If you are looking for small water tranquility, here is some information to help you decide on destinations. The Horseshoe Lake Road (off the Cave Falls Road) is open, and rainbows and grayling are present in the lake.. The Harriman Fish Pond has easy access and has holdover rainbows. The road to Teardrop Lake is drying out. The Forest Service suggest letting this go to completion before going to the lake in order to minimize ruts and chuck holes.
The big stonefly hatch peak has passed the river below Ashton Dam. These bugs are just beginning to fly in number in the Hatchery Ford area. So the event is on its way to Box Canyon and beyond. For the river below Ashton Dam wait a matter of days and depending on weather and water temperature, fish will have digested their bugs and be looking for more until the next big hatch ( green or gray drakes?) comes along.
We have received 2020 Yellowstone Park fishing licenses and regulations. All Montana entrances to the Park open Monday, June 1st. This will make it easier to get to the Firehole River rather than going via the south entrance. The Firehole, being the usual early season Park hot spot, is likely to be well attended. But well placed BWO & caddis life cycle patterns, soft hackles (partridge & olive, partridge & amber) will bring action. Look for that action to improve if showers threaten.
Flows on the South Fork were bumped recently from 11,000 to 13,800. Fishing has been very good on the river both with nymphs and streamers. Recently blue winged olive hatches have brought fish up when conditions are right. We get a lot of questions about the water clarity this time of year and even though the water is typically “green” because of snow melt up high, it is very fishable! Give us a call at the shop or stop by next time you are around and we can get you squared away.
Many of our small streams offer solitude this time of year when aquatic insect emergences or opening day “happenings”bring crowds to some of our well-known waters. Warm River, Birch Creek, and Palisades Reservoir tributaries are good examples of small streams offering good fishing and passable roads. Some, such as the lower Blackfoot River, may be high with irrigation water. Others such as Teton River drainage streams are running run-off high. Fall River, currently is flowing at a normal rate, but with warm weather upcoming it will soon be in serious run-off made. The best way to find if National Forest roads leading to streams are open is to contact USFS ranger stations.
With 211 cfs coming out of Mackay Dam, wading the river below is safe. If you want to avoid crowds such as on the Henry’s Fork and Henry’s Lake, the river here is a good choice with rainbows and an occasional brookie responding to PM BWO and all day midge activity.
With Montana relaxing visitor quarantine requirements on June 1st, it is likely that park entrances from Montana gateway communities will also open. This means, for example, that access to the Madison River drainage from West Yellowstone will be available rather than going from the south entrance via Jackson Hole. Look for the Firehole River to offer its good early season fishing with BWO and caddis activity providing action.
Weather was a big factor in fishing Henry’s Lake during opening weekend. This weekend on the lake is always a “happening”, so crowds were present. From what has come our way from the few that have stopped by, it seems that fishing success was rather spotty.