Fished Big Elk Creek up to the slide yesterday. The stream is in great shape with water temps climbing into the low 50s in deg. F by 3 PM. No flavs yet, but caddis and a few PMDs emerged. Best bet now is to fish hopper and ant patterns until flavs decide to emerge. We hear that McCoy Creek is fishing very well. Nothing really big being caught, but good surface action from fish seeking terrestrial insects. Traditional attractors in small (#14-16) sizes will work, too. Here’s a great place to take a youngster, entry level, or physically challenged person because of abundant roadside access and eager cutts. Add Palisades Creek to the list of those fishing well (terrestrial and traditional patterns again with a bigger share of caddis life cycle patterns), but it is brushier than McCoy Creek and requires a bit more walking to reach the best fishing.
The cool wet weather we have had for the last few days is just what is needed to sustain good fishing on many small streams. Any that do not have a healthy component of inflow from springs, or have lakes in their drainage are examples. Thus such as the Salt River tributaries, Robinson, Diamond,Beaver, Medicine Lodge, and Canyon Creeks will benefit. Don’t fish these streams right after a heavy or even moderate rainfall. Wait a day or two for flow to return to near normal, then because time of the year is right, consider presenting terrestrial patterns for the best dry fly fishing.
We are getting into the time of summer when care helps when choosing small streams to visit. Many of these are now at base level, but some are even lower because of our long dry spell, meaning warmer water. The upper Blackfoot River is a good example where flows are well below 100 cfs. This will warm the stream to where the resident cutthroat will have a tough time being revived after being caught, so early AM is the best time to fish if you are concerned about their well-being. On the other end Palisades Creek will always have a good flow of water. That is because both lakes in its drainage have underground as well as surface outlet flows into the creek. A stream with deep beaver ponds will be a good choice, because these offer cooler water. Such as Bear Creek and upper reaches McCoy, Big Elk, and Sawmill Creeks are some. Warm River near its spring, the Birch Creek Family Area above Lone Pine or any stream having a good component from springs will have cooler water. A tail water situation is another to consider if water is coming into the stream is from the bottom of the reservoir above. Big Lost River Below Mackay Dam is an example. So there are plenty of choice in enjoying some of our smaller waters.
Looking for another great small stream to take a youngster or physically challenged person to for a chance for a good fly fishing experience? For sure Birch Creek is a great selection, but McCoy Creek is another. It is currently in great fishing shape. Go south on US Hwy 89 from Alpine, Wyoming, then about three miles below town, take the McCoy Creek Road back into Idaho along the Palisades Reservoir southeast shore. After the road crosses McCoy Creek and closely parallels it going upstream, you will see a number of pull-out with the creek close by. Meadow and riffle-run stretches are present. This time of year dry terrestrial patterns, caddis life cycle patterns, traditional attractor, and on occasion flav life cycle patterns will bring cutts up. It will be rare to attract a cutt over fifteen inches, but you never know for sure. So easy to access, scenic country, and eager trout makes for a good selection!
Interested in fishing small streams? They offer solitude, scenery, and aggressive salmonids. Some are roadside, others require some effort and time to be enjoyed. Right now nearly all are in great shape and capable of offering a fun outing. With so many are in this shape right now, the best strategy here is to get in touch with us for suggestions.
The choice of small streams offering good fishing now is almost overwhelming. Consider looking at the Articles section of our web site to help make a choice. Several small streams are described here. Then get in touch with us if any are of interest to you. We can provide up to date information on all of these.
With the exception of Teton River tribs draining high country, all our small streams are in good fishing shape. This includes the Salt River tribs flowing east out of Idaho, McCoy, and Bear Creeks. All South Fork tributaries open to fishing on July 1st. Same with Willow Creek tributaries. Warm River, Buffalo River, and Robinson Creeks are in great fishing shape. Try caddis life cycle, PMD, golden stone, and traditional attractor patterns. Birch Creek is at its dry fly fishing best if you try the family area and other water above Lone Pine.
Palisades Reservoir tributaries Bear and McCoy Creeks are in good fishing shape right now. Run-up cutts are still present, but most are heading back to the reservoir. Wet flies including bead head nymphs in medium sizes, woolly bugger types, and streamers are best for getting the attention of these fish.
Many of these are beginning to recede as run-off begins to diminish. Robinson Creek is in good shape, so is Warm River. Both have PMDs and caddis with a few green drakes left on Robinson. Teton River drainage streams remain high with run-off, but South Fork tribs, closed until 7/1, are clearing. Bear Creek is in fishing shape, and McCoy Creek is dropping. Further south, the Salt River tribs: Jackknife, Tin Cup, Stump, and Crow Creek are rounding into fishing shape. Try your favorite bead head nymph, small wooly bugger and leech patterns on these.
Not far after heading east and crossing the Idaho-Wyoming border, the Ashton-Flagg Ranch Road currently becomes impassable because of snow. Some tourists from Texas found this out the hard way a few days ago. Relying on their GPS and disregarding Mother Nature, they drove their vehicle until it became mired in snow resulting a four-hour walk back out to get help.
The Ashton-Flagg Ranch Road gives access to some of the best fly-fishing locations in our region. However, it passes through some of the country most prone to heavy snowfall in the region. This means the road usually is not passable until the end of June. When it becomes passable, we will post that change here. When it opens, expect to have a wonderful choice of waters to fish, still or moving. We will also have information that will help you to enjoy these to the utmost.
For the next several days all streams, larger or smaller, that drain high country will be full to overflowing with run-off. This includes streams draining the Grand Teton Range, the plateaus in Yellowstone Park, and the Snake River drainage in Wyoming and extreme eastern Idaho. When the run-off drops to levels making these waters worth a fly-fishing visit, we will post such information here. The same applies to other waters such as the lower Blackfoot and Big Lost Rivers currently full of water to satisfy irrigation demands.