South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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

Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports

Still Waters, October 20th, 2020

Daniels Res

Most reservoirs established to store irrigation water are at low capacity. This includes American Falls, Chesterfield, Daniels, Island Park, Treasureton, Twenty Four Mile. Because of windy days limiting visits, we do not have a lot of fishing information for these. Fish deep or in front of inlets in any of these.  Springfield Reservoir is an exception, even with low water level. Weeds are breaking up and midge fishing is good if the taking depth can be found. Slowly trolled leech and damselfly nymph and pitching small fly rod jigs also bring responses.


Main Stem Snake River, October 20th, 2020

With flow a bit below normal or near it  everywhere above Shelley, there are many locations for walk-in fishing. Some convenient ones include top end of the Deer Parks above Menan,  just below the power plant upstream of Idaho Falls, Open areas in Freeman Park, Gem Lake Dam on either side of the river, just above and below the Shelley I-15 connector. Pitching streamer patterns using a sink-tip line gives the best chance for encountering big brown trout, while BWO and midge activity  is ongoing and attracts trout for the top water enthusiast.


Henry’s Lake, October 20th, 2020

FullSizeRender (2)

Because of windy days keeping many fly fishers off the lake, we do not a bunch of information to pass on.  Nevertheless, the passing of tough weather has a reputation for improving fishing here. So if and when the wind dies down, it it might be worth a visit to this usually great fall season fishery.  Henry’s Lake State Park is now closed to camping, but remains open for fishing and launching boats. These conditions are sure to bring in visitors, as is the case every year, but there is enough lake in front of the park to allow room for both shoreline and boat fishing. Fish seem to congregate here each year with nearby Howard Creek attracting brook trout and cutthroat and cuttbows staging close to shore.


Henry’s Fork, October 20th, 2020

The lower river offers BWO and midge activity with responding trout for the top water enthusiast and streamer fishing for the brown trout enthusiast.  Now and during the upcoming weekend the upper river offers winter-like weather with BWO and midge activity and responding trout. Streamer and nymph presentation in deep Box Canyon holes and runs may entice a big rainbow to hit, but dress for winter especially with reliably leak proof waders.


Yellowstone Park, October 20th, 2020

Other than the Firehole River with its BWO and white miller activity ( don’t overlook offering soft hackled patterns!) making fish active, the fall season brown trout run is ongoing on all hosting streams.  All other streams offer tough fishing because of cold, low water. If you seek brown trout, no matter where you choose to go: the Madison River (which also offers run-up rainbows), the Gibbon River, the Firehole River below the falls, the Lewis River (anywhere but the steep and dangerous canyon), or the Snake River at the South Entrance, brown trout are migrating. The only problem is that there are more fly-fishers than trout on all of these!  Nevertheless streamer patterns should work well. But for the most heavily visited locations  ( Lewis River Channel, just below Lewis Lake, the Madison River within the park, the Gardner River, the Gibbon River, fish have seen streamers presented by the mass of visitors and may associate them with vibrations and disturbances from wading visitors. So try smaller flies ( bead head nymphs, egg patterns, etc.). Old Lewis River favorites pretty much forgotten these days include the Montana Black Nymph and Bitch Creek Nymph.  They sure worked well decades ago.

For all these streams, please avoid spawning locations: let’s do everything we can to help a successful spawning season, on which future populations depend. Remembering that the Yellowstone Park fishing season ends on the first Sunday in November and winter is just around the corner, you do not have much time left to encounter those big park browns.


South Fork, October 20th, 2020


Above Menan (640x480)

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been reduced to 3160 cfs ( 3640 cfs at Heise, 1910 cfs at Lorenzo). This is great for walk-in fishing and locations for doing so are numerous.  With the wind not quite as fierce as past few days BWOs will be more active. If wet flies are preferred, drop a bead head nymph off a rubberlegs pattern. But to try these approaches, you’d best hurry. Weather this weekend looks to be awfully close to that of winter!


Small Streams, October 17th, 2020

The Blackfoot River below the reservoir is fishing well. Low flows mean that fish are concentrated in deep holes and runs. You will have a good chance for fishing success by presenting streamer patterns anywhere you can find deep water.  If you are a top water enthusiast, the Warm River offers good BWO and midge activity from the spring on downstream.  The Teton River also offers some top water fishing with BWOs and midges being active anywhere you approach it.  Where it flows on the Snake River Plain grasshopper populations have diminished, so streamer fishing might be the best way to encounter larger fish.


Main Stem Snake River, October 17th, 2020

Dropping flows mean more walk-in locations anywhere on the river.   From below American Falls Dam to the South Fork-Henry’s Fork confluence, there are many of these, and we can help with which ones might be best with respect to access and fish activity.   With respect to boat fishing there are several launch locations and also several diversions. We can help with information on each of these.  If you are thinking of a trip here and want  information, call (208-524-7160) or email us ([email protected]). Streamer fishing is the name of the game everywhere on the main stem this time of the year.


Henry’s Lake, October 17th, 2020

These windy days make fishing tough on the lake. It might be best to find a place on the upwind side to fish for the sake of safety. Also get there at first light before it kicks into high gear. Fish are spreading around the lake thanks to our cooler weather, and fishing is good. Using an intermediate line, try any pattern Bill Schiess recommends for this time of the season in his book “Fishing Henry’s Lake.”


Big Lost River, October 17th, 2020

Flow out of Mackay Dam is down to 51 cfs. This is really quite low for the river here and will concentrate fish into deeper water and make for easy wading.  BWO activity is ongoing during afternoons and hoppers are pretty much gone for the year. So resort to presenting BWO life cycle patterns and drifting small nymph and streamer patterns into the heads of deeper holes and runs.  Be ready for “brisk” weather.