Pretty much the same as last week. For the lower river fish early and late in the day and concentrate on terrestrial insect and caddis life cycle patterns. A lot of folks are fishing on the upper river where early AM tricos and daytime terrestrial insects (including ants), a few speckled duns, tiny PMDs, and later caddis and spinner falls bring action in the Last Chance-Harriman section. Two fly nymph rigs work well in Box Canyon.
Flow out of Palisades Dam has been constant at about 9800 cfs (10555 cfs at Heise, 5000 cfs at Lorenzo) for at least a week. Not much change since our report a few days ago. Mutant golden stones early, hoppers and riffle-feeding mayflies and PM caddis are interesting fish.
Beulah (Foreground) and Hering Lakes
Any water adjacent to a road is crowded and tourist traffic through most entrances makes getting there lengthy. This really applies to the major streams in the northeast corner of the park ( Lamar River, Slough, Soda Butte Creeks). By contrast Fall River Basin streams (Bechler and Fall Rivers, Boundary and Mountain Ash Creeks) in the southwest corner have few (Bechler and Boundary Creek) to nearly no (Fall River and Mountain Ash Creek) visits. All Fall River Basin streams and Beula and Hering Lakes are off the beaten path and require a bit of driving over gravel roads then walking to approach. Like anywhere in the Park, fishing is a bit tough on the basin streams ( AM tricos, PM hoppers, beetles and ants work best) as waters drop to base flows and are warmed by afternoons. At 7000 feet in elevation Beula Lake, however, still offers as good of fishing as anywhere in the park, and like its Fall River Basin partners requires a walk (2.5 miles) to reach.
There are certainly a lot of float fishing ongoing. Just look at how crowded the Conant, Palisades, and Spring Creek boat launches are. But walk-in wade is quite popular as seen by the number of folks on the river road above Heise. Mutant golden stone flies are active in the early mornings and attract fish. Riffle fishing is “off and on,” so be patient. Hoppers are everywhere along the river, and caddis activity can make for good evening fishing.
Hoppers are out big time on the lower river, but the fish are after them mainly in the early hours then again during evening. They are also out big time on the Last Chance-Harriman and Flat Ranch sections river where tricos are on during morning hours with caddis during evening. As they fade about late AM, switch to hopper and other terrestrial insect patterns (use long drag-free floats). Fishing on the Flat Ranch section is slowing down as flow out of Henry’s Lake is dropping and warming. It’s still a good idea to have rusty spinners (#16-18) in that fly box anywhere you try the upper river.
Our extended hot dry, weather is making fishing tough on many of our smaller streams. Some, like the Salt river tribs coming out of Idaho, are at base level flows already and warming to high water temps during daytime. Larger and spring-fed streams are still in good shape. Count Bear, Big Elk, Bitch, and Palisades Creek among these. Teton and Warm Rivers are in good shape. Flow out of Blackfoot Reservoir into the river is up enough (600cfs ) to make for tough fishing unless you stick to the bottom. You will need a Wyoming fishing license for Greys River, but it is offering some really good fishing now with caddis and some PMDs remaining, and terrestrial insects making for action. For up to date conditions on the Greys River, Greys River Sports , 106 Greys River Road provides the best info. On the east edge of Alpine, They offer fly fishing gear along with a variety of outdoor gear. Call them at 307-654-3474 or look their web site: www.greysriversports.com.
If you fish the river below Ashton Dam during daytime, why not just go for a swim. In Island Park terrestrial insects are just as abundant as on the lower river. But with cooler water fish are more active in taking them. They seem to like small (#18) rusty spinners, too. Tricos should be showing in significant numbers soon. Two rig nymphs (big pattern trailed by a small one) are working in Box Canyon. Water is dropping and warming in the Flat Ranch portion. This means larger fish there will be moving downstream.
If you intend to fish waters off the main park highways, expect big time delays because of hoards of tourists. Traffic lines at the west entrance extend for a half mile back west by mid morning. You can hear accents from all languages on the globe. The same is happening at other entrances. So get there early enough to be about the first in line. When you finally arrive at your fishing destination terrestrial insect patterns (including spruce moths around forested areas) are working as good as anything. Present these patterns with long, drag-free floats.