Saturday, June 27, 2009

Staying Dry!

Welcoming a full week of pure summer bliss lately and to top it all off, I just finished two days of guiding without tying on a wet fly... yes, thats right all dry and we caught hefty trout. Day 1 on Lewis Lake, myself and client, Earl Johnson & son, Earl Johnson found a steady flow of brown drake spinners and duns along several flats of the main lake. The brown trout were all over the bugs yet they were still a bit picky in the clear water and bright sun, the cripples got us the best fish, one over 20". Day 2 with the Johnson's landed us again in Yellowstone this time on the Firehole River hunting even more dry action... it was on! Immediately we were into fish on small PMD imitations and jumped well over 20 nice trout before lunch... after lunch the action slowed and we headed back toward JH, we were all pleased with the trout's cooperation and thought the fishing was wonderful despite all the recent rain and high water. Tight Lines!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Red Hot Lakes! Tough River Flows!

Looking over the last week and thinking of the days and even weeks ahead the lakes of the area are our savior. The Northern Rockies have had an incredibly cool and wet June, not only slowing the runoff of high country snowpack but saturating the surrounding agricultural lands to the point where there is little in the need for irrigation. Frustrating for now, but when the clouds clear and the water table drops we all will be basking in the sun and catching healthy trout. The Snake River drainage has ZERO capacity remaining to store water, therefore what flows in must flow out... we are seeing every dam on the river increase their flows to move water down river and eventually to the Pacific Ocean via the Columbia River. This doesn't mean you cannot catch fish on the rivers now but it is getting tougher with every cfs increase.
As of Monday, June 22 the South Fork is up to 22,000cfs at the dam! The dam at Jackson Lake is up to 4,500cfs and rising... this is why I'm an avid lake angler and right now there is some of the best conditions possible on all area lakes. Get out there!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Spring Smallmouth Slam!

Last Thursday I teamed up with Mark Fuller to participate in the 2nd Annual Ririe on the Fly Tournament... our focus: Smallmouth Bass! Yes, there are a few places in the region to catch consistent warmwater species, Ririe Reservoir in Eastern Idaho is the nearest to JH at about 70 miles. The tournament is catching on but is mostly a couple dozen guides and fishing gurus having some fun before the season gets underway. It is an all fly tournament(rad!) bagging your 5 best bass- we came in 5th out of 17, not bad. Most of the fish in the reservoir are smaller due to shorter growing season and available food... a bass over 2lbs is a dandy! Best of all they love poppers! Anyhow, it was great fun and a good way to meet folks in the industry that just love fly fishing. 
Other conditions are still the same... crazy rain for this region and blown out rivers. The best fishing is on the South Fork and Henry's Fork of the Snake... as well, the lakes are red hot right now with a lot of nice fish in shallow. Get out there... don't let the weather fool you, its good!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Heavy Moisture in JH!

The past two weeks have ushered in some soaking rains and now high country snow. I am pleased to see all this water as it will in the end equal some great fishing as the season develops. Area rivers are super-blown, except the South Fork, Firehole and Henry's Fork... for consistent action those are our best options for perhaps another 3-5 weeks. My eyes are on the lakes right now... all ice is gone and surface water temps are slowly rising. Good trout will remain shallow for fly anglers for at least a month longer... even though the fish are relatively shallow(5'-10') a good sinking line is a must. Slow, steady strips get the best grabs and hook ups.
Hatches are good on the Firehole and HF... a nice mixture of stoneflies, mayflies and caddis! The SF is streamer and nymph central... flows there are dropping to 10'000cfs!