Fishing on a few of our small streams remains practical this time of year. But road conditions can determine whether it is practical to try certain places. For sure we will get enough snow to close some roads until springtime, but a few could remain open. These can become difficult because of daytime warming after nighttime freezing. So consider that, if you must try a location where roads are not usually well-maintained, it may be best to depart while roads are frozen and return after they freeze up.
Most interesting fishing on the lower river remains chasing browns during low light conditions. This means either “up & at ’em early” (like first light) or evenings. If this weekend storm materializes fishing could pick up during daytime hours. So could BWO activity. If you enjoy pitching streamers on a sink tip line, Box Canyon, with its almost impossibly low flow (currently 86 cfs meaning few if any boats), out of Island Park Dam is the place to go. So are The Tubs above Mack’s Inn where the wading is easier than in Box Canyon.
Fishing ranges from good on the Teton River in the basin to slow in the lower Blackfoot River. Afternoon BWO emergences on the Teton River are making for great action, and if the predicted stormy weather happens, this weekend and early next week could be a great time to enjoy this hatch. It might also improve fishing on the lower river where low water has slowed action a bit. Flow out of Blackfoot River Reservoir is down to 67 cfs meaning fish are concentrated in deeper water in the lower river. This combined with the bright skies makes fish skittish. Best place to fish is deeper waters especially where these are bordered by weed beds (overhead cover) which are beginning to break up. Hoppers are plentiful along banks, but a killing frost is not far off in the future.
It’s the time of year when certain small streams become difficult to fish with success. This is because (amongst other things) through dropping to base level water and cooling off, they lose overhead cover and foodforms become less available. When better conditions are available, residents of these streams will move to more hospitable waters. Local examples include such as the Warm River drainage tribs including Robinson, Rock, and Wyoming Creeks, and some of the Teton Basin tribs to the river. Other small streams maintain good living conditions for salmonids year round. Fall,Teton, and Warm Rivers are examples. So are such as Big Elk and Bitch Creeks. There are a lot more small streams around here that you can enjoy until the roads close or the snow flies. Come in and talk to us. We can suggest candidates.
Flow out of Henry’s Lake into Henry’s Lake Outlet has been reduced to 53 cfs. That means fishing is pretty much over there for the year. Larger fish will move down to the Henry’s Fork.
Idaho Department of Fish and Game is proposing to transfer some Big Elk Creek kokanee to Bear Creek with the idea of starting another run from Palisades Reservoir. Lets hope it works because if successful, there would be more forage fish for large trout in the reservoir. Right now Bear Creek might be a good choice to try with the great terrestrial insect population in its meadows. Also with the daytime becoming shorter and cooler, fish in beaver ponds there will become more interested in small leech patterns.
With most summer vacations over such streams as Teton River in Teton Basin and lower Fall River will see fewer recreational boaters. This means mid day fishing will have fewer interruptions. The Teton River in the Basin is fishing very well with terrestrial insect and mahogany dun life cycle patterns producing during afternoon hours. Now that days are shortening and cooling most of the best dry fly fishing on small streams, excepting during remaining trico activity, will take place during afternoon hours. More time is now needed for the atmosphere and therefore waters to warm up to point of best insect activity.
Teton River in the basin is a good place to try with fish taking terrestrial insect patterns, and lately mahogany duns. Daytime recreationists will soon diminish to the point of not interfering with mid day fishing.
Kokanee are in Big Elk Creek big time, but they do not interfere with fishing for the cutts as much as folks trying to fish for them by legal and illegal means.
Warm River remains good fishing for folks presenting terrestrial insect, traditional attractor, and caddisfly life cycle patterns. Best location is just below Warm River Spring. After this weekend Warm River Campground will empty out, and the lower river will be less crowded for fishing.
The cooling weather is just what is needed for fishing to pick up on the Blackfoot River in the Wildlife Management Area. The low, warm water has slowed fishing there most of the summer, but now look for fish to respond well to AM tricos and day time terrestrial insect patterns.
All the South Fork-Palisades Reservoir tribs will be good fishing this coming week end, but they likely will be crowded. That’s particularly true of Big Elk Creek where run-up kokanee attract legal and not so legal fishing. Each of these, excepting Bear Creek, have nearby popular campgrounds. Nevertheless fish in all of these will respond well to terrestrial insect, flav, caddis and traditional attractor patterns. There will be numbers of day time recreationists on the Teton River in the basin, so fish it early and late in the day. Lower Warm River will be crowded and likely the same for the upper river in the Pole Bridge Campground area. There will likely be fewer enthusiasts on the river just below Warm River Spring because no campground is adjacent. And so it goes: expect lots of fly-fishers and other anglers if a campground is nearby. Some candidates places less likely to be crowded include the upper Blackfoot River, lower Fall River, lower Teton River, Bitch Creek, and Salt River tributaries. Want more information on any of these? Get in touch with us.
Flav emergence is ongoing from Palisades Reservoir tribs ( Bear, Big Elk and McCoy Creeks) and Palisades Creek. That event is at its best on Big Elk Creek. Kokanee are going up Big Elk Creek. They do not bother cutthroat from taking dry flies, but their presence brings on some illegal action in the form of snagging. Idaho Fish and Game asks that you inform them of any such activities. The river below Warm River Spring is fishing very well for those folks presenting terrestrial patterns and caddis life cycle patterns. Speaking of terrestrial patterns, this is the time of year when they are effective on all of our streams, big or small.