Flow out of Palisades Dam has been constant at 11100 cfs for several days. Pink alberts are making a strong showing in riffles. Fishing success there requires changing flies frequently as the fish are ” closed lipped” about which life cycle form they are keying on at a given time. Best terrestrial insect pattern fishing seems to be on the lower river. Look for “midnight golden stones” to emerge in numbers important for trout attention only after flow out of the dam is reduced enough to expose a lot more substrate.
Presenting terrestrial insect patterns is fruitful in the AM or PM whether you fish the upper or lower river. Other than that, the upper river (Last Chance-Harriman, Coffee Pot-Tubs (watch out for recreational boaters) has AM and PM spinner falls. Be also on the lookout for recreational boaters in Box Canyon where nymphing and presenting caddis life cycle patters in the evening brings good results. Cardiac Canyon is nearly deserted by anglers, so consider taking those terrestrial insect patterns to such as the Hatchery Ford and Bear Gulch accesses.
Flow out of Palisades Dam has been stable for several days at around 11400 cfs. Riffle fishing provides good times with PMDs and pink alberts providing the action for those folks presenting life cycle patterns of each. Remembering that boat traffic is down early in the day, nymphing the riffles is a great approach whether you fish from a boat or wade. The same applies to evenings when most boats are gone and caddis life cycle patterns and well-placed streamers bring action. Grasshoppers are numerous, so vegetated banks can be targeted with patterns for these.
It’s time to begin looking for the famed Big Elk Creek flav hatch. Until then (and during) terrestrial insect patterns provide a great way to enjoy the excellent cutthroat trout population of this stream. The same thoughts for terrestrial insect patterns applies to all the South Fork-Palisades Reservoir tribs, and the Salt River tribs, as well. None of these streams, however, can match the Big Elk Creek flav hatch.
Consistent and somewhat higher that normal flows in Fall River Basin streams ( Bechler and Fall Rivers, Boundary, Mountain Ash and Proposition Creeks) means that good fishing should result here for the rest of the Yellowstone Park fishing season. Other than AM trico activity (seems to turn off, like on command, just about noon), some speckled duns and later a few mahoganies blown in from faster waster below are what remains of the extensive late June-early July mayfly activity. Now until killing frosts arrive, is the time to concentrate on presenting terrestrial insect patterns. Doing so will seem obvious to the fly-fisher that ventures through meadows to reach water. Presenting these patterns in the proper manner is more important than pattern selection. That means presenting to the far bank or downstream, both through a slow drift. For sure, you will not experience crowding and early season mosquitoes swarms are much diminished. Deer and horseflies, however, reign supreme, so dress accordingly.
The best and most consistent fishing in the Last Chance-Harriman section of the river is through presenting terrestrial insect patterns. The big mayfly hatches are gone for the year although speckled duns and smaller PMDs are present. Rusty spinner patterns will work early and late in the day, but when flying ants arrive in good numbers fish will notice, and some of the best summertime fishing arrives. For the warming lower river use rusty spinner patterns in the AM, and terrestrial insect and caddis life cycle and streamer patterns in the evening.
So many of our lower elevation still waters are suffering the “mid-summer blues” with algae blooms, depth reduction, and warming water temps. There is one still water, that if you do not mind packing a flotation device a bit more that a mile on a well-maintained trail tends to have these issues in reduced amounts. That is Aldous Lake northeast of Kilgore. This is the time of year when speckled dun and damselfly activity interests every cuttie in the lake. You can fish from shore and have success only on a limited basis, but the flotation device gets you onto the lake to the springs where most fish concentrate. It also gets you away from the diminishing mosquito population. Mid-day to early evening is the best time to enjoy this somewhat remote still water.
Birch Creek remains one of the best small streams for a youngster to try fly-fishing. At the family fishing area above Lone Pine the flow is stable, access is easy, fish are aggressive, and weather usually nice this time of year (only heavy wind and thunder showers compromise fishing success). Try wet flies early in the day and dry flies from late morning to early evening, and that youngster will have many chance at finding, hooking, playing, and releasing resident brookies and bows.
Looking for a bigger small stream? The Teton River in the basin might be one of the best currently if you remember to leave mid-day to recreational boaters and floaters. Try rusty spinners and terrestrial insect patterns in the early AM, and caddis life cycle and those terrestrial insect patterns during evening hours.
Flow out of Palisades Dam was raised from just under 10000 cfs to 11300 cfs on Thursday. Likely this action is from irrigation demands. Nevertheless, riffle fishing remains great. Use PMD life cycle patterns ( includes soft hackle patterns as emergers), and be on the lookout for pink alberts attracting attention from fish. Try grasshopper patterns of your choice next to well vegetated banks. Never forget the PM caddis emergence and that streamer patterns presented around out-of-the-sun cover early and late in the day attract biggest fish.