Not much change here. Irrigation requirements have drawn many down to the amount that makes fishing not only tough, but dangerous to their survival. Mackay Reservoir has been fishing well around the upper end where creeks enter. Sand Creek Ponds, Aldous Lake, Paul Reservoir, and Springfield Reservoir fish well early and late in the day. Look for gulpers early in the day on these. Sometimes they return in the evening.
Best small streams to visit now are those having a good input from springs. These include Buffalo and Warm rivers; Big Elk, Jackknife, Robinson, Stump, and Crow creek. Put Palisades Creek in the class because subterranean flows from both its lakes keep waters at a good level and suitable temperature. Terrestrial, caddis and traditional attractor patterns are sure to work on all these, and some feature a morning trico emergence.
Days with thundershower potential will be your best bet for action. Timbered reaches provide an all-important background during bright days. Meadow reaches are so much fun to fish on such as Boundary, Mountain Ash, and Slough Creeks; Bechler, Fall, Gibbon, and Lamar River. But during these bright days, consider spending more time on their timbered reaches. Use the same patterns you would have for water in the meadows. This time of year be sure to have spruce moth patterns available. And think about getting out of the sack earlier to enjoy the morning trico emergence on most of these streams. It is over by late morning when heat of the day begins setting in. Beula Lake still offers some of the fastest fishing in the Park.
The lower river remains tough fishing. The exception is to try streamers at twilight. Terrestrials patterns are the name of the game during daytime on the upper river. So is the early morning trico emergence. Be stealthy–“Henry’s Fork Hunchback and all that” during these bright days. Cumulus build-up will help your chances for success and also bring out some speckled duns and late season PMDs. Evening caddis swarms can bring some action and fishing success then will pick up just about any time if you are grazed by a thundershower.
No big change here. Flow out of Palisades Dam is constant (12,400 cfs) and water temp. below the dam is 63 deg. F. Riffle fishing remains spotty. Some good overcast would help improve fishing there, but it is also possible that this is an off year with respect of numbers PMDs. A few mutant golden stoneflies are showing up, but not as many as last year. Keep on slamming the banks with chernobyl types and terrestrial patterns. And do not forget to do the same with that old favorite the super renegade. Pitch it below overhead cover, pull it under, then away from that cover. The “Super” may be out of style, but it remains one heckuva fish catchin’ fly!
With flow out of Mackay Dam now below 400 cfs, safer wading is here. Tricos are beginning to emerge, so mornings would be a good time for a visit. Caddis take over in the late afternoon andvening, and daytime is when terrestrial and traditional patterns work well.
Mackay Reservoir has been one of the better producers lately. Try fishing the upper end in front of river channels. Gulpers may be active in the morning, so speckled dun life cycle patterns can work. Otherwise small leech, midge pupa patterns under an indicator, and small bead head nymphs patterns work.
Terrestrial patterns should take a “front seat” in your fly box if you intend to fish any stream. With our bright, clear weather fish them as close as possible to overhead cover, especially on low gradient streams such as Boundary, Duck, and Slough creeks and the meadow reaches of such as Bechler, Gibbon, and Lamar meadows.
Anywhere you venture on the upper river terrestrial patterns will bring your best chance for daytime action. This includes fishing along banks and around overhangs in canyon reaches. During evenings look for caddis swarms and spinner falls to produce action.