With only 88 cfs coming out of Island Park Dam, wading in Box Canyon is as easy as it gets. Streamers and stonefly nymph patterns are the best choices for fooling its big resident cutbows these days. On the lower river migrating brown trout means presenting streamers is the best way to encounter them. There are several locations on the river where doing so is possible. Visit the shop, and we can suggest locations where the best streamer fishing has been going on throughout the lower river.
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.
Seems like fishing success varies day to day here. It may be best to watch the weather and pick a day when storms are predicted. Henry’s Lake has a history of fishing best this time of year when bad weather arrives. Be sure to dress and drive for the occasion, and remember that ice-up is about a month away.
Flow out of American Falls Dam is about 400 cfs. This low flow will concentrate fish and make streamer fishing exciting. It will also bring crowds of anglers to the river below the dam, so arrive early to enjoy that kind of fishing! Above the dam to the Henry’s Fork confluence flow is about normal and water is being turned off in most canals and therefore remaining in the river. Brown trout are moving, also making for good streamer fishing but with less crowding than below American Falls Dam. If you enjoy top water fishing, BWOs are emerging in some locations. Stop by; we can recommend some worth trying.
Flow out of Palisades Dam is currently a subject of interest. There is a proposal to reduce it to 600 cfs for a few days to perform repairs on a canal head gate. Currently flow out of Palisades Dam is just over 1400 cfs making for great walk-in and wade fishing. U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, however, will eventually reduce flow out of Palisades Dam to 900 cfs, the winter maintenance flow, and likely no lower. As the river flows downstream to the Heise area, it picks up flow from Palisades,Rainey, Pine, Burns, and other creeks thus increasing water to the benefit of the fish population.
It’s brown trout season in the park with all streams hosting brown trout having migrations to spawning areas. Gallatin, Gardner, Gibbon, Lewis, Madison and Snake Rivers are being targeted for productive streamer fishing. Some of us fished the Beaver Meadows of the Madison River yesterday and experienced not only brown trout migrating out of Hebgen Reservoir, but rainbows doing the same. Even the weather participated with overcast skies, no wind, and a drizzling rain. Overflow of fly-fishers from the Park’s West Entrance Highway participated making fishing somewhat crowded, but the further away one traveled from access points the more solitude could be realized. Word was out that the Firehole River BWO hatch was going on big time. So for those folks favoring dry fly fishing for fish to moderate size, this was and likely remains a great location until the park fishing season closes end of the day the first Sunday in November.
Currently flow out of Palisades Dam is at 2090 cfs. A Great Feeder Canal Board project coming on line next week is to perform maintenance work on the Great Feeder (GF) head gates with a proposal to lower flow out of Palisades Dam to 600 cfs for at least three days. To minimize impact on the river below the GF head gates, three canals leaving above the GF will hold increased water that will be diverted back into the river below in an attempt to minimize the project impact on fish. How much of the river will be impacted by this project is unknown at this time, but as soon as we receive information on how much as well as any change in time for this low flow, we will pass it on here. Just be aware that next week fishing and fish well-being in the river below the GF will be effected.