Back country roads are opening up allowing access to many smaller streams. Roads to Bear and McCoy Creeks are open, but both are running a bit high with some discolor. The road into Warm River Spring is open, and the river here, especially going downstream, will have good action when nymph patterns, with and without bead heads, are presented. BWOs should be coming out in good numbers there. Fall River is running high from a combination of rain and run-off. All Teton River drainage streams are running high with run-off and from recent rains. Robinson Creek is clearing but high. Lower Blackfoot River is running high.
Flow out of Palisades Dam is about 8900 cfs (10200 cfs at Heise, 3340 cfs at Lorenzo) and looks to be at that level for a while. Palisades Reservoir is about 65% full. Compared to the fishing pressure currently on the Henry’s Fork, there is very little here, and fishing is quite good up and down the river. Streamers work well when presented over drop-offs. Rubber legs seem to bring the most action and do even better when trailed by a San Juan Worm or small bead head nymph. No really good top water action yet, but a few riffles do have some BWO activity.
The big fly-fishing event in the area, as expected this time of year, is giant and golden stone fly emergence. The big bugs should be flying & egg dropping as far upstream as Riverside by now. With the predicted good weather for next few ays, they are likely to be soon doing the same in Box Canyon. Best dry fly strategy for finding where fish are taking them is to walk or boat down to where they are rising. Some big stonefly activity is also ongoing in the lower river, but early and late day caddis activity seems to be just as interesting to resident trout.
From just above Chester backwaters to Bear Gulch in lower Cardiac Canyon stonefly nymphs are moving big time, and some are on the shoreline just waiting for enough sunshine to molt into adults, make whoopee, and go back to the water to lay eggs. If you have any connections with ” Ma Nature” try to convince her to produce enough sunshine to warm us up so all these big bugs get going! Trout and fly-fishers are waiting!
Chesterfield is coming around in offering good fishing. Chironomids are providing some action. So are small leech patterns fished deep. Water temps are in the hi 40’s in Degrees Fahrenheit, so it will take a stretch of good weather to bring on better fishing. No word yet on fishing at 24-Mile Reservoir, but Hawkins is good ( Leeches & Midge life cycle patterns), but gets crowded during this long weekend.
Fishing season opens today. The Firehole will provide the best fishing with BWOs making resident fish active. Use life cycle patterns beginning with nymphs early (unless there are a good amount of rise forms) and changing over to emerger and dun patterns as the day advances. Although the Madison is running a bit high, BWOs are doing the same in the river along the West Entrance Road, so use same strategy as on the Firehole. Also for both rivers be sure to have a few streamer patterns in that fly box.
Look for all other streams in the park to be running high for some time. This is because of last winter’s copious snowfall beginning to run off.
Another thought: the park weather is likely cold and stormy, so bring appropriate gear.
Memorial Day weekend is upcoming. Many folks are wondering if the cool, wet weather has made back country roads passable and if certain campgrounds are open. Certainly you can try USFS web sites such as that for Caribou-Targhee National Forest, but up to date information may not always be present on these. For up to date information on Caribou-Targhee National Forest roads and campgrounds try the following offices:
Caribou-Targhee National Forest 208-524-7500
Ashton Ranger Station 208-652-7443
Island Park Ranger Station 208-558-7301
Palisades District Ranger 208-523-1412
Teton Basin Ranger 208-354-2312
For up to date fishing information, we keep our web site fishing report current as much as possible. So let us help in deciding where to fish this upcoming weekend and check with the above offices to see if you can get there.