South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

Contact us for up to the minute fishing reports and conditions.

October 2014

New Lorenzo Ramp Open!

The new Lorenzo boat ramp is now open! This will be a big improvement over the old ramp and will provide use for years to come. The old ramp is now demolished an unusable. The new ramp is located about 1/2 mile downstream from the old one on river left (opposite side from old ramp). Access to the new ramp is off the Menan/Roberts exit off Highway 20.


Henry’s Lake & Stillwater 10-31-14

Henry’s Lake has been fishing well this past week. Things seem to have finally turned around up there. Fish have been caught on the west shore from Duck Creek to Staley Springs, The Northshore, the Cliffs, and State Park area. Water from 2-8ft deep has been most productive, fish that with an intermediate or type II line and hang on. Fly patterns that have been producing are black crystal buggers, midnight fire, and Lt. Olive and Tan crystals. Get up there while you can, any time you are able to fish on Henry’s after the end of October is on borrowed time. Only a matter of time before the lake will be frozen solid.


Other Stillwaters in the area have been fishing well lately too. Daniels and Springfield have been the most consistent fishing. Chironomids (any color size 10-18) under indicators and leech patterns mentioned above in the Henry’s lake portion have been the best patterns. Fishing in the late morning/afternoon has produced better then being out there at first light. Chesterfield is the one lake in the area we have not heard anything good lately. We have received a lot of calls regarding this very popular lake and the news just isn’t good. I believe two consecutive years of extreme drawdown and summer heat have had an impact. There are still some very nice, maybe the nicest in the area, fish to be had, but they are few and far between. If you do decide to head up there, fish hard and cover a lot of water! Hebgen, Hawkins, and Island Park have all been fishing good lately too, toughest decision this time of year is just deciding where to fish!

Please give us a call or stop in if you have any questions on the local stillwater scene!


Yellowstone Park

If you intend to fish in Yellowstone Park waters, better hurry! The fishing season winds up there at the end of the day on Sunday, November 2nd.


Still Waters 10-25-14

Currently Daniels Reservoir provides some of our best still water fishing. Midge pupa patterns under an indicator and presented two to ten feet in depth are producing. A scud bloom is ongoing, and fish seem most interested in them. So pack you favorite patterns to be presented on an intermediate line. Weeds are beginning to break up in Springfield Reservoir making fishing below the surface (mostly a midge pupa below an indicator, small nymph or leech patterns) a lot easier.


Small Streams 10-21-14

We have recently been fly fishing the Blackfoot River about ten miles below the dam.  Water flow is less than normal meaning fish are concentrated in deeper runs and holes.  Streamers and small wooly bugger types worked for us in these waters. We noticed that hoppers were still around, so a variety of hopper patterns worked.  Some BWOs came out in shaded areas such as in the shadows of cliff faces, and fish responded. Roads were in great shape.


South Fork 10-21-14

This could be a great day for BWOs emerging (if the wind does not blow ’em away) and fish responding.   USBurRec dropped the flow out of Palisades Dam last night from 3000 cfs to 2750 cfs. That’s less than a 10 per cent drop so should not impact fishing success, but for sure increases wading possibilities.  More drops in flow are coming up. Now is also the time to concentrate on presenting streamers.  Browns will be looking for them big time wind or not!


Henry’s Lake 10-20-14

Henry’s Lake has been fishing okay lately, right on the cusp of really turning loose. We need some colder, nastier, cloudier weather to really get things going, weather has just been too nice! Focus on all the typical fall areas; Duck Creek, Hatchery, State Park, Cliffs, Duck Creek, and County boat dock. Until the colder weather shows up, fish a little deeper water then you typically would this time of year. Darker Leeches, Lt. Olive Crystal, Henrys Lake Renegade, and Henrys Lake Scud have all been producing well. Look for things to really turn on here in the next week or so!



Henry’s Lake 10-18-14

We hear that fishing shallow water all around the lake is currently terrific. That means crowding in easily reached locations such as the west side county boat dock and campground, but especially at the State Park. Expect a crowd of shoreline anglers as well as numerous boats in front and at nearby Howard Creek. At the northwest corner of the lake, within a half mile off the highway, and on the west side road there is a pull-out and primitive launch site suitable only for float tubes and pontoon boats.  This site put you in great position for fishing the west side and north shorelines. Try the standard Henry’s Lake flies we recommend in our October 11th Henry’s Lake report.


End of an Era Coming




End of an Era Coming

Look at that color (1280x960)                           Don’t let that color fool you: he (the fish!) fought like the devil!

Since 2001 I have much enjoyed fishing for huge Kodiak silver salmon.  So much, in fact that I have returned every year except three for family reasons, during this twenty-first century. This Kodiak strain produces the largest, on average, silvers in Alaska. Tying into these in fresh condition is like no other salmonid I have experienced. They jump and run to challenge your personal durabilty, the length of your backing, the flexibility of your rod, your knots, your leader strength, and the drag system on which your reel operates.

I owe most of my pleasure in fishing for these superb salmonids to Dan and Randy Busch’s Kodiak Island River Camps operation. For the last twenty-one years Dan and Randy, husband and wife retired school teachers, have offered services second to none for fly-fishers seeking a memorable experience. They begin the season with whale watching outings, then July outings for sockeyes and chum. The real fun begins with their mid-to-late September outings to the Pasagshak River system for the fresh silver salmon.  Their scheduled trips end in mid October with fly-in steelhead outings to Kodiak’s fabled Karluk River. I did the Karluk trip about ten years ago. What an experience: steelhead and a late run of fresh silvers. Talk about fly-fishing heaven!

What does their service consist of, you ask?  Their fee, which for five solid days of fishing, is perhaps the most reasonable to be found during Alaska’s silver salmon season. From the time Dan picks you up on arrival at the Kodiak airport (usually on a Sunday afternoon) to when he returns you for departure (usually on the morning of the following Saturday) all meals, all transportation, all accommodations are covered under his fee. The only items outside their fee is your fishing license ($55 for seven days) and any particular food or beverage you wish to supplement the superb meals you will experience. On Sunday arrival you go to Dan & Randy’s home for a superb welcome dinner. From that you leave for the Pasaghak system forty-some-odd miles south of town for five days full of fishing. On Friday evening return you go to Dan & Randy’s home for another superb meal, their farewell dinner.

Where do I fish, you ask? Dan leases a summer home with all utilities near the Pasagshak River. Comfortable and clean, it is the base of operations for upcoming fishing on the Pasagshak estuary which you can walk to, the river itself, and Lake Rose Tead about a mile above the home. Then there is a special location about five miles away on the road back to town. This is Kalsin Pond which drains into the Olds River which also hosts silvers and can be fished.  When Kalsin Pond’s silvers feel like hitting your offered flies, it can be an unforgettable fly-fishing experience. For fishing the lake, pond and estuary, Dan provides kick boats and fins. The rivers (Pasagshak and Olds) can be waded. Whether you fish the lake, the rivers, or the pond your day begins with a hearty 6 AM breakfast then fishing begins soon after until a lunch break and ends just before 4PM with a return to the home to relax for a while before an excellent dinner.  Evenings can be used for sea-side walks, fly tying or “philosophy” of all kinds.

What are the silvers like, you ask? Full of energy, they come in from the ocean a bit more than a mile away. They average fifteen pounds and run up to just over twenty.  Other than an occasional jack, (early returner), it is not common to encounter an individual under twelve pounds.  A good day is when you land five of these devils. A fifteen to twenty minute fight is usual, and for sure you are doing good to land half of your hook-ups where near hundred yard runs are possible.  Between encountering fish, the wise fly-fisher checks flies, knots, leaders, lines, and rods for integrity.

What equipment do I need, you ask? An eight or nine weight system including a nine to ten foot rod works well. For shallows in the lake, pond, river and estuary a floating line works best. Two-handed rods can be used when wading the river or shorelines. When fish move to deeper water in the relatively shallow lake, an intermediate line is ideal.   Nine foot leaders of fifteen pound test are almost a requirement. Simple fly patterns patterns in infra-red (fucshia, pink, red) and ultra-violet (blue, green, purple) colors are the norm. So are needle-nosed pliers or stout forceps for removing flies from toothy mouths. A reliable raincoat, waders of the same property, a stripping glove, and clothes comfortable enough for fifty degree Fahrenheit air and water are musts.

What is the weather like in this northern location? With a marine climate, Kodiak, will have daytime air temperatures in the 50s of degrees Fahrenheit. Nighttime is mild, but a light frost is possible. Any visitor must expect rain, sometimes mild and pleasant, but other times ferocious and pounding with strong winds. Therein lies the need for a reliable raincoat!

Alaska Airlines has the best connections for reaching Kodiak from the lower forty-eight. We in east Idaho can leave Boise in the morning and, with connections met in Seattle and Anchorage, arrive in Kodiak that afternoon. Be advised that weather can interfere.

Dan and Randy will wrap up their operations in a few years, and that is why I offer this description of an unusually great opportunity to enjoy fresh, powerful silver salmon. You can get more details from them at their email address: [email protected] We, here in the shop, can also help you contact them and provide the benefit of experience.  A hospitable and action filled fly-fishing experience awaits you through Kodiak Island River Camps.



Still Waters 10-18-14

Daniels Reservoir currently offers the best fishing on our irrigation reservoirs.  A terrific scud bloom is ongoing there.Take advantage of it by using your favorite scud pattern on an intermediate line. Also try suspending that pattern under an indicator and giving an occasional small twitch.  Trying these techniques near submerged vegetation brings best results.  Midge pupa patterns presented two to ten feet under an indicator are also producing, but trout seem most interested in the plentiful scuds.  Weeds are beginning to break up on Springfield Reservoir making for easier wet fly fishing.  Midge pupa patterns under an indicator, small prince nymphs, and leech patterns in black or olive are producing there.