Goings on along the lower river are very similar to happenings on the South Fork. No significant mutant stones but plenty of BWOs, some mahogany duns and a recommendation to try streamer flies especially under the current weather conditions.
As predicted; it is “blue wing olive weather” along the river. Flow has been steady for about five days now making for good fishing if you do not mind the cool weather. It appears from the information we receive at the shop the lower river seems to offer the best in consistent fishing.
With less irrigation water in demand meaning reduced flow in the Snake River, it is time to have streamer patterns ready for migrating browns as well as big resident rainbows. Drift boating is the best way to encounter these, but there are walk-in wade locations along the river. Get in touch because we can pinpoint these for you.
Don’t rely on very small streams for the rest of the season as they most likely are at base level meaning cold and having reduced overhead cover. Exceptions could be upper Birch, Big Elk, Bitch, and Palisades Creeks. Such as the Blackfoot, Teton, Warm, and Buffalo Rivers will remain good for quite a while thanks to streamers, caddis and late season (BWO) mayfly activity and terrestrial insect presence until a killing frost happens.
Firehole River is as good as it gets for this time of year. BWOs and white millers are the reasons. Really big fish are quite rare here, but the nearby Madison River hosts an increasing number of trophy size browns and ‘bows coming up from Hebgen. They are in the river from Madison Junction on down to Baker’s Hole, and they are best encountered when the weather is stormy or at dawn or at twilight. The Lewis River, anywhere above the canyon, also hosts migrating browns. Either place, Madison or Lewis, streamer patterns are the best for meeting up with them. In a few weeks there are more park waters we can recommend for migrating browns.
Flow out of Palisades Dam was lowered yesterday to 4940 cfs ( flow at Heise now 5860 cfs, flow at Lorenzo now 3100 cfs). That action makes for more wading locations than possible at normal mean flow of 6750 cfs for this date. We can can suggest some of the best of the now numerous wading locations. Call or email the shop ([email protected], 208-524-7160). If weather forecasts are correct, the rest of this week looks like “BWO weather.”
The lower river offers some daytime fishing thanks to grass hopper populations. Next week look for fish showing more interest in tiny BWOs because of predicted stormy weather. We are in the season to begin thinking streamer presentation for brown trout especially during conditions like predicted for next week.
The big attraction here is browns becoming active in migrating to spawning areas. Run-up browns (and rainbows) from Hebgen Lake are beginning their move into the Madison River and on to the lower Gibbon River. In the Lewis River system browns are moving from both Shoshone and Lewis Lakes into the river between the two lakes as well as into the river just below Lewis Lake. In total, this Lewis River system run makes the largest concentration of brown trout in park waters. Later this fall the Gardner and Snake River runs will be worth trying. Fishing during low light conditions will be the best time to encounter any of these these fish. Presenting streamers during these times is the best strategy, but large nymphs presented deep also brings results.