There has been some clearing on the Snake with the inclement weather we have had in over the past week. The bigger news is that Jackson Lake is very near filling and, to make room, releases from the dam have increased to 2,500 cfs. Flows should increase again once the reservoir is completely filled. Bureau of Reclamation projects flows to max out at 4,000 cfs, and then drop sometime in late June or in July.
Releases from Palisades Reservoir have been ramping down significantly over the past week. They now stand at 10,000 cfs and the Bureau of Reclamation projects flows to remain stable at this level for the next several weeks. Fishing has been decent during the ramp down, and should be stellar and flows stabilize. Riffles have been most productive with nymphs. Seams and flats are a close second. The same water is getting action with streamers, but not near as much as streamers are getting on banks and submerged structure. Blue-winged olives and caddis are the primary bugs on the water along with a smattering of PMDs. Action on dry flies isn’t quite there yet, but it won’t be too long now.
Effective nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Legs, Kaufmann’s Black Stone, 20-Inchers, San Juan Worms, Lightening Bugs, Rainbow Warriors, Copper Johns in red or olive, Booty’s Deep Stinker Nymph, and Bubbleback Pheasant Tail Nymphs.
Effective streamers – Booty’s Quad Bunny, SRA Bunnies, Bow River Buggers, Cheech’s Leech, Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, Silvey Sculpins, and Clouser Minnows.
Flows at Warren Bridge have been quite stable over the past week, fluctuating between 700 and 1000 cfs. Clarity is pretty good, too. Not crystal clear, but pretty damn close. Fishing has been pretty solid along the whole river, but especially from the Forest Boundary down to Daniel Bridge, where stream clarity is maximized. A variety of patterns are producing with streamers perhaps working best, at least for the bigger browns. Nymphs, either as double rigs or as part of a dry-dropper rig, are bringing in good numbers. There are blue-winged olives on the water in the morning. Caddis and infrequen PMDs are on the water in force in the afternoon. This is when throwing caddis imitations can reap big benefits. Nothing off the charts in terms of number, but some big boys are being brought in during a three hour period from noon until about 3 pm.
Effective streamers – Booty’s Quad Bunny, Baby Bunnies, SRA Bunnies, Bow River Buggers, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Cheech’s Leech, Galloup’s Zoo Cougar, Galloup’s Peanut Envy, J.J. Specials, Silvey Sculpins, Beldar Buggers, and Light Brite Zonkers.
Effective dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Rubber Legged Double Humpies, Turck’s Tarantulas, J-Slams, Elk Hair Caddis, U-Cons, Tent-Wing Caddis, Parachute Adams, Booty’s PMD Emerger, Quigley Cripples, and Parachute Extended Body PMDs.
Effective nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Legs, 20-Inchers, San Juan Worms, Lightening Bugs, Copper Johns in red, Foxy Stones, Robins, Psycho Princes, and Bloody Mary’s.
Yellowstone National Park
Firehole – Flows at Old Faithful have been dropping and currently stand at around 80 cfs. Not ideal flows for this time of year but fishing is still pretty good with water temperatures around 54 degrees by early afternoon. A hodge-podge of caddis, blue-winged olives, and infrequen PMDs are on the water depending on cloud cover and precipitation. Imitations of these are working best below the surface, but there are times when adult imitations are working on the surface, particularly in the afternoon when clouds roll in and precipitation becomes more likely.
Lewis Lake – The ice has been off for a while now and fishing on Lewis is ahead of schedule. The flats are alive with lake trout and browns feeding on a variety of baitfish imitations, including Clouser Minnows, Mohair Leeches, and Bow River Buggers. Zug Bugs and damsel imitations are also working on flats, but are doing just as good on drop-offs. Hover lines and intermediate sinking tips are working best.
Yellowstone Lake – As on Lewis Lake, the ice has been off of Yellowstone for a while now and resident cutthroats, as well as lake trout, are being caught on shallow flats and flats with six to eight feet of depth. Floating lines, hover lines, and intermediate lines are producing with slow to moderate retrieves. Clouser Minnows, Lite Brite Zonkers, and Mohair Leeches are working best.
Snake River – The Snake is lower and clear than usual for this time of year. Fishing from the South Boundary upstream past the Lewis River confluence has been quite good with nymphs and streamers (especially streamers). Trout have been somewhat active on the surface and are taking #8 to #10 attractors, as well as generic mayfly imitations.