With 550 cfs coming out of Mackay Dam wading remains tough in the river below. Best fishing is in or on just below Copper Basin right now. Look for caddis, PMDs, sallys, golden stonefly and traditional dry patterns to bring action.
To be sure, midging under an indicator will get you action on all reservoirs. But we have reports of fishing taking adult damselflies on the surface on all reservoirs, even on days with some wind. So now is the time to get your “dry fly reflexes” tuned up before the gulper season begins.
Tim passed on some good info on Teton River and the South Fork tribs yesterday. Take his comment about warming water seriously, because many small streams will be impacted during what looks like a very warm dry summer. Now is a good time to look at the numerous smaller streams we have in the area and to consider a visit to some. Here is a “laundry list” of some to consider. Robinson Creek, Conant Creek, all Salt River tribs in Idaho, Bear Creek, Beaver Creek, Little Lost River and Sawmill Creek, Medicine Lodge Creek, Portneuf River, Buffalo River, Willow Creek, and Warm River are at their peaks for good fishing right now. The Blackfoot River above the reservoir opened to fishing two days ago, and you should consider a visit to it quite soon. The best is yet to come on the lower Blackfoot River, Big Elk Creek and Bitch Creek. That’s is quite a list of waters to give details on here. Contact us one way or another for details on fishing these. We offer solid information on all. Several will surprise you with size of fish, and for sure you will like the solitude.
With the Firehole River warming up, everything else is shaping up. Caddis and PMDs (AM spinners, mid day to afternoon emergence) are making the Madison River in the Park a destination. Brown Drakes on the Gibbon River meadow reaches and on Duck Creek should be on your “to go” list for evening fishing. Green drakes are coming off in the meadow reaches of the Lewis River, below and above Lewis Lake. The Ashton-Flagg Road is open giving access to Beula Lake. Fall River Basin streams remain high because of snow pack remaining on Madison and Pitchstone plateaus. A bunch of us carried float tubes down Delacey Trail to Shoshone Lake last Saturday. Getting out on the lake in those tubes was a blast with juvenile macks, browns and brookies responding to small leech patterns presented on full sink lines. We had to place to ourselves!
Following is a note from the Henry’s Fork Foundation concerning the ongoing reconstruction work at Ashton Dam. In the meantime fishing conditions and fishing success should remain good.
At the Ashton Dam reconstruction project, they are having problems with the rubber seal over the upstream coffer dam coming loose, resulting in some additional sediment moving downstream. To fix this problem, they need to send divers down to re-anchor the rubber blanket. Since this work is being done next to the dam bypass tunnel, they will need to partially close the tunnel while they do the work. However, as this is peak irrigation season, they have to balance this work with downstream irrigation needs. The result will be some major fluctuations in Henry’s Fork flows below Ashton Dam throughout the day. Flows could fluctuate from 1200 cfs up to 3000 cfs, and this fluctuation may happen four times that day. Idaho Fish and Game will be monitoring things that day.
Bottom line, Monday July 9th will be a day you don’t want to be fishing below Ashton Dam.
Stewardship Director, Henry’s Fork Foundation
& Hold the Line Project Coordinator, High Country RC&D
Stream flow on the South Fork is stable with 13,600 cfs coming out of Palisades Dam, and 14,900 cfs at Heise. Nymph fishing in the morning with a Brown Rubber Leg ( size 8 ) and a Bead Head Crystal Pheasant Tail Nymph dropper( size 16) has been the most productive till about 12 o’clock. From about 12 o’clock, riffles have been good with a CFO Yellow Sally ( size 16 and 14 ), and Olive Hares Ear Parachute (size 12) . There is a good emergence of salmon and golden adult stones along the bank near Heise, but fish still haven’t been eating them yet but that should change any day. Along with yellow sallies in the riffles there will be good hatches of pale morning duns and some green drakes.
Flows were bumped again yesterday afternoon to 13,000cfs. Again this is response to irrigation demand downstream. I don’t know how much more the water will increase but I will keep you all updated as soon as we know.
At this point I would only be fishing nymphs and streamers. The river has been raised 2,000 cfs in 2 days and that is a lot of water. Enough water to cool things down and slow any hatches that were happening and mix things up enough to have the fish a little confused. The good news is it doesn’t take long for things to settle down and the fishing to pick back up again. If we don’t have anymore increases tomorrow we will be back in action.
I had thoughts of Salmon Flies sometime this week but the increase in flows could very possibly push that back into next week. Call the shop for any and all questions or just stop by and we will be happy to help you.
As you can imagine we are getting a lot of calls to see if the big salmon flies have started to hatch in the lower river around Ririe. We still haven’t seen any of the big bugs but we are seeing a lot of yellow sallies and pale morning duns. The big stones should appear sometime this week. Over the weekend we had had some good but brief action on the riffles in the afternoon. The most consistent action is still with nymphs and streamers.