Fishing remains great! Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped about 500 cfs to 13000 cfs this AM. That amount will not impact fishing. Water temp at the dam is around 57 in deg. F., and about the same at Lorenzo. In-flow to Palisades Reservoir is about half of out-flow, but we are going into the peak of irrigation season with the reservoir at 80% of capacity which is good for the fishing future.
Riffle fishing remains great and is attracting huge numbers of boating anglers. Golden stoneflies may be pretty much gone, but older, larger fish still look for them, especially close to bank-side cover. Hoppers are small and just starting to appear along the middle and upper river. So another aspect of great South Fork fishing is not far in the future.
Springfield Reservoir is mossing up as usual this time of year. That means fishing channels between weed beds is the best way to avoid catching “salad,” and using a floating line is almost necessary. Try presenting dry damsel patterns or a damselfly nymph just under the surface along the channels. Island Park Reservoir has been fishing quite well for those going to the west end springs. Blood worm patterns fished deep under an indicator seem to bring the best results. The Harriman Fish Pond was stocked a few weeks ago. As with Springfield Reservoir it mosses up, making fishing dry speckled dun and adult damselfly patterns the best way to go, especially early and late in the day. Sand Creek Ponds will open to fishing from boats Thursday, July 16th. Ponds #2 and #4 are the places to fish. Look for fish to take speckled dun and damselfly life cycle patterns, but play them quickly and revive them thoroughly because waters will be very warm.
Other than around spring holes and creek mouths fishing is slow so far this year. Trying creek mouths early in the day is a best bet. Use intermediate lines with standard Henry’s Lake patterns (gold or olive crystals, Gartside wet mouse, mity mouse, beadhead peacock leech, Henry’s Lake renegade).
Flow out of Island Park Dam was dropped to 1310 cfs from near 1700 cfs yesterday. This means easier wading in the river at Box Canyon, Last Chance-Harriman-Riverside and below, but more of a tendency for the river to warm a bit. Early AM spinner falls and later in the day flav and caddis activity still interest fish, but terrestrial insects are coming on. Try fishing during these times for another reason—–fewer visitors. Frequent thundershowers have helped cool things off during evenings.
Flow out of Ashton Dam has dropped a bit (2600 cfs to 2300 cfs) and is subject to irrigation demands. Fishing between here and Chester Dam remains fair with best times for action being early and late in the day. Don’t overlook using terrestrial insect patterns when you visit the river; here and anywhere else.
Because of significant rainfall in the area, Salt River tribs (Jackknife, Tincup, South Fork Tincup, Stump, Crow Creeks) coming out of Idaho and Palisades Reservoir tribs (Bear, Big Elk, McCoy Creeks) are in very good fishing shape. Hoppers are making an appearance on these. Traditional attractor, terrestrial insect, and caddis life cycle patterns will always produce on these streams, some of which host cutthroat trout just as large as in the main stem river.
As is usual this time of year, fishing on the river from Ashton Dam downstream has slowed as waters have warmed significantly. Early AM spinner falls and evening caddis activity can bring some action. Also try streamers at twilight.
Warming waters has slowed fishing on the Madison River within the Park and made fishing dangerous to any fish caught on the Firehole River. Fall River Basin streams are low, clear, and tend to warm up to the low 60s in deg, F. by late afternoon hours. Stealth is the most important aspect for fishing success on these. Best fishing in Fall River Basin is at Beula Lake, and possibly on all of Park still waters. Traditional and parachute Adams (#14-16) on the surface will get attention of gulpers. When/if wind comes up, switch to small leech patterns.
We have word that Montana Dept. of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) has restricted daytime fishing on the Big Hole and Clark’s Fork of the Columbia and Jefferson Rivers. There are also restrictions on the lower Gallatin (mouth to Logan) and lower Madison(Black’s Ford downstream) because of warming waters. Check the Montana FWP Dept. web site for details.
Fishing great! Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped in two steps down to 13500 cfs on 7/7 and 7/8. This change will not effect fishing. Water temp coming out of dam is near ideal 55 in Deg. F. At Lorenzo it is 58 in same degrees. Palisades Reservoir is about 85% full which is good news for keeping water in the river for the summer, even though current inflow is about half outflow.
Some golden stones still coming out on the upper river. So bring your favorite dry patterns for them, and if you intend to buy some, be sure to choose ones you can see on the surface where you will fish. Not being able to see a pattern trumps all comments of how effective it is! PMDs are coming out in riffles. As daytime advances, begin with your favorite nymph, then emerger, and finally dry pattern when fish feed on surface.
Here’s where you might help: A 6-wt Winston BIIIX with Nautilus FWX, 5/6 system, fell off a vehicle somewhere between Driggs and Palisades boat ramp. Should be along the road. If you find this, please contact us at 524-7160, or [email protected]