This spring will certainly go down in the record books as the wettest and one of the coolest since record keeping began in 1894. I find myself concerned on different levels- one being the fate of this season and the other concern is for a larger global change of massive proportions that may be accelerating, see 350.org. At the same time I welcome new challenges and high water can certainly offer up a good dose of daily challenges while fishing in the Tetons.
This week the Firehole River in YNP became my focus and I do believe some great angling awaits there in the coming weeks. Generally by now that river is producing some excellent hatches but with the colder discharge from the surrounding mountains this has slowed the fishing there but not for long. Our nymph fishing was fair as the water remains a little high and the general weather is cool. The snowpack on Craig Pass is not massive so I expect that to be dropping and fishing very good in a week or two.
Lewis Lake has yet to ice off as of June 16, the latest I have ever seen, but it is in the breakup period now so we could expect the lake to be ice free by the weekend. Yellowstone Lake is open and fishing well for trophy trout. The South Fork is stable at 15000cfs at the Palisades dam. The reports there are getting better yet the clarity is off, as the lake fills this will get better with each passing day but again the flows will likely increase later in July.
The Snake River below Jackson Lake Dam has dropped(2800cfs)- this is to offset the massive inflows from the tributaries during peak runoff, as the lake fills the flows will likely increase again by mid-July. Until then the fishing is fairly good for a few miles before Pacific Creek. As that water warms hatches will increase and very good fishing could be soon around the corner.
The Green River drainage is fully blown out for likely another month or more, the snowpack there has over 500% its normal water and until the weather warms it will just sit there in the mountains. I will likely find myself fishing some of the muddiest conditions this season during our peak period of late July, my hope is to be quite surprised of our success... I have before seen some remarkable fishing in less than desirable conditions... if the bugs are there the trout will get on the banks and find them!
On a positive note we will have pockets of great fishing throughout the season and by mid-August(perhaps earlier) more consistent fishing and lower flows everywhere.