Forget about the Teton River drainage upstream in the canyon and in the valley because of flooding proportion run-off. Just glances from U. S. Highway 20 at the adjacent flooded pastures and the snow remaining on the Teton Range west slope should be convincing enough to stay away for now. Irrigation water continues coming down the lower Blackfoot River and will continue to do so in varying amounts throughout the summer. Successful fishing there will be reduced to using streamer and woolly bugger patterns on sink-tip lines. The drainage above the reservoir does not open to fishing until July 1st. Palisades Reservoir tributaries are rounding into good fishing shape with presenting wet flies being the best approach. Sinks drainage streams including Birch and Beaver Creeks and Little Lost River are in fishing condition with wet flies and small woolly bugger types bringing success. Salt River tributaries flowing east out of Idaho (Crow, Jackknife, Stump and Tincup Creeks) are in run-off modes.
Where is it?
Twenty-Four Mile Reservoir has been excellent fishing with best approach being presenting midge pupa patterns under an indicator after finding the taking depth. Slowly trolled small leech patterns on an intermediate line also work. We have no recent information on Chesterfield Reservoir. Damselfly life cycle patterns are working at Springfield Reservoir, but the stand-by midge pupa pattern at the taking depth produces best. Small black leech patterns also have been producing. From what we have heard, Daniels Reservoir still has good fishing at the far side upper end, but has slowed at bit. The Harriman Fish Pond has good hold-over rainbows, but the weed growth there is big time. This reduces frustration-free fishing to surface fishing or patterns under an indicator.
Fishing is picking up on the lake even though weather came be a bit perilous. We have reports of good fishing in front of the cliffs and due east in front of the county boat dock, both at moderate to deep water. Leech and streamer patterns apply. But really “good fishing is where you find it” applies to the lake.
Golden stoneflies are coming out on the Warm River to Ashton section of the river, and some giant stoneflies remain. Goldens will now work their way up the river and such as Box Canyon will be the next host. The next big activity, soon to happen on the lower river, is that from green drakes. That activity, too, will come to certain sections of the upper river. We are all hoping for a return of gray drakes in past intensities around the middle of this month on the lower river. All these happenings and more to come are the reasons why this great and unique river attracts crowds of enthusiasts whether boating or wading. Certainly the crowds can test one’s patience, but tolerance can come based on the fact that few of those present are lucky enough to have such a treasure on their doorstep as do we in east Idaho.
Was it “the flush” that went through the river last week with up to around 20000 cfs out of Palisades Dam? Who knows! Now flows are down to summer levels again: 13500 cfs out of the dam, 14300 cfs at Heise, 7400 cfs at Lorenzo. So back to strategies we suggested in our earlier South Fork reports: Look for BWO activity at the top end of shallower riffles, continue trying soft water in runs and side channels with streamers and nymphs, use rubber legs and streamers in deeper, faster waters. San Juan and squirmy worm variations will work almost anywhere in the river because those high flows of last week scoured banks enough to bring a bunch of annelids into the water. So fish will be looking for these packages of easy protein.
Birch Creek and Little Warm River remain the two best candidates for taking youngsters fly-fishing. All Teton River upstream tributaries are in a big run-off mode. Palisades Reservoir tributaries have run-off that has appeared to have peaked.
If you do not mind doing a 150 mile drive west from Idaho Falls, the Little Wood River in the Taylor “Beartracks” Williams Preserve is in good fishing condition with browns and rainbows running up to trophy sizes. When run-off is in a decreasing mode, woolly bugger and San Juan worm patterns are effective as fish look for annelids washed into the stream.
The big bugs are in Box Canyon, and fish are looking for them. This makes the choice of flies obvious: big floating patterns. The word is out, so look for a lot of boating and wading anglers there. The green drakes should appear in numbers to attract fish on the lower river any day now. This will help spread out fly-fishing interest on the river.
The river below the Palisades Dam is roaring because the flow has been raised to just under 20,000 cfs (about the same at Heise and near 14000 cfs at Lorenzo). Tributaries to the the reservoir above are in run-off modes and discolor its upper end. This is all from run-off in progress after a higher than normal snowfall winter. Therefore expect high flows in the river below the dam for a while yet. Try streamer and rubber leg patterns DEEP in slowest water.