Ice is off Daniels Reservoir, but it is a bit soon for an accumulation of fishing experience. Presenting midge pupa patterns under an indicator might be a good strategy for now. Some of the Chesterfield Reservoir shoreline is free of ice, so it will be ice-free in a matter of days. No word on Twenty-Four Mile Reservoir yet, but being a bit higher in elevation than Chesterfield Res., ice-out progress is usually the same or a bit slower there. Fishing success on Springfield Reservoir varies day to day. Midge pupa under an indicator and small leech patterns work time to time. Week-ends can be a bit crowded there, so Mondays through Thursdays offer a better choice of water to fish.
Most of our lakes and ponds remain iced over or just beginning to lose ice. When we learn of any becoming ice free and fishing well, we will post such information here.
Even though water is low in both places, fishing at Chesterfield and Twenty-Four Mile Reservoirs remains good. You will have to track through some mud to reach water at Twenty-Four Mile. Daniels Reservoir still offers the best still water fishing in the irrigation reservoirs. Weeds are breaking up on Springfield Reservoir making for more water to try. Midge pupa under at taking depth under an indicator works very well on all these, but water and atmosphere cooling off signal to fish to get “more for the bite.” That means leech and nymph patterns become more effective.
Several of our irrigation reservoirs continue to have good fishing. Although water at Chesterfield Reservoir is low, boats can be launched. Fish are in good conditions there and, as is the case at Daniels, are taking midge pupa under an indicator as well as damselfly nymph patterns. A pleasant surprise is that Hawkins Reservoir is fishing quite well using the same techniques. Midge pupa patterns presented under an indicator always seem effective at Springfield Reservoir. Blood worm patterns are producing around Island Park Reservoir submerged springs. Things are changing though. As we cool off, fish will seek better sources of easy protein. That means presenting leech patterns on intermediate lines will become increasingly effective.
Sand Creek Pond #4 produces early and late in the day if you try soft hackled flies not far below the surface. Partridge and orange or partridge and olive are good candidates. Chesterfield Reservoir, even with low water, is producing some fish responding to damselfly nymph patterns. Springfield Reservoir was planted not long ago, so expect it to be tough to get to big hold-overs. Midge pupa patterns under an indicator work if you find the taking depth. The same technique works well at Daniels Reservoir, but wading the discolored water line under breezy conditions is as good a technique as float fishing.
We have not said much recently here, so let’s get caught up a bit. Water is very low at Chesterfield Reservoir, but fish are hitting leech and damselfly nymph patterns. It’s easier to launch flotation devices than boats there. Daniels Reservoir is offering good fishing with the same patterns because water is in good shape thanks to the conservation pool. Springfield Reservoir offers good fishing for those folks concentrating on the “donut holes,” that is the spring holes between the weed beds. Try scud, damselfly nymph, damselfly adult, and midge life cycle patterns. Sand Creek Ponds still fishes well for those presenting speckled dun life cycle patterns. Try a soft hackled patterns (ie, partridge & orange) in size 14 or 12 with a slow retrieve, just under the surface and close to rising fish. Evenings and late afternoons seem best. Forget about the Harriman Fish Pond until next year or later. Looks like the holdovers will be few & far between.
The cooler mornings and evenings are just the ticket for keeping these waters cool enough for fish not only to remain active, but to have a better chance of survival when subject to catch and release. This really is the case for shallow water bodies such as Sand Creek Ponds #2 and #4. Pond 4 is fishing well for those folks presenting speckled dun life cycle patterns, with evenings being a great time to be on the water. The Trude Springs area of Island Park Reservoir continues to produce for those offering midge pupa patterns at depth. To the southeast, Daniels Reservoir seems to be the best bet. Although speckled dun emergences there are sparse compared to such as Sand Creek Ponds, their life cycle patterns are working well. Want to try a different still water? Snow Creek Pond, also known as Teardrop Lake, has holdover rainbows. It’s ideal for flotation devices. Get there by taking the Snow Creek Road off the Fish Creek Road which leaves at Warm River Campground. Dry damselfly patterns seem to be producing well on both Chesterfield and Springfield Reservoir. Water in Chesterfield Reservoir has dropped considerably, but enough remains for ‘bows at moderate sizes to provide good fishing.
Springfield Reservoir continues to fish well on its surface. Try adult damsel patterns over channels between weed beds. Best time to fish Sand Creek Pond #4 is early AM or evening. Soft hackled patterns (partridge and orange or partridge and olive in #12-14) just under the surface make as good as any other speckled dun emerger patterns. We have a report that the Harriman Fish Pond is being dewatered. If this is actually happening, forget about hold-overs for next year.
We have good reports from Chesterfield and Springfield Reservoirs. At Springfield try dry damselfly and dry speckled dun patterns. For Chesterfield, fish near the reservation boundary and try renegade patterns on the surface. Are fish taking these for ants? Who knows!
Most of our irrigation reservoirs to the southeast are experiencing draw-down. Water in Daniels Res. has dropped, is protected through a conservation pool limit. Twenty-Four Mile Res. is not yet down to “mud flat” conditions, but dropping. Outflow from Chesterfield Reservoir is discolored indicating silt passing the dam. North of us Island Park Reservoir’s west end springs continue to provide action, and Hebgen Lake is seeing some gulper activity. Recently released hatchery rainbows in Harriman Fish Pond will respond as gulpers in the AM to emerging speckled duns. The same is happening at Sand Creek Ponds #1, #4, and Blue Creek Reservoir (Ponds #2 and #3 are not stocked with fish) which are now open to fishing. When wind picks up enough to impact surface and near surface fishing on Sand Creek Ponds, switch to a small black or olive leech pattern. Warm water prevails on Sand Creek Ponds and the Harriman Fish Pond, so take time to fully revive your catch on releasing it.