Report 6/26/21

Happy Weekend, all! We’ve had a brief return to normalcy weatherwise around here the last few days with afternoon showers and thunderstorms rolling in and cooling things off and dropping some much needed moisture on us. That said, we’re looking at potential record highs next week. So there’s that. Please note that Fremont County and surrounding counties are under a burn ban (no fireworks this year, no fires without approved rings, no burn barrels).We’ve already had two small fires in the area that were quickly extinguished, luckily.

Fishing remains quite good especially up here around Last Chance, and the crowds are proof. Busiest many of us have ever seen it, but there are bugs hatching and fish up. It’s definitely going to pay off to walk a bit farther than usual to get away from the crowds. I had some good luck this past week being a bit stealthier and fishing water that normally gets overlooked by most anglers (myself included). Keep an eye on river levels in the coming week(s). We are expecting them to start releasing more water from IP Reservoir which can normally put the dry fly bite off for a day or so.
Here’s the latest from Jamie at the Henry’s Fork Foundation:
-Island Park Reservoir outflow is ~1,200 cfs. Expect additional outflow increases to meet irrigation demand.
-At an outflow of ~1200 cfs (June 19-24) and inflow ~250 cfs below average, Island Park Reservoir is dropping at 1300-1700 ac-ft/day and was 90% full on June 24, vs. 96% full on average.

-Although water temperatures have been above average during the recent heat, they remain in the optimal range for rainbow trout upstream of Chester Dam.

BOX CANYON (approx 1200 cfs and expected to increase this week): “Old Reliable” continues to produce some of the more consistent fishing in the area. There are still some Golden Stones around offering good dry fly fishing through the canyon. Running a bead head or Rubberleg under the Golden can be effective as well. Other than that, it’s the usual double nymph rig under an indicator: Perdigons, Two Bits, PTs, Micro Mays, Zebra Midges, etc have been the ticket.

LAST CHANCE – HARRIMAN: In a nutshell, it’s been very busy up here, but the fishing has been quite good. The morning and evening windows have been best. Be on the water around 8 am looking for PMD Spinners (#16-18), Rusty Spinners (#14-18), Caddis (#16-18), Brown Drake Spinners (#10) and the remaining Green Drakes (#12) still around. We are starting to see some Flavs (#12-14) late afternoons and evenings especially after the storms have blown through. Flavs really like those cloudy, windy, rainy afternoons. There are still Brown Drakes around in the lower reaches of Harriman before dark. Have your Caddis and Rusty Spinners for the evening as well.

On a side note, please be respectful of other anglers out there. There is absolutely no need to walk in on others fishing to specific fish. There is plenty of action to be had by looking around.

ASHTON AREA (approx 2050 cfs @ Ashton, approx 900 cfs @ St Anthony): It’s been a bit of a mixed bag on the lower river the last few days. Some days have held strong, others have been pretty tough. Things will start to slow down as the weather and water temps begin to warm up. There are Golden Stones, Grey Drakes, Caddis, PMDs, and Flavs around for dry fly opportunities. If you’re not finding fish rising in the flats or on the banks, run dry-dropper rigs with the standard bead heads and Rubberlegs.

HENRY’S LAKE: Pete and repeat here — we are getting good reports out of Henry’s at the usual spots around The Cliffs, Stayley’s, Targhee, and off of the boat ramps. It’s the usual on flies: Leeches, Scuds, Renegades, Damsels, Mighty Mouse, Callibaetis Nymphs, etc. Be careful out there if you see those thunderstorms on the horizon; Henry’s can turn nasty very quickly.

MADISON RIVER (924 cfs @ the dam, 1200 cfs @ Kirby): Salmonflies are on! We are seeing the big bugs from Windy Point down river, so they should be up in the walk-wade area soon. The Caddis game has been very good as well. It’s never a bad idea to run a Caddis off the back of your Salmonfly. You can certainly play the dry-dropper game with standard bead heads and Rubberlegs. I would have some PMDs and small attractor patterns in the box as well.

YELLOWSTONE PARK: The Madison-Firehole-Gibbon trifecta is done for the summer as water temps have risen above 80 degrees in some places. It’s time to start looking elsewhere: The Gallatin, Gardner, and Yellowstone Lake are great options right now. I’d have some Golden Stones, PMDs, and small attractor patterns as well as Leeches and Midges and Callibaetis for the lake. The Yellowstone River below Fishing Bridge will open July 15th. It should be very fishable.

Stop in if you need anything or just to say hello. We’re open daily from 7 am – 9pm. Stay safe and get outside!