Flows and water temps remaining constant, but look for flows to drop soon as irrigation season is past its peak, and Palisades Reservoir storage will begin soon. Pink albert and PMD action in riffles will drop, but riffle action will return with mid-September BWO and mahogany dun activity.
Consider the South Fork to be the “Tom Brady of Fly-Fishing” this season. It shows no signs of slowing down with respect to quality fishing performance! Riffles, runs, side channels, and banks remain productive. Flow, water quality, and water temps have been consistent and weather has been great. The fall mayfly peak ( BWO, mahogany duns) is not far in the future, and indications suggest that event will also be another of high quality. So whether wading or boating, look forward to more great fly-fishing experiences here before the snow flies.
Cooler mornings and less daylight means we are heading in the direction of the lower river to begin “perking up” with respect to offering better fishing. Look for the small BWO activity to become important in a few weeks and streamer fishing success to begin ramping up.
The best chances for good still water fishing here is the gulper activity of which that on Hebgen Lake is the most renowned. Comparable hatches happen on other regional still waters, and many of those have fewer fly-fishing attendees. Elk, Hidden, Quake, and Wade Lakes are good examples where fewer fly-fishers means more unattended waters to enjoy.
No big change here since our last report. Terrestrial insects “rule the roost” with respect to attracting trout just about everywhere on the river. Flying ants and trico spinners are coming closer to be available in important numbers up and down the river. It will take a lot of cooling off and some weeks before the late season BWO hatch begins.
So far it has been a great year for fishing the South Fork, and indications are it will continue to be this way. Much of this can be attributed to weather, water quality and management of flow out of Palisades Dam. That flow of quality water has been essentially constant for much of the summer. Riffles are plentiful and in an amount big enough to spread fishing out up and down the river. PMDs and pink alberts continue to emerge in great numbers from them, so their life cycle patterns will bring interest from resident trout. Terrestrial insects are adding to the great riffle fishing especially on the lower river. Try your favorite, hopper, beetle and ant patterns. Try double rigs such as a chernobyl variation or hopper pattern of your choice trailed with an ant or beetle pattern.
Thanks to the great snowfall we had in the area mountains last winter, most of our small streams will remain in good shape for weeks to come. Currently some are offering great fishing. Teton River in the basin with PMDs, sallys, and terrestrial insect all feeding trout makes a good choice if you visit around the mid-day recreational boat hatch. Big Elk Creek with its getting so popular PM western green drake activity is another. Palisades Creek with daytime terrestrial insect and PM caddis activity deserves consideration. Both are non-motorized so tranquility reigns. Warm River just below its big spring is another small stream worth considering for a visit. There are several more quality small waters in out area that offer good fishing combined with scenery and solitude. If you are looking for this combination, we can offer suggestions. Just get in touch with a visit to the shop or call (208-525-7160).
The good fishing is holding up, but so are the number of boats. Riffles, runs, banks, side channels: pick your favorites. Bring PMD, pink albert, sally life cycle and terrestrial insect patterns. They are all productive these days. If you are boating, have these along with chernobyl variations, rubber legs, and super renegades. Mutant golden stoneflies should begin emerging in significant numbers soon. There have been no significant changes in flow for several days making for stability in river character.
Significant flying ant and trico activities are just around the corner along the upper river. For now concentrate on presenting terrestrial patterns during daytime, then switch to caddis life cycle in the evening. Try hopper- bead head dropper combos in Box Canyon, but be aware of recreational floaters there during mid-day. The same patterns apply to the warmed up lower river: those for terrestrial insects with and without droppers during daytime, those for caddis ( and streamers) during evening hours.