The big Park fishing event is brown trout migration. This is big time in numbers into the Madison River, but even more numerous into the Lewis River between Lewis and Shoshone Lakes and into the river below Lewis Lake. Streamer presentation is the name of the game. Use stout leaders and rods of at least six-weight. Be ready for changes in the weather towards cold and stormy because these conditions seem to make the browns most active. Bring a camera because you have the chance of encountering the fish of the year.
The constant flow out of Palisades Dam, about 7000 cfs ( about 7600 cfs at Heise, about 3300 cfs at Lorenzo ) makes for good fishing and a lot of places for walk-in fishing. BWO, mahogany dun and caddis activity are making the dry fly fisher happy. Even a few mutant golden stones remain, but do not overlook pitching a streamer during the evening hours.
Flow out of Henry’s Lake has been cut in half. This means fish in the Flat Ranch section of the river will be moving downstream into the Henry’s Fork. Until we have a killing frost, terrestrial insect patterns will be most effective along the Last Chance-Harriman section of the river and also along the lower river. BWO life cycle patterns remain effective everywhere as will patterns for PM caddis activity.
Daniels Reservoir currently provides the most consistent fishing. Midge pupa under an indicator and at the taking depth scores best almost anywhere. Small leech patterns presented on intermediate lines around weed beds and drop-offs get results. Paul Reservoir, weedy around it edges, offers small cutthroats responding to leech patterns where you can get past the weeds. Springfield Reservoir is quite weedy making wet fly fishing confined to channels between weed beds. Action at Sand Creek Ponds has been slow because of high water temps, but these soon will be cooling. In fact cooling water temps will result in improved fishing on all still waters.
Same story for the Last Chance-Harriman part of the upper river: AM trico, daytime terrestrial insect activity. Crowds have thinned considerably. Tiny BWOs are out on the lower river along with some mahogany duns. Terrestrial insects everywhere will remain active and thus available to fish until a killing frost.
Crowds are beginning to thin making for faster travel to good fishing locations. The Firehole River is cooling to the point that fishing is improving with BWO emergences and terrestrial insects ( and soft hackled patterns) making patterns for them the best choices. Most large cutthroat in the Yellowstone River above LeHardy Rapids are back in the lake. Browns and ‘bows have begun their upstream migrations from Hebgen Lake. Meadow reaches along so many streams offer fish responding to AM trico and daytime terrestrial insect activity. Stealth is required for successful fishing on all these. Best still water fishing is at Beula Lake (damselfly nymphs, small leech, cinnamon caddis, and speckled dun life cycle patterns) off the Ashton-Flagg Road, presenting streamer patterns along Lewis Lake shoreline, or if you are able, through packing a flotation device into Shoshone Lake to fish scud and leach patterns around submerged weed beds.
Smaller streams without significant spring inflow or lakes in their drainage are at base level which reduces overhead cover and increases the tendency to warm during daytime. Larger fish in such streams will move to deeper water where available. Larger streams seem to escape these situations and will offer good fishing until freeze-up. Consider Teton and Warm Rivers throughout their reaches, Big Elk, Birch Creek (above Lone Pine), Palisades, lower Robinson, and Sawmill Creeks as best destinations this time of the season. We at the shop can suggest the best area small waters to try this time of the season. Get in touch with us to help choose a stream to target.
It’s been a good end of the summer fishing season so far. Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped to 6600 cfs ( 7300 cfs at Heise, 3360 cfs at Lorenzo) Thursday, 9/10. This opens up many more walk-in wade locations to enjoy fish responding to BWO, mahogany dun and caddis activity. Shorter days with earlier evenings mean streamer patterns should be in that fly box.
Water remains a bit discolored from the big windstorm of September 7th. Some shoreline holds a lot of uprooted weeds.Water temperature near the surface is about 60 deg. F. that temperature keeps the biggest fish in deeper water. Weather will begin cooling enough to drop water temps to levels making big fish comfortable in moving around the lake. Better fishing days are coming!