South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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June 2013

South Fork 6/29/13

The South Fork is fishing great right now! There are all sorts of bugs out and the fish seem to be looking up for all of them. Fish are being caught on the banks with adult salmonfly and golden stone patterns. The CFO Flamer ant and Pink ant #8, Jakes Hot Cake Salmonfly #6, and Berrett’s Golden stone in sz’s 8-12 have all been producing well. Fishing earlier in the morning has been better for throwing the big bugs. Later in the morning and throughout the day,the PMD’s have been coming off thick in the riffles and people have been having luck throwing flies like the Pink Comparadun in a #16-18, PMD hunchback emerger in #16-18, and the CFO pink spinner in #18. The whole river is fishing really good and last we heard the big bugs were up around Conant. We will continue to update our reports throughout the salmonfly hatch as we hear more information on where the bugs are at. Stop in at the shop on your way up to pick up what ever you need and get the most up to date information!

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Bechler Meadows

Bechler Meadows

 

It’s a place of legend, and will stay that way because effort is required to enjoy fishing the river of the same name and Boundary Creek also within.  Both are classic meadow streams, and both can be quite demanding : Bechler River as much as the Harriman State Park reach of the Henry’s Fork, and Boundary Creek as much as Jackson Hole’s Flat Creek. But there is a major difference. Whereas that part of the Henry’s Fork and Flat Creek can be very crowded in season, there are times when you just may have the streams in Bechler Meadows all to yourself!  The price you pay is the three and a half mile walk minimum, then walk-around fishing, and finally the required walk out. I have noticed that this means as much as ten miles in a day of fishing.  But when you are at these streams at the right time, you will likely have an unforgettable fly-fishing experience.  Here is what happens to attract fish to feed on or near the surface: after run-off leaves the waters, and earthworms no longer plentiful enough to provide the major part of diets, fish experience a progression of aquatic insect emergences. That progression begins with an in-stream emerging yellow sally stonefly, then that of  mayflies. That begins with gray drakes crawling from sloughs out in the meadows. Spinners of these are blown into the stream about the same time that PMDs begin emerging from the streams. The PMDs begin with those of a large size (#14), but with time  seem to quickly reduce to the #18-#20 range.  While all this is going on giant and golden stonefly adults are blown in from the canyon reaches above and below ( the same happens in the Harriman reach of the Henry’s Fork). Then in normal water years around mid July,  green and brown drakes take over as the major aquatic insect species emerging.  Most of the activity will be in afternoon hours as waters must warm to  necessary temperatures.  So that is a major difference from the similar water of the Harriman reach of the Henry’s Fork.  Take your favorite patterns for all of these.  Use the same sizes, and balanced system as you would for the Harriman reach. But there is no need to worry about being there early for the bulk of action; stock up with a big breakfast in St. Anthony, Ashton or Island Park, off the lower Mesa Falls Scenic Route take the Green Timber (aka Cave Falls Road) Road to the Bechler Ranger Station Road leaving on left  just inside the Wyoming border. Park at the station where a crew of rangers is always present. Let them know of your fishing plans (fishing permits are available there), then head for the trail to the meadows but arrive in the meadows by late morning.  Let’s look at hazards. Until the end of July you will experience a mosquito density in the timber like nowhere else outside of Siberia. That makes a good supply of DEET necessary.  Drink water out of the streams here at your own risk. Giardia can be anywhere, so either pack your water or a water purifier. And drink water like there is no tomorrow, because staying hydrated is a must for comfort especially during the walk back to the ranger station.  Do you believe in using sun screen and covering up as much as practical? You will if you get a burn from being out in the meadows in the intense sunshine.  A rain coat is a good idea, and it is your choice whether to wade wet or pack in waders.  Need more information or need items to make your visit a fly-fishing success? stop in and chat strategy, equipment,  get a Yellowstone Park fishing license, and information with us. One more thing. see that picture above? That means do not forget a good camera.

 

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Henry’s Fork 6-29-13

On the upper river flavs have begun showing, but green drakes and PMDs are still bringing much action in the Harriman-Last Chance area.  It appears that these mayflies are hatching in numbers as good as any in recent years, and fishing is great because of it.  So get up there, and enjoy!  Here’s a thought: be sure to have a few of your favorite dry golden stone patterns in that fly box. Those older fish know what they are, and will take them. You may get fewer fish than those folks presenting mayfly life cycle patterns, but the fish responding to that golden stone pattern will average bigger sizes.  On the lower river gray drakes and PMDs remain numerous and provide good fishing, but look for water to begin warming because of our hot weather.

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Yellowstone Park 6-29-13

I promised a report on fishing Bechler Meadows, so here goes. We walked in as planned last Wednesday. There had been about an inch of rain in the area in the last few days, so the Cave Falls road was dust free.  Too bad the mosquitoes (bad!) had not been drowned by that rain! We arrived at the river about mid morning to see that it was still low for the time of year, but had gained water (a long term blessing this year!)because of the recent rain. Not much happened on top until around 3PM when water temp warmed enough to begin the PMD emergence.   With that, those big hybrids began reacting, but not with usual gusto because of earthworms, etc. washed into stream by rain-induced flow increase.  We caught some fish up to around four pounds, then left to find a “grizzly bear calling card” smack in mid-trail on the way out.  Considering trying the river or Boundary Creek this low water year? Better hurry!  Elsewhere the Madison River inside the Park features great afternoon action from fish responding to PMD and caddisfly hatches. Lewis River streamer fishing is holding up, and northeast corner streams are losing run-off . Shoshone Lake remains good fishing for those anglers using boats or ‘tubes to get out to submerged weed beds where black leech and scud patterns are producing.  Heart Lake Basin opens to fishing Monday, July 1st. Likely because of low, warm water best fishing by wading will be the river just below the lake where those big cutts will be looking for giant stoneflies flying  from the canyon below.

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Stillwater 6/28/13

Damsels continue to dominate the stillwater scene right now and with the warmer temps ahead, the real good fishing might only last a couple more weeks. Dry dropper setups, damsels under indicators, and damsels fished with slow sinking lines are still fishing well, I have done the best with the dark olive bead head damsel in a size 10 we have in the shop. All area lakes are experiencing damsel hatches right now and should all be fishing well with the techniques mentioned above.

There have been some really nice fish caught this spring on area reservoirs so if you haven’t had a piece of the action you need to get out.  Call us in the shop for fresh reports on area lakes.

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Today at Jimmy’s 6-27-13

 

Hey everybody we just wanted to let all you know that the shop will be open on the 4th of July from 8a.m. to 3p.m. So we hope to see you before you head out fishing for the day!

On another note, we just received a whole bunch of new Jimmy’s T shirts and hats. These are all new designs this year and we have a little bit of everything to choose from. So, if you need a new hat or t shirt to replace that old one come down and check them out.

 

 

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6-25-13 South Fork

Note: This post is in addition to an earlier post by Bruce so be sure to read his report also.  Due to the low water level and warmer water temperatures in Palisades Reservoir the hatches are progressing fast so we thought an additional report was in order-Jimmy

The big bugs are here! The Salmon flies are the way up to Dry Creek in the Canyon. Use a Kingfisher Widow Maker size 4 and a CFO Flammer ant size 8  to imitate a Salmon fly  and should be very productive in catching trout along the banks and any log jams. Along with the Salmon flies are Green drakes and PMDs in the riffles and using A Olive Hare’s Ear Parachute size 12 (Green Drake) and a Pink Comparadun size 16 (PMD)  can allow a great riffle fishing on the South Fork.

From the Palisades dam down to Conant should have big bugs hatching any day. Nymph fishing up there has been excellent with a Brown Rubber Leg size 6 or 8 and a Red Copper John size 16. A few PMDs have been hatching up there also and if you see any fish rising I would use CFO Pink Albert spinner size 18. Lastly if all else fails on the upper stretch I would use Beadhead Crystal Pheasant tail size 14.

 

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Still Waters 6-25-13

Even with low water Chesterfield Reservoir offers good fishing when damselfly nymph patterns are presented. Look for submerged weed  beds and other vegetation for best areas to try.  Twenty-Four Mile Reservoir has better water conditions and more consistent fishing. Water is sure to get lower and warmer later this summer, so your chances for best fishing here are now.  Want to try an “off the beaten path” still water locations? Take a look at our Articles page for some candidates.

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Today at Jimmy’s 6-25-13

This time of year brings crowds of fly-fishers to choice locations on the Henry’s Fork and the South Fork for good reasons.  Emerging caddisflies, damselflies, mayflies, and stoneflies on these rivers bring responses from trout that are hard to match, and we can help with strategies and merchandise.  Certainly these popular locations are worth fishing, but when it is time to get away from the crowds within, we can also help.  See our Articles page to learn what other quality fishing locations abound in this area.  We will be adding to this page throughout the season.  If one of the locations we feature strikes your fancy, get in touch or come into the shop for further details and strategy information.

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