South Fork 6-10-17

22400 cfs is currently flowing out of Palisades Dam. No wonder the river below looks like a milk shake!  Fish likely cannot even see San Juan worm patterns as they go whizzing by in the watery gloom. Go somewhere else to fish for now.

Here’s an overview of South Fork run-off situation.

Flow out of Jackson Lake is up to 6500 cfs and Buffalo Fork, Hoback, Grey’s and Salt Rivers are running high making inflow to Palisades about 41000 cfs.  Currently  Palisades Res. is 70% full and Jackson Lake is about 87% full, not leaving enough room in both reservoirs to catch projected run-off.   Thus inflow to Palisades is about double outflow with run-off peaks yet to be reached. In the near future release profiles from both reservoirs will depend on run-off forecasts and flood control requirements.  We will keep on top of this South Fork run-off situation and report here how it looks for the river to come into good fishing condition.

South Fork 6-3-17

The recent good fishing days with 9000 cfs coming out of Palisades Dam  (around 10000 cfs at Heise) are over for a while. Yesterday flow out of the dam was increased, then increased again early today to 17100 cfs, and is climbing. Flow out of the dam is likely to continue to climb. Here’s why. Palisades Reservoir is about 57% of capacity, filling quickly, and our weather is warming significantly. This means an increased snow melt rate in the high country making it necessary to provide more room in the reservoir for increased run-off.  Because of the increasing flow in the river, use extreme caution when wading.

Henry’s Fork 5-31-17

The main event here is big stoneflies hatching on the lower river. To be sure presenting big dries brings great returns, but it seems that every fly-fisher around, whether wading or boating, is on the lower river.  This presence will soon happen on Box Canyon where nymphs are moving and such as rubber leg patterns are working well. Downstream from Riverside Campground would be a good location in the upcoming days to enjoy fish responding to the drifting big stoneflies. You might have to put up with boat traffic, but such will not be as concentrated as on the lower river or that which will happen soon in Box Canyon.

Stillwater goes as the weather goes

Stillwater fishing has been very tough on area reservoirs since ice out. The cold weather has been keeping water temperatures way down and bug activity to a minimum. Of all the lakes Springfield has been fishing best, although even that hasn’t been very good. If you go to springfield, small chironomids and leeches have been best. We really need water temperatures to get and stay above 50 degrees before things really get going. Once that happens, look for chironomids to start popping on all area reservoirs and fishing to drastically improve.

Henry’s Fork 4-4-17

Although some midges and some BWOs are on the surface, presenting nymph patterns in the lower river above Chester seems the most productive approach lately.  Streamers also bring responses from trout, especially under low light conditions.  Look for Fall River, with flow at Yellowstone canal diversion more than double normal, to increase flows significantly and add discolor to the river below Chester.

Henry’s Fork 10-29-16

As with the South Fork BWO activity is bringing good action for the dry fly  enthusiast throughout the river. On the lower river presenting streamer patterns is the best way to encounter large browns and rainbows.  A temporary flow increase is going on in the river below Chester Dam and the Fall  River confluence where storms have significantly increased the Fall River inflow.  This inflow will soon decrease unless storms continue in the Fall River drainage.

Henry’s Lake 10-13-16

Henry’s has not been its usual fall self lately. We have had storm fronts roll in every couple of days along with high winds that have kept the lake off color and the fish tight lipped. If the weather is consistent the fishing has been better. The surface temps on the lake yesterday were in the low to mid forties, so the temperature is certainly right for better fishing.

The shallows around the northwest corner and the State Park have been best. If the water is off color, use a larger darker leech pattern and cover as much water as possible. If your fishing the State Park specifically, guys have been having success with larger chironomid pupa under indicators.

Hopefully the weather will allow us some of the great fall fishing were all used to!

Henry’s Lake 9-15-16

Henry’s is showing signs of improvement, but overall fishing remains pretty tough. The key has been finding fish, if you can do that, the fish have been pretty willing. Wind storms have pounded the lake this late summer/early fall and combined with the blue/green algae bloom, half the battle has been finding clean water. The good news is with the cooling temperatures, the algae is disappearing and the weeds are dying off.

Now for the fishing……Concentrate your efforts in fairly shallow water (10ft and less) with type II and intermediate lines. There is still a fair amount of weeds present but don’t let that discourage you. The best fishing has been in amongst the weeds. Prospect with fly patterns until you find something thats working. All the traditional leech patterns (california leech, hot chocolate, Brown CB, Olive CB, mohair leeches, etc…..)  have been working in sizes 6 & 8. Later in the day switch over to scuds, mighty mouse, HL renegade, and other smaller flies. If your into drifting with flies, there have been some large fish caught recently drifting between Targhee Creek and the State Park. Use a fairly fast sinking line if your planning to drift that area.

We have also had quite a few people calling and asking if the cutthroats have moved into the state park area, and the answer is not yet… That could happen any day now though so I would check it if your on the lake. The water temps are right and it feels like the lake is just about to go off, lets hope its soon!

South Fork 9-3-16

Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped to about 9500 cfs last Tuesday. That’s still a bit higher than normal, and Palisades Reservoir is at about 27% of capacity. That percentage means more drops in flow are coming soon and for sure. Slamming the banks with chernobyl and hopper patterns and hopper-dropper combinations and two-nymph rigs drifted into riffles seem to be most productive ways to fishing success currently.  Early AMs are the times when mutant stonefly patterns are successful.

Be aware that there is a fire in Black Canyon at the end of the river road above Heise.

South Fork 08-08-2016

The South fork continues to fish well with flows staying pretty stable throughout most of the river. In the evening there are some very impressive mayfly hatches coming off, and the fishing has been great. Riffle fishing is going to be best up towards the dam, and the best bank fishing is going to be on the lower river. Hoppers are starting to make an apperance, but best action seems to be on the golden mutant stone. The lower end below Heise has a little more exposed gravel, and with that, the start of the mutant stones. To fish these with the most success, start focusing your attention on fishing mutant stones early in the morning, and later in the evening. Putting in tight casts to the bank, and using a twitch or skate on your bug will produce great success. Focus on the slower water, and stay out of the fast banks. If you find yourself on fast banks, make sure to time your casts on the slowest holding water, and dont flail casts aimlessly at the boils. As for the riffles: fishing a tandem rig with two maylfies will be the best.. For streamers I would use something big, or two smaller flies fished in tandem. Streamer fishing on the South Fork is all about figuring out what color they are interested in on that day, and that is where fishing the two fly tandem rig is helpful, fishing two different colors.

Best bugs to use:

Riffles: PMD Thorax Dun 16-18, Pmd Biot Emerger 16-18, PMD Para-spinner 16-18, Pink Albert Para-spinner 16, Rusty Spinner 16, Purple Haze 16-18, Williams Transitional Dun 16-18, Brooks Flexwing Baetis 18-20, Baetis Parachute 20.

Banks: Super Chernobyl Brown or Yellow 8-10, CFO Flamer Ant Yellow or Pink 8-10, CFO Ant Flesh 6-8, Plan B 8-10, More or Less Hopper 10-12.

Streamers: Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Peanut envy, Kreelex Minnow, Sparkle Minnow, Sculpzilla, JJ Special, Complex Twist Bugger, El Sculpito, Prince of a Bugger.