Well it was bound to happen...
A bar & grill employee has contracted COVID-19 after learning that their hairdresser tested positive. Fortunately, symptoms are minimal at present. We spent several hours on the phone this morning and, although our district health department does not recommend a closure, we have decided to close our restaurant effective immediately to the general public. We will reopen Last Chance Bar & Grill at TroutHunter on Thursday, August 13. During the closure, we are testing and monitoring the health of those restaurant employees who were in prolonged contact with the infected individual and are taking this very seriously for the well-being of our staff and guests. We are very comfortable that all upcoming guide trips can continue as normal with a few added precautions on our end. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to call us at 208-558-8001.We apologize for any inconvenience and very much appreciate your understanding as we navigate these unprecedented times. Now to the skinny:
Flows out of IP Reservoir are around 1000 cfs and should remain fairly stable this week with occasional small variations likely. The drop in flow has really cleared up water quality as well; things are crystal clear. It's been hot up here the last few days with temps pushing 90. I can see many of you in the South and back East rolling your eyes and scoffing at me that that's not hot, but trust me, at 6500 feet it's plenty warm! The long term forecast looks a bit better as we drop down to our normal upper 70's to low 80's.
The fishing continues to be pretty solid despite the heat. Morning spinner falls have been very good, particularly in the upper Ranch. The evening spinner activity hasn't been quite as prolific as the past couple of weeks, but you can find fish up the last hour or so of daylight eating spinners and Caddis. Be prepared for floating weeds and "stuff" as the day warms up and things break loose -- check your fly often to clear off any gunk. It can be a bit frustrating, but it's just part of the game this time of year.
Box Canyon: What can I say? The Box continues to be consistent and hasn't skipped a beat. Fish are still eating the occasional Golden Stone in the canyon, and we are still seeing good numbers of Grey Drake spinners on the lower end. With the lower flows, getting around and even walking the boat is much easier. Take your time and work all the likely spots with small bead heads like PTs, French Jigs, Perdigons, MicroMays, PMD Crack Backs, and Zebra Midges in red and brown. One last thing: it's been very busy in the Box, particularly on the weekends, with boats and recreational tubers and floaters. I'd be out there early or wait until evening to launch. Just my two cents.
Last Chance/Harriman State Park: The flat water has been too much fun this summer. Morning spinner falls are happening a bit earlier now with the warmer temperatures and the window is a bit tighter, but it's been very good out there if you can hit it right. Have the entire life cycle of bugs at the ready: Callibaetis #14-16, PMDs #16-20, Tricos #18-20, Rusty Spinners #14-20, Grey Drakes #10-12, and Caddis in all shapes and sizes. We are starting to hear some Hoppers clicking around, and I've seen some larger Beetles flying and on the banks. Still not much in the way of Honey Ants just yet, but 'tis the season. This will be the next major "event" for us, and we are ready. Not much gets the trout up and eating more than an Ant fall. Have black and red Ants in sizes 14-20 as well. As I mentioned in last week's report, there is plenty of open water out there. There is no need to drop in 20 yards above or below another angler when there's hundreds of yards of open water and fish up. Take a little stroll and "do unto others".... Okay, off the soapbox.
Ashton Area: It's Hopper time off the hill! Warm River to Ashton has been pretty solid with Hopper-dropper set-ups fished tight to the banks or double bead head rigs fished deep. Best to leave the water below Ashton alone for now. Short and sweet here.
Henry's Lake: It's summertime. Be on the water eaaaarly. Fish slow and deep around the springs and creek mouths. Leeches, Scuds, Renegades, Mighty Mouse, Damsels, etc will get it done for you. Bobbing Chironomids under an indicator around the springs has been a good bet as well.
Madison River/Hebgen Lake: Flows out of Hebgen Lake remain steady at around 1200 cfs which is good as it releases cooler water into the upper reaches. Fishing has been hit or miss on the big riffle. There are still some PMDs and Epeorus around, and the Hopper bite is really picking up. Be on the lookout for Flying Ants. As always, nymphing with standard assortments of beadheads will produce throughout the afternoon if/when the dry fly bite turns off. Hebgen Lake has been a bit spotty as well. Some days fish are tracking well chowing Callibaetis and Trico spinners, the next day not so much. The gulper fishing should only get better as we get into August. Don't forget Terrestrials as well.
Yellowstone Park: Went to the upper Yellowstone with a few of the boys last week and had an awesome day chasing big cutties around. It's great to see good numbers of quality fish back in the system. We had good luck on Caddis early and then switched to Rusty, Green, and Grey Drake spinners later in the morning. I'm still getting good reports out of Slough Creek, the Lamar, Soda Butte, and upper Gallatin. Just keep an eye out for afternoon storms.
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