM or evening. Soft hackled patterns (partridge and orange or partridge and olive in #12-14) just under the surface make as good as any other speckled dun emerger patterns. We have a report that the Harriman Fish Pond is being dewatered. If this is actually happening, forget about hold-overs for next year.
The river has been stable for days with respect to flow. However water temperature has climbed a few degrees to slow riffle fishing a bit at some locations. But fishing back toward banks has really picked up because of an expanding terrestrial insect population. Evening caddis hatches continue to provide good action, as do mutant stones. Early in the day try bead head nymph patterns at drop-offs.
If you fish the northeast corner of the park, expect company because so many easy to approach streams within the park are fishing slowly. There are plenty of anglers on the Lamar River in the meadows both above and below the cascades, on Soda Butte Creek, and on lower Slough Creek. We traveled through this area on Thursday, and we saw the Lamar discolored, likely because of thundershower related erosion in its upper drainage. Some cars were parked at the Trout Lake trail head. This time of year fishing there can be tough because of an algae bloom, so a speckled dun emerger pattern presented under an indicator is a good strategy if fish are rising.
Remember what we suggested a few days ago about fastest fishing in the Park? That still applies to Beula and Riddle Lakes!