South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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July 2010

Mainstem Snake River 7-31-10

As irrigation demands decrease, water levels will stabilize making for more consistent fishing here. Streamer patterns remain the bread & butter patterns, but PMD emergences continue to bring action in riffles. With hopper populations beginning to build, fishing tactics that work on the South Fork work here. See Tim Woodard’s 7/26 report for the South Fork and use the thoughts he offers for fishing the main stem river. After all; the South Fork and the main stem Snake are the same streams!

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Henry’s Fork 7-31-10

As is usual, fishing on the the lower river is slowing down. Mayfly emergences are winding down, big stoneflies are all but gone, and the river lowering to base levels. Grasshoppers will be coming on soon, and fish will respond to their patterns early and later in the day when waters are a bit cooler and there is more overhead cover.  One constant is that streamer patterns presented in the evening twilight can still fool that big fish.  Just be patient, and use some strategy.  Fish shaded banks and undercuts, fish around overhangs and sweepers.  Look for schools of minnows in shallow water.

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Yellowstone Park 7-31-10

With the peak of early season mayfly emergences past and that of large stoneflies almost over (good stonefly hatches are moving up the Yellowstone River), terrestrial insects are increasing in importance. Hopper and spruce moth seasons are just beginning, and ant and beetle patterns will remain effective for many weeks to come.   Some great places for presenting  terrestrial insect patterns include the meadow sections of all Fall River Basin streams and the Lamar River, Slough and Soda Butte creeks,  Madison River along the West Entrance highway, Lewis River, and the upper Gibbon River.   The big browns in Duck Creek are a real challenge for fishing hopper, beetle and ant patterns.  Do not overlook smaller waters with meadow reaches such as Obsidian, Indian, Solfatara and Panther creeks.  They are great places for light weight equipment and safe for youngsters and physically challenged folks.

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Small Streams 7-31-10

Some of our smaller streams dropping to base levels are warming  to point where fish move out to bigger, cooler water or feed only early or late in the day when water is cooler.  Most other small streams are fishing very well. They will continue to do so as terrestrial insects become more important in trout’s diet.   Terrestrial insects are  a reason why meadow streams are so much fun to fish. Streams that hold meadow reaches  famed for terrestrial insect populations are numerous around our area. Some of the best include the Teton River in the Basin, The Blackfoot River in the Blackfoot River Wildlife Management  Area, Lower McCoy Creek, Lower Jackknife Creek,  Birch Creek, Medicine Lodge Creek, Stump Creek, Crow Creek and Camas Creek. With grasshopper populations beginning to build fishing waters such as these should be considered.  Stop at the shop to see our selection of terrestrial insect patterns and to pick up ” where and how to” information on these waters.

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Still Water 7-31-10

Chesterfield still has been fishing pretty well. The fish are starting to move out into a little deeper water though, making finding the fish a little more difficult. But, when you find the fish and what they are feeding on you can still get into some really good fishing. Damsels are still going on the lake, so fishing with damsel patterns continues to be a good bet. Fish these on floating lines under an indicator, or on sinking lines along with your traditional leech patterns like crystal buggers and mohair leeches. There are a lot of weeds in the lake, but don’t be discouraged by them. Stillwater trout utilize weed beds like you wouldn’t believe. They use them for food, safety, and shade so don’t be afraid to fish right amongst the weeds.

Right now, Chesterfield Reservoir has the best still water fishing in the area.  Springfield, Hawkins and Daniels reservoirs have warmed up, and we have received fewer reports of good fishing from them compared to Chesterfield.

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Henry’s Lake 7-31-10

Fishing on Henry’s Lake continues to be spotty. If you really know the lake you can still get into some decent fishing. Areas such as Targhee Creek and around Duck Creek have been good areas to try. Creek mouths all around the lake should begin to turn on as we move into August. Traditional patterns like the electric black, peacock ah, and various scud patterns are going to be your best bet. Fishing has been spotty, if you wait to hear a good report to go up, chances are your going to be too late. August can be a good month to fish Henry’s so get up there when you get a chance.

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South Fork 7/26

Fish have gotten picky in the riffles and the banks. Luckily that doesn’t mean the fishing is slow. In fact the fishing is really good. Fish Stonefly Patters really close to the bank. Close means inches from the bank not a couple feet. Chubby Chernobyls have been working really well. I like the Rootbeer and Pink color. Make sure your flies in the riffles are drag free. Emergers have been the most successful compared to adult mayflies. The Transitional Dun and the Film Critic have really worked well. Don’t get frustrated if your not slaying the fish, try to figure out why you have not been successful. The fish are eating but it requires some hard work. Take a step back and watch the fish work. For example; If you see them in the riffles moving around but not rising to dry flies put a dropper on. There have been a lot of people on the river these last weeks. Remember to use common courtesy and common sense. If you are camping remember to check up on the regulations for camping in the canyon. We have the brochure here at the shop.

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Still Water 7-23-10

As its been mentioned in several previous posts, Chesterfield Reservoir continues to fish very well. The water is getting a little warm with the weather we have had recently, but it really is not  affecting the fishing too much. Intermediate lines and fishing under an indicator are going to be your best bet.  I fished it on both Tuesday 7-20 and Thursday 7-22 and had really good fishing using Damsel nymphs, darker Chironomids, and Callibaetis nymphs.  Stop in at the shop and we can hook you up with patterns and anything else you will need to be successful. Don’t pass up on this opportunity to get into some great fishing for BIG fish!

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South Fork 7/22

The fishing is really good right now. Fish are eating Pale Morning Duns, Pink Alberts, and Stoneflies. The Canyon is fishing really good and the Salmon Flies are very active on the upper section in Swan Valley. Fish are eating the dry flies right on the bank, literally inches from the grass and bushes. Good numbers of fish have also been caught nymphing.

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Yellowstone Park 7-22-10

All streams except the Firehole River are in top fishing condition.  Terrestrial patterns will be effective on all, especially when hoppers kick in soon.  For now your best choice of when to fish would be the more humid, thundershower threatening days.  These offer more overhead cover than bright days, and humid conditions bring on delayed hatches.    Beware of the growing horse fly and deer fly populations (but they make humpy variations very effective!),  but be happy that mosquitoes are beginning to diminish. If you have not seen our Yellowstone Park small stream discussion posted on July 19th, take a look because there are some gems within!

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