The famed waters of Harriman State Park will open this weekend. I would have caddis and March browns on hand. Don’t forget to have a beetle or two. It looks like the weather will be mild and it should be a great day to be on the water! I always look forward to the Ranch opener. It’s the time to reconnect with old friends and make some new ones as well and have some amazing fishing on one of the most beautiful stretches of water in the world!
Plenty of grumbling regarding the Box Canyon this week. Here
are some examples:
Why is the water so high?
Why is the foundation letting so much water out of the dam?
Why is there so much water this year?
Why is the water off color?
These are a few examples of what we have been hearing in the
shop. I will try to address each question.
The water coming out of Island Park is high because we had
good snow pack and good moisture for most of the spring. The end result of that
is, the reservoir filled and as more water comes into the reservoir, it has to
go somewhere so it’s released out of the dam. It’s not optional.
The Henry’s Fork Foundation does not control flows out of
Island Park Reservoir. The Henry’s Fork Foundation will advise and or work with
the DOR and the irrigators in our area. The Henry’s Fork Foundation will
continue to do the great work they do to keep the river in tip top shape.
Lastly the Henry’s Fork Foundation is not a bunch of dudes sitting around a
table wearing top hats and eye monicals, stroking little pointy mustaches
trying to ruin your day of fishing. The Foundations mission is simple:
Henry’s Fork Foundation is the only organization whose sole purpose is to
conserve, protect, and restore the unique fisheries, wildlife, and aesthetic
qualities of the Henry’s Fork and its watershed
I think that should cover most of the questions we have been asked. The water has been coming down as inflow has been receding. I have heard that flows should be down around 900 cfs by the weekend. There are still salmon flies around and golden stones should be right around the corner. The nymph fishing has been very good even through the higher flows. Rubber legs and smaller beads like red necks and zebra midges have worked well. San Juan worms and bullet quills will also do the trick. Don’t get me wrong, we like questions regarding fishing and water conditions. We are here to help!
The Lower Henry’s Fork continues to fish very well. Green Drakes, pmds and flaves have all been spotted. Golden stones and caddis are also plentiful. I honestly don’t think it matters where you go on the lower river. Fishing is going to be good and just get better as these warmer days roll in. I still would not be on the water until around 9:00 am if you’re looking for mayfly action. Fish banks and pay attention to the middle of the river as well. I would have the usual rubber legs and small beads if your nymphing, maybe add some pmd crack backs to the arsenal. I would also add some 12 tungsten pheasant tails and 12 olive two bit hookers. Take your time fishing the lower river and watch the flats for bug activity.
The award for the most ignored river in our area goes to the South Fork of the Snake! Flows did bump a little this week but water clarity is great. Fishing has also been very good. It’s still a nymph game for the most part but if conditions stay the same look for the big bugs closer to the end of June. My prediction is the 20th. It’s a refreshing change to be able to fish the South Fork before mid-July. I would have rubber legs and jig nymphs. Watch the riffles for fish nymphing. You might also see some blue wing olives. What you won’t see is a pile of boats.
I went to the Madison last Saturday and it was a mess! The water looked like a stream of chocolate milk from Reynolds Bridge all the way up to Cabin Creek, from cabin creek to the dam the water is beautiful. The river is up! I didn’t drive below Reynolds. I would think things should start to calm down on the Madison shortly. On a different note I did see a brand new baby elk and had a chicken fried steak breakfast at the campfire lodge, best $17.00 bucks I ever spent! I always thought that chicken fried steak was the poor man’s breakfast. I guess the poor dudes in Montana are doing much better than me!
The Fire hole River seems to continue to be the spot in the park. The only thing different to add to last week’s report would be the appearance of pmds. Don’t forget white millers, blue wings and I would also have some caddis emerges. It has dropped 140cfs compared to 300cfs after last week’s weather. The Madison in the park is still dirty but continues to drop down. Have some streamers and nymphs with you. I would not be afraid to fish the Gibbon or the Gallatin inside the park. As far as slough creek or the Lamar goes, give it another week. The Yellowstone River in the park will open July 15th. Remember felt is no longer allowed in the park. Stay out of the hot pots.
I don’t have anything new or exciting to report on Hebgen or Henrys Lake. Same patterns as last week’s report. Island Park Reservoir is at full pool and a little off color at the McCrea’s Bridge access. As things start to warm up looks for Island Park Reservoir to really start to fish. The bait guys are catching plenty of fish right at the ramp.