We have recently been fly fishing the Blackfoot River about ten miles below the dam. Water flow is less than normal meaning fish are concentrated in deeper runs and holes. Streamers and small wooly bugger types worked for us in these waters. We noticed that hoppers were still around, so a variety of hopper patterns worked. Some BWOs came out in shaded areas such as in the shadows of cliff faces, and fish responded. Roads were in great shape.
Henry’s Lake has been fishing okay lately, right on the cusp of really turning loose. We need some colder, nastier, cloudier weather to really get things going, weather has just been too nice! Focus on all the typical fall areas; Duck Creek, Hatchery, State Park, Cliffs, Duck Creek, and County boat dock. Until the colder weather shows up, fish a little deeper water then you typically would this time of year. Darker Leeches, Lt. Olive Crystal, Henrys Lake Renegade, and Henrys Lake Scud have all been producing well. Look for things to really turn on here in the next week or so!
Daniels Reservoir currently offers the best fishing on our irrigation reservoirs. A terrific scud bloom is ongoing there.Take advantage of it by using your favorite scud pattern on an intermediate line. Also try suspending that pattern under an indicator and giving an occasional small twitch. Trying these techniques near submerged vegetation brings best results. Midge pupa patterns presented two to ten feet under an indicator are also producing, but trout seem most interested in the plentiful scuds. Weeds are beginning to break up on Springfield Reservoir making for easier wet fly fishing. Midge pupa patterns under an indicator, small prince nymphs, and leech patterns in black or olive are producing there.
Thursday we fished the Blackfoot River about eight miles below the dam. Flow out of the dam is only 67 cfs, and the impact on the river below is almost tragic for trout. This low flow concentrates them in deepest water. It was a bright, beautiful day so the normally sparse BWO emergence did not happen. Hoppers still abound, and trout will come up for them. Streamside cover where fingerling trout find refuge is high and dry because of the low flow. This puts them in deeper water where they are preyed on by larger trout. Need I say any more?
With flow in the river dropping, it is time to get out trying for migrating brown trout. Get those streamers in order, and rig up sink tip lines. There are a number of locations for walk-in wade fishing and float fishing. Come into the shop to get some ideas on where to give either a try.
We have not heard consistent reports of good fishing here. Part of the reason could be the great “Indian Summer” weather we currently have. Looks like that could change this coming weekend when cooler temps and increased chance of precipitation is predicted. That just may be the ticket to bringing more fish into shallower water around the lake.
Now is a great time to fish the Box Canyon. Flows are low, wading is at its easiest, and the big rainbows are stocking up for winter. That means streamer patterns can bring out the bigger fish. Proper location and presentation is more important than pattern selection. The same applies to the river below Ashton Dam. Streamers are just the ticket for those big browns becoming aggressive for their spawning season. Choose low light conditions for your best chances. Current beautiful weather is not the best for top water fishing here as far as BWOs are concerned. But weather will turn for sure, and with those conditions that tell of oncoming winter, BWOs will be more active along with the fish looking for them.
This time of year fishing gets tough on some of our small streams that have dropped to base level flow. That’s not the case for many though. The lower Teton River is an example where afternoon BWO activity, even on fairly bright days, bring fish up to the top. Try the river just below the Hog Hollow Bridge. The lower Blackfoot River is shaping up with flows down to around 100 cfs. Try nymphs and because no killing frost has happened, hopper patterns anywhere below the Dam where there is deeper water. Visit us at the shop for specific information.
In keeping with Jimmy’s actions to keep you up to date on this great river, here is the latest on conditions. Flow out of Palisades Dam was reduced to 3560 cfs yesterday AM and water temp there was 57 deg. F. Downstream at Heise, flow is 3880 cfs. These are ideal conditions for wading the river. Under the present bright conditions BWO activity will not be at its best. Still riffle fishing should be good because of mahogany duns and caddis later. Hoppers patterns presented around vegetated banks and rubber leg and super-x patterns just below the surface and pulled away from that cover will bring action. For a complete list of patterns Jimmy suggests, see the 9-22 South Fork version of this report.
Just a quick note to report that flow dropped last night to 3730cfs. With these lower flows think about shorter length floats. Floating the canyon will take the entire day day and not give you much time to stop and fish riffles unless you take two days and camp.