Most of you know that one of my favorite things to say is “it’s an instant trout fishery up here, just add water!” Well we have no shortage of water this year. All of our area reservoirs are full and we still have snow in the mountains. Combine that with winter flows of around 500 cfs and monsoon type rain for most of May, you have a recipe for a healthy fishery. Personally I thought last year was really good. I can’t wait to see how things are going to turn out this summer. Both for how good the fishing is going to be and what people are going to invent to bitch about.
The box is really starting to fish. As of yesterday the salmon flies are about half way up and the Box Canyon fish are looking up. I would do a dry dropper for the first half of the float and then switch to a Henry’s Fork foam stone or a Doran’s water walker. The dropper can be a #8 black rubber legs, or a new pattern we have in the shop this year, which has proven deadly in the box is a #16 bullet quill. I am guessing that flows may fluctuate a little bit as the reservoir may reach capacity again with all the rain that has fallen. Lately I have been fielding a lot of phone calls with customers asking “why in the hell is the foundation messing with the flows?” The Henry’s Fork Foundation does not control the amount of water that comes out of Island Park Reservoir. When the reservoir is at full pool the water has to go somewhere. It’s a good problem to have.
The ranch opener is in two weeks. It’s always been an exciting event for me. All the regulars come into town and every year getting to meet new people from all over the globe. It’s impossible to predict how things will shape up fishing wise. I would go in armed with blue wings and March browns. I would also have some caddis with me and maybe a few midge patterns.
Fishing from Cardiac to Stone Bridge has been very good this week. You will find fish looking up in this section of the river. I would have both golden and salmon flies. This is the time of the year that some big trout can be found and it’s a beautiful float if you have never done it before.
High flows and dirty water have been an issue on the lower river but I think the worst is behind us. I can’t say for sure that we may not see flows increase again in the near future as a result of all the rain we are getting. I would still fish down there however. Golden stones are starting to show up in good numbers and plenty of fish are still looking up. If nymphing is your game than I would have #12 green two bit hookers and also #12 tungsten bead pheasant tails. Green drakes follow golden stones. Black or coffee rubber legs are also always a good bet.
The South Fork of the snake continues to rise and is just a little over 20,000 cfs. Safety becomes an issue at those flows. As things change on this river we will keep you updated.
Hopefully the Teton will come into play sooner than later this year but as of right now the Teton is big and dirty. Again we will keep you posted as things change.
The Madison River remains high and might stay that way for a while. I have heard that the walk wade section is starting to fish with nymphs. We will keep you in the loop as things start to come into shape on the Madison.
The park opened to fishing last Saturday and from what I have gathered fishing was a little tough. The Madison and the fire hole are high but pmds are around. I would focus efforts in the afternoon if you want to fish dry flies. Don’t forget to bring some soft hackles with you. You may also notice the water levels coming up as the rains continue. Remember NO FELT in the park this year.