All the irrigation reservoirs to the southeast are beginning to produce good fishing. Daniels Reservoir seems to be the best bet for action, but it can become crowded at its best locations. Try damselfly and dragonfly live cycle patterns in its shallow areas. Midge pupa under a strike indicator will work almost anywhere, but the trick to success is to find the taking depth. If wind comes up and resulting wave action muddies the shoreline water, look for fish to cruise these waters looking for scoured life forms. For this situation presenting anything resembling a drifting worm will be most effective. Fremont county still waters Horseshoe and Teardrop Lakes have been stocked and are offering good fishing.
Several small streams in which spawning cutthroat are protected by a closed season open to fishing tomorrow. These include South Fork tributaries Burns, Palisades, and Pine Creeks, Blackfoot River above the reservoir, Teton River tributaries including Bitch Creek, and Willow Creek tributaries. Nymph, leech, and small streamer patterns may be most effective on all small streams for several days.
Flow out of Palisades Dam has been stable since Wednesday at just under 17000 cfs (16300 cfs at Heise, 8900 cfs at Lorenzo), and the reservoir is 100% full. All kinds of bugs (big and golden stones, PMDs, sallies, caddis) are flying as far upstream as the canyon. Fish are not on these big time yet as flow at this level still brings them enough drifting nymphs and annelids so less energy is needed to grab ’em than that needed to go to the surface. So what we recommend as strategy in the last few fishing reports remains good for now. The safest and most numerous places for walk in-wade fishing are below the Big Feeder which is taking off enough water to give more numerous wading opportunities below.
As the fishing and bug hatches are starting to improve on the South Fork, and the arrival of stoneflies on the Madison, we are finally starting to see a little relief in the pressure being put on the Henry’s Fork. The fishing has been good with some Green Drake and Flav hatches during the day, and some decent Caddis fishing with gray drake spinners in the evening. These fish have been seeing a lot of pressure, so keep in mind that the most obvious bugs aren’t always going to work. If you couple the pressure with the mass of bugs hatching, you can at times get a pretty frustrating concoction. Take some time to study the water and the way fish are feeding before selecting a fly. You are going to see multiple sizes and colors of mayfly and Caddis, but I have been able to find fish on a size 16 Caddis trailed by a sz. 16-14 Flav Spinner or the PMD Emerger (pictured) during the day. In the evening there have still been some pretty good action on Gray Drake spinners trailed by other small spinners and emergers with fish really starting to feed well around 6-7 pm (MST). Other bugs that have worked well that we have in the shop would include the JS CFO spinner sz. 14-16 in pink and yellow, Last Chance Flav and PMD cripples, Green Drake Thorax Duns, and McClellan’s Grey Drake Spinner. It’s getting to be time that you start using a few ant and beetle patterns for real tricky fish. Sometimes when I am having a hard time catching the bigger fish, I will tie on an ant or beetle, and you will see those fish come 5 feet out of their feeding lane just to take a poorly presented terrestrial pattern, which I do often. The most persistent angler will be the highest rewarded, so put in a good effort, and bring plenty of bugs. Big fish are feeding on little dries, and this can be one of the funnest times to be on the Fork. (((((BRING BUG SPRAY))))) Maybe even some mosquito patterns!)
Flow out of Palisades Dam has been temporarily raised to 16000 cfs, but USBuRec says it will be back down to the 13000 cfs level by the weekend. This is good news because all kinds of bugs are beginning to show. These include big and golden stoneflies, sallies, PMDs, green drakes, and caddis. Fish are not keying on these yet because recent high flows have washed so many annelids and nymphs into the river. So for now stick with the strategy we recommended in recent South Fork fishing reports. Things could change by this weekend, though, with reduced flow and increased density of aquatic insect emergences.
Irrigation reservoirs hosting trout to the south are shaping up. Daniels, Hawkins, Chesterfield, and Daniels report good fishing with speckled dun and damselfly nymphs working best. Warmer weather coming next week could bring on some dry fly fishing for adults of these. Look out for wind and storms on al of these.
Widespread rain, wind, and variable flows out of Island Park Reservoir and unseasonably cool weather slowed the green drake emergence along the Harriman State Park reach of the river. With seasonably warm weather predicted to move in by Monday, look for this event to get into full swing. A few golden stone adults remain in Box Canyon and the Coffee Pot area, and PM caddis activity seems good up and down the river. The grey drake emergence on the crowded lower river has been good. Look for crowding to ease on the lower river as flows in the nearby South Fork approach normal for the season and the stonefly emergence begins.
Many of our small streams not draining high country are finally shaping up for good fishing. Consider trying such as Bear Creek, McCoy Creek, the Salt River tribs ( Jackknife, Tincup, Stump, & Crow Creeks), Beaver Creek, Birch Creek and Warm River. Give such as Big Elk, Bitch, and Robinson Creeks a bit more time to clear and drop. By 4th of July weekend the choice of small streams worth fishing will have numerous candidates. Remember that South Fork tribs Palisades, Rainey, Pine, and Burns Creek and the Blackfoot River and its tributaries above the reservoir do not open to fishing until July 1st.