Fishing on the upper river is best when terrestrial patterns are presented. Evening caddisfly swarms also bring action. With flow out of Henry’s Lake decreasing, larger trout are going to move downstream and out of the Outlet reach of the Henry’s Fork. Look for them to be present in the Tubs and on down through Coffee Pot to Island Park Reservoir. Streamers presented in the evening would be the best way to encounter these fish.
Please wear that life preserver you are required to have in your boat when on the water. Another tragedy happened on the South Fork. A lady drowned Thursday above Heise when a boat ran into difficulty on a side channel. Life preservers were in the boat at the time of the incident. Had they been worn it is likely that the futures of the persons involved would not have been impacted by this tragic turn.
The current hot dry weather will impact these waters especially those with little overhead cover. Some your best fishing will be around good dense overhead cover such as willows on smaller streams such as Bear, Big Elk, Birch, Beaver, Palisades and with an overhead canopy of trees with or without willows or brush like Bitch, Robinson and Tincup creeks and Warm River. On such as the Teton River in the basin and the upper Blackfoot River with only occasional overhead cover fish early and late in the day.
The flow out of Palisades Dam was reduced to 12,500 cfs early today. This action is could slow things for a day. The hatches and patterns are pretty much the same as listed in earlier reports. It will be interesting to see if today’s drop is an indication of future drops or if the level will stay constant as the Bureau of Reclamation said last week. We’ll report what news we get.
Reports and our experiences on the south fork have been all the chart from good to slow. The folks who are fishing different techniques through out the day have been the most successful. In this bright hot weather you may have to rely nymphs fished deep if the fish are not taking dries during the day. Streamers against the bank early in the morning and evening caught fish for us this weekend. There has also a good caddis hatch at night that has been getting the fish to the surface.
Beginning August 1 the Park closes The Madison River within the Park, the Gibbon River below Gibbon Falls and the Firehole River below Kepler Cascades to fishing. Water temps on each are approaching 80 deg. F. Look for these streams to be re-opened to fishing when water temps cool to more hospitable levels for trout. High water temperatures on other streams could result in more fishing limitations within the Park.
Consider that the higher one goes in elevation the less likely water temperatures will reach dangerously high levels for trout. Within the Park the waters at highest elevation are in the Yellowstone River drainage above the Upper and Lower falls, the Lewis River drainage above the canyon, the Fall River drainage from Beula Lake and above, and Bechler River in the upper canyon. All of these are over 7000 feet in elevation. Including these with the Gibbon River drainage above Gibbon Falls and the Firehole River above Kepler Cascades makes for plenty of water for concentrating fishing efforts with less impact on trout survival.
It’s time to use terrestrial patterns on the upper river. Caddis swarms and AM diminishing spinner falls still happen, but those ant, beetle, horsefly, and hopper patterns seem most effective. Want to fish Box Canyon? During daytime you will share it with innertubers and rafters. So fish there very early in the day or fish from dinner time to twilight. Bead head nymphs and terrestrial patterns presented tight to the bank still work. On overcast days any kind of big stonefly nymph will attract interest.
Those with good overhead cover are at their fishing best right now. Almost every one will have an evening caddis swarm, and you can bet that during daytime terrestrial patterns will be effective on all of them. A few, like Beaver, Birch and Medicine Lodge creeks will have tricos for some good morning fishing . And best of all most will not be crowded. Come in to chat with us about choosing a small stream that is sure to offer you a great time.
There is a possibility that both Chesterfield and Treasureton reservoirs could be drawn down to levels that will support very few fish. So even though these are at low levels now and have warmed up, consider an early morning or evening visit to either that may not have a good number of carry overs for next year.
On any of the Park’s meadow streams, ie Lamar, Bechler, Madison, Fall, Lewis, Gibbon rivers, Boundary, Duck, Slough, Obsidian, Soda Butte creeks, its time to be the “Henry’s Fork Hunchback”. It’s a great time of the season to be on this type of water. But low, clear slow flowing water offers less overhead cover in mid summer, so fish are more skittish. Keep out of sight as much as possible and do everything you can to present those terrestrial patterns with a natural drift. Also best times for success are early and late in the day.