The best chances for action remains at Daniels and Springfield Reservoirs. Presenting damselfly nymph and midge pupa patterns, both under indicators, seems to work best. Slow-stripping small leech and BLM patterns also brings responses from resident trout.
Daniels Reservoir currently remains the best location for action. Midge pupa at the taking depth and underneath an indicator as well as damsel fly nymph patterns fished the same way or slowly stripped seem to work best. The same approaches plus presenting small leech patterns is bringing action on Springfield Reservoir. Chesterfield and twenty-Four Mile Reservoirs have been slow fishing all season. Because of introduced bass, plans are taking shape to poison Hawkins Reservoir to return it to a trout fishery for which it is best suited.
Compared to our numerous more renowned still waters Horseshoe Lake is almost on the “Where’s That?” list. It is remote, not frequently fished, has (at best) primitive facilities, and hosts no self-sustaining salmonid population. But Horseshoe Lake has an attraction no other eastern Idaho water can boast: Montana grayling. The lake has no inlet and outlet needed, in suitable condition, for their spawning. Thus its stock of grayling is replenished each year from a Montana hatchery ( rainbow trout released here come from an Idaho hatchery). A resident grayling here is a “braggin’ fish” if it grows to a foot long, nevertheless they are beautiful to behold, and because of their near endangered status a privilege to catch and release. Resident rainbow trout, also stocked, outnumber them here on a near 10:1 basis, so patience is required to encounter one. The lightest weight in fly rod systems is most appropriate for presentations, and “small” applies to fly patterns. Standard nymph patterns with or without bead heads and soft hackled patterns, both in size 16 or smaller and presented on a floating line and long slender tippet are good choices for achieving interest from grayling. However during wind-free times when rise forms are numerous, nothing beats presenting small (#18 and smaller) dry patterns such as adams, light cahill, and purple haze, all in more visible parachute form, to these fish. You may have to get through several rainbows of similar size before one of these strikes. That makes catching and releasing one even more of a privilege.
Horseshoe Lake is about twenty-five miles east of Ashton. Its road, winding northeasterly, leaves the Cave Falls Road about a mile east of the LDS Church’s Rock Creek Girl’s Camp. It’s a fairly rough road with pot holes, rocks, and lots of dust. Tires in good shape and cautious speeds are required. There are a few non-motorized boat launching sites at the northwest corner of the lake, and flotation devices are most suited for fishing. The best chance for action is through locating in front of the west side lily pad beds where fish cruise looking for emerging aquatic insects. Good Luck!
The gulper event on Hebgen Lake remains the best still water fishing in the region. The gulper event on Beula Lake in Yellowstone Park is also very good. Gulper activity happens on any still water when callibaetis mayflies emerge in abundance. Sand Creek Pond #4, Elk, Wade, Springfield, and Horseshoe Lakes can host good ones, but timing is important because these can vary in time water for water. On some of these, good emergences begin in Mid-July, on others gulpers last well into September. Also time of day can vary. The famed Hebgen event happens during AM hours, but on other locations afternoons offer the best gulper fishing. Forget about gulper fishing anywhere when wind comes up, and we have had plenty of that this season.
Daniels Reservoir continues to offer the best still water trout fishing in reservoirs to the south. Damselfly nymph patterns and midge pupa patterns, both under an indicator, bring most interest from trout. Although not really still water fishing, right below Oneida Narrows Dam has been good with bead head nymph and streamer patterns. Both trout and bass respond. Sand Creek Pond #4 offers slow fishing during daytime, but for those beginning fishing at first light results are much better until daytime heat begins. Try damselfly nymph and small leech patterns. The lack of invasive species check stations makes boating and fishing from boats on Franklin County still waters inconvenient for visitors and anglers coming from the north. Horseshoe Lake was stocked with grayling last September and rainbow trout this June. Most enjoyable fishing there is to present speckled dun emerger and adult patterns in front of lily pad beds. Has anyone tried fishing Teardrop Lake (Snow Creek Pond) off the Fish Creek Road? It was stocked with rainbow trout back in June and hosts hold-overs.
Daniels Reservoir remains the “star of the show” for reservoirs to the south, and can be a bit crowded. Damselfly life cycle patterns work very well (adult patterns work better on wind-free days) as do midge pupa patterns under an indicator. You must determine the taking depth. Springfield Reservoir can be good for those presenting dry damselfly patterns on top of channels between weed beds, again being best during wind-free times. Twenty-Four Mile Reservoir is pretty much done for the year, Hawkins Reservoir is being drawn down, and Chesterfield Reservoir is not producing up to par. We do not have as much information as is usual for this time of year simply because people are not fishing these and other reservoirs to the southeast because of political-social reasons. If you go to our current Warm Water report, you will see an sketch of the reasons why.
Damselfly activity on Daniels Reservoir provides the best action on our irrigation reservoirs. Activity remains relatively slow on Chesterfield and Twenty-Four Mile Reservoirs. Springfield Reservoir is mossing up meaning that a great strategy is to fish dry damselfly patterns over channels through the weeds. Looking for an out-of-the-way still water? Consider Teardrop Lake. It’s just off the Fish Creek Road not far from the Yellowstone Park west boundary and good for flotation devices. Like so many of our reservoirs it is stocked with rainbows, and holdovers grow to good sizes. Standard stuff like small leech and scud patterns work well as do damselfly and speckled dun life cycle patterns.
Daniels and Hawkins reservoirs seem to offer the best fishing of irrigation reservoirs to the southeast. Damselflies are beginning to emerge on these. Have you fished Teardrop Lake? It’s just off the upper Fish Creek Road. It hosts brook trout but has been stocked with rainbow trout, some of which hold over. Standard still water patterns (damselfly life cycle, leech, scud, speckled dun life cycle) should work well.