The Stillwater for Everyone
Found just south of West Yellowstone near the border of Yellowstone National Park is a fishing hole created by happenstance. A dam built in 1937 for crop irrigation at the head of Box Canyon yields to Island Park Reservoir. It also provides electricity for Fall River Rural Electric Cooperative.
Dating back to the 50′s and 60′s, the reservoir was known for its great fish population. Unfortunately, some of it tributaries were damaged or had struggles in years past. Efforts by Sheridan Ranch, the Bureau of Land Management, and the State Fish & Game have begun to restore the lake to the fishery it once was. That said, fish are being caught in good numbers-big fish. And, if you’re lucky, you might spy moose, elk, or bear while cruising the area.
This stillwater is populated with rainbow, cutthroat and hybrid trout, as well as kokanee salmon. Idaho Fish and Game stock and add to the population when water levels are suitable. Idaho Fish & Game has made a huge effort to get Island Park back to where it once was. We are seeing some of their hard work in the 2007 creel censuses. Reeling in fish over 20 inches long is not uncommon in this shallow water; you just have to know where they like to hide. Rainbows up to 12 pounds lurk in the shallows and down deep.
With 5 boat launch sites and other public access, the Island Park Reservoir is great stillwater for anyone who enjoys being on, or in, the water. Using the usual stillwater tactics with Leeches, Chronomids, Scuds, Caddis and Callibaetis at the west end and other places, you will find success time after time.
For an experience like no other, try Island Park Reservoir for your next fly fishing destination. If it suits you, include a few rounds around the lake water skiing or pulling a tube. It’s a lake with multiply uses and fun for the whole family. This stillwater reservoir really does have something for everyone.