As I'm writing this report there are snow flurries dancing through the air outside the fly shop, and I find myself thinking, "Man, I wish I was back in the Bahamas." The past few weeks have been a roller coaster as far as the weather is concerned. Close to 80 degrees one week...then 30 mile an hour winds the next...and now temperatures back in the 30's accompanied by snow!
The rivers are very "sensitive" to the weather this time of year, and fishing conditions will be dictated by what the weekly forecast has in store. With that being said, keep an eye on the weather forecast as well as river flows. But remember, even though higher temperatures are being predicted through this upcoming week...that will trigger caddis and mayflies hatches, but at the same will trigger more runoff from the high country. I guess all we can do is take the good with the bad.
The Upper Henry’s Fork
Flows in the Box Canyon have risen to 1,300 CFS and are predicted to hold there through the rest of the week. Wading is not an option at this level, however the ramp below the dam has been free from snow for awhile now and drifters are floating this section with success. The water clarity isn't great, but it's good enough to throw streamers and nymph with rubberlegs. There has also been some BWO action through the Last Chance section across from the shop.
Harriman State Park opens to fishing on June 15th.
Warm River to Ashton
The water clarity of this stretch has been at the mercy of the weather. Right now it's "good enough" with warm weather triggering good caddis hatches. But just remember that as temperatures increase this week, it will most likely restart run-off from Robinson Creek.
The stretch from the Ashton Dam to the Vernon Bridge is closed until the general fishing season opens on May 26th.
The big news here regards the upcoming Ashton Reservoir drawdown. PacifiCorp plans to begin the Ashton Reservoir drawdown on Wednesday, May 9th. The drawdown should be completed in 14 days. At that time Ashton Reservoir will be at the same low level it was last fall, and it will stay at that level until November, when the project should be completed and Ashton Reservoir will be refilled for the last time.
We really hope the drawdown will be completed before the fishing season opens below the reservoir May 26th. However, as we saw last year after the drawdown, there was greenish off-color water for almost a month after. And unfortunately, this is once again likely to be the case well into June.
Also, please be aware of the IDFG electrofishing schedule involving much of the lower river next week...
May 7 – Vernon to Chester & Chester to Fun Farm
May 8 – Vernon to Chester & Chester to Fun Farm
May 9 – Box Canyon
May 14 – Vernon to Chester & Chester to Fun Farm
May 15 – Vernon to Chester & Chester to Fun Farm
May 16 – Box Canyon
No reports. Will most likely blow-out with the upcoming warm weather.
South Fork of the Snake
This might just be the "sleeper" to keep in mind this upcoming week. Let me explain...flows are holding steady around 9,000 CFS and are predicted to hold here through the upcoming week. This is a far cry from the 20,000 CFS that it's been at this time every year for the past several years. With that being said, these lower stable flows are ideal for the "Mother's Day Caddis" which we haven't seen for the past several years because of high flows. This is going to be my float of choice on my next day off if the flows remain the same.
Most of the river within reasonable range of Henry’s Fork Anglers is closed to fishing until May 19th. The river is open to fishing between Hebgen and Quake Lake. It can get crowded especially with Cabin and Beaver Creek putting off-color water into the river...but we've heard of excellent reports above these tributaries.
Nymph fishing is the most effective method using zebra midges, san juan worms, glo-bugs, etc.
Henry's Lake is closed until the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend.
Ice is off Hebgen and Quake Lake. Reports of good streamer and leech fishing along the north shores of Hebgen. Try crayfish patterns as well (wink, wink). Proper conditions may also produce midge action in the shallows.
Yellowstone National Park
Fishing is closed until May 26, 2012.