BWOs are out along the lower river, and fish are just beginning to key on them. The unsettled weather predicted to come for the next several days could see more fish keying on them during afternoon hours. Stonefly nymph imitations and rubber leg patterns drifted along the stream bed are producing quite well, and streamer patterns continue to provide action especially during low light conditions.
Flow out of Palisades Dam has been pegged at around 7800 cfs for about a week. Pailsades Reservoir is about three-quarters full (one quarter empty if you come in through the back door). So with all the snow melt yet to come down, flow increases out of the reservoir are sure to return so the run-off can be contained.
Flow below Ashton Dam is a bit higher ( 1400 cfs) than normal (1100 cfs) with the river in good shape. Fishing is good if such as rubber legs and streamers are presented. No BWOs to speak of yet, but plenty of midges. So life cycle patterns of these might get you some top water action.
Yesterday morning flow out of Palisades Dam was raised from 3410 cfs to 4720 cfs. This continues lowering the amount of water in the reservoir which is now at 83% of capacity. Look for more increases “coming down the pipe”, but the river flowing clear and cold while running through the Snake River Plain offers some fishing success. Try rubber legs and streamer patterns. We are in a period of nice days. Banks along the river are free of ice and snow as seen in the picture above. So the South Fork offers a chance to get out and enjoy the nice weather.
For the river above American Falls Reservoir all gage readings show flows about 50% higher than normal. Look for these to stay high with flow out of Palisades Dam on the increase. Flow below the reservoir is about 6700 cfs ( Anchors away, my friend!) whereas normal is around 2700 cfs.
We have some information on lower river fishing success from Ashton Dam downstream to the Fun Farm Bridge. The river is somewhat higher ( 1350 cfs) than normal (1060 cfs) according to the gage below Ashton Dam. Walk-in wade fishing gets one to most of the river, but float fishing is a bit limited because of conditions at some boat ramp sites. Streamer fishing is good. Midges are abundant making for a bit of top water fishing. BWO activity is not important yet, but as we warm up will become increasing to attract fish during afternoons especially on overcast days.
Flow out of Palisades Dam was raised late Friday from about 900 cfs to 2400 cfs. This reflects USBurRec belief that a big run-off season is coming and room in Palisades Reservoir ( now about 85% full) is needed to contain the resulting melt. More flow increases are likely, and these will impact fishing. But the higher flows are very beneficial to resident salmonids which had a tough winter enduring low flows.