Well we hope everyone got out to fish last week because things have changed quite a bit. Anglers and guides alike enjoyed some of the best weather and cosistent fishing of any Memorial Day weekend I can remember. Fishing with nymphs, streamers and even dry flies was quite productive. A good afternoon hatch of Blue Winged Olives put a smile on my face and a few hooks into unsuspecting cutties and rainbows.
Unfortunately things are changing with this news from the Bureau of Reclamation.
Releases from Palisades Reservoir will be increased this week for the cutthroat freshet. Diversions downstream from Palisades Dam should be prepared for high levels in the Snake River this week and next week. Releases at Palisades Dam
have been approximately 11,500 cfs. Releases will increase each day beginning tomorrow until reaching 16,000 cfs on Sunday, June 5th. At that time, the new Great Feeder head gates will be inspected. If no problems are found with the head gates at these flows, increases at Palisades Dam will resume, reaching a maximum release of 19,000 cfs on Wednesday, June 8th. Flows will be slowly ramped down each day thereafter to return to either 11,500 cfs or to an amount necessary to satisfy downstream irrigation demand. The increased releases will not affect accrual to unfilled reservoir water rights. Storage accrued to the American Falls storage water right physically held in Palisades is simply being moved downstream to be physically held in the empty physical space of American Falls Reservoir until used by downstream diversions.
While this will certainly slow down the fishing on dry flies, we’ve learned from past experience that the fish, especially big fish continue to feed during these high flows and our guides know how to get them. Several of our guides actually get really excited for the freshet each year.
When the flows return to 11,500 sometime around June 12th or so, expect the fishing to get really good fast as the stonefly nymphs will start to move on the lower river and depending on the weather we could see Salmon Flies by the 3rd week of June..we’ll certainly keep you posted.