I’m sure you all have heard the news of the catastrophic flooding in Yellowstone and up in Montana. Our thoughts are with those digging out and rebuilding. There are several avenues to volunteer or donate to the flood relief if you feel so inclined. Word on the street is that the southern loop in Yellowstone will open Wednesday morning (the 22nd) with a limited entrance system in place.
We had our share of flooded creeks around here but nothing to the extent as up north. Flow from Island Park Reservoir topped out around 1200 cfs the other day but is already on the decline as are most of the stretches of the Henry’s Fork. We are anticipating a bit of moisture tonight and tomorrow, but things are looking summery starting mid-week.
Box Canyon (approx 800 cfs): After a few days of higher flows due to the rain/runoff event, things are back down to pre-storm levels. As other stretches dealt with some muddy water and difficult conditions, The Box stayed fairly consistent. We are seeing some Golden Stones, Caddis, and PMDs with the better action coming from tandem nymph rigs. Have your Rubberlegs handy and drop the usual bead heads off of the back: Perdigons, PT’s, Zebra Midges, Lightning Bugs, Two Bit Hookers, etc. Don’t be afraid to swing and strip some Streamers especially under clouds or early and late in the day.
Last Chance Area - Harriman State Park: Well, we had some wind and water for the opener this year and some pretty difficult fishing. In fact, the difficult conditions kept folks at home – parking lots weren’t close to normal opener capacity. But (always a but) things have really picked up the last couple of days – lots of smiling faces in the shop and bar. We are seeing good numbers of PMDs and Caddis and Ants and Beetles. We have an incredible amount of large Carpenter Ants around the shop right now, and I can’t imagine there are not a few blowing out around the water. There have been a smattering of Green Drakes reported but nothing full-blown yet. (I’m hoping for tomorrow as that’s the day I picked in the shop pool). Definitely have your Drake and Flav box handy right now. Fishing/catching should start to hit prime time in the coming days if we can maintain steady outflow from IP Reservoir, which looks good, fingers crossed.
Slide Area - Warm River to Ashton: We’ve had several trips down The Slide as well as WR to A. Anglers are getting them on large dry-dropper rigs (Golden Stones, Chubby Chernobyls, etc) as well as tandem nymph set-ups. Definitely one of the prettier sections in Southeast Idaho, this stretch is one of the more user friendly for beginner anglers as well. It has still been a bit murky this week but fishable and should only improve in the coming days.
Below Ashton (approx 1750 cfs @ Ashton, 2700 in St Anthony): Like the upper end, below Ashton flows have returned to their regularly scheduled programming, and things are starting to light up on the lower river. We had some stellar reports from guides and anglers yesterday despite nuclear winds. The buffet line starts with Rusty Spinners, then PMDs and Caddis, followed by some Green Drakes and Flavs and Golden Stones and Gray Drakes. Dry-dropper rigs have been very productive during lulls in hatches. It should only get better down the hill in the coming weeks. That said, it has been an absolute circus of people and boats; lots of yelling and just poor etiquette in general. Please give wade anglers and boats plenty of room. There is enough water for all and no need to crowd.
Henry’s Lake: I haven’t had a super recent report from Henry’s Lake this week following the rain. I know the northwest side was very dirty due to creek runoff as we had one boat up that way around the County boat ramp. Have your usual menu of Chironomids, Leeches, Scuds, Renegades, Mighty Mouse, Damsels, etc. I’ll work on a better report in the coming weeks.
Madison River (2640 cfs @ Hebgen, 3740 @ Kirby): As of this writing, The Madison has dropped about 500 cfs but still remains high and dirty below Cabin Creek and downstream from Quake and the West Fork. The float stretch is a no-go right due to lower bridges on the upper end. I hope to have some better news (Salmonflies and lower water) in the next report or two, but for now, it’s really best to find another place to fish.
Yellowstone National Park: Upper Loop CLOSED indefinitely. Lower Loop scheduled to open Wednesday. I would expect high water on Gibbon, Firehole, and Madison with the Firehole the first to come into shape. Yellowstone Lake will be a good option.
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