South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports

South Fork 8-22-17

Last Friday flow out of Palisades Dam was raised a few hundred cfs to satisfy downstream irrigation demands. This small amount did not impact fishing, and riffle fishing has been picking up over the past several days.  Look for this most enjoyable South Fork type of fishing to improve as our weather becomes more temperate.

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Yellowstone Park 8-22-17

Yesterday park fisheries personnel began treating the Gibbon River to remove all salmonids above Virginia Cascades including Ice, Grebe and Wolf Lakes. Their plan is to eventually introduce fluvial grayling (those now present are adfluvial) and westslope cutts in that section of the drainage including the lakes.   View more details of this action visit the Yellowstone Park Fisheries and Aquatic Science Program web site.

Currently for most of the rivers worth a visit in the park, presenting terrestrial insect patterns brings the best responses from trout.

This time of the season most sources relate that park still water fishing slacks off. This may be true of such as Heart, Lewis, Shoshone, Trout, and Yellowstone Lakes, but it is not the case with Beula Lake. Right now it offers the fastest still water fishing in the park, and likely in the immediate surroundings. To enjoy Beula Lake you must be willing to drive the somewhat rough Ashton-Flagg Road, walk 2.5 miles to the lake, and either wade the shoreline or carry in a flotation device to fish the entire lake.  Cinnamon caddis, speckled dun, and damselfly life cycle and small leech patterns are the best for getting responses from resident Yellowstone cutthroat trout.  Not many regional fly shops tout this serene lake in the Fall River drainage, but we have “the goods” on it, so get in touch if you are considering a visit to this 107 acre lake.

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Henry’s Fork 8-19-17

No real change here since out last report. One event worth noting is the significant flying ant appearance along parts of the upper river.   So add patterns for these to your terrestrial patterns in that fly box if you fish during daytime.  Otherwise approach is the same: AM spinner fall patterns, terrestrial insect patterns during day time, then caddis life cycle patterns during evenings.

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Small Streams 8-19-17

We have so many small waters that currently will reward you with good fishing action that it is hard to single out any one to recommend.  It’s like being a kid in a candy store. Perhaps the best approach is to contact us to pass on such as which trout species you wish to target, which water type you want to try, your terminal tackle preference, and perhaps your time constraints. That way we can suggest candidate waters to try and an appropriate fly pattern selection.

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Southwestern Montana 8-19-17

If you are looking at fishing the upper Madison River and its West Fork or the Gallatin River and its Taylor Fork, be sure to include spruce fly patterns in that fly box. Certainly there are specific patterns for this insect, but such as an elk hair caddis, small stimulator, or blond humpy work just as well when presented under the same conditions. On most streams the current effective strategy, besides these, is presenting early AM trico spinner patterns, daytime terrestrial patterns, and evening caddis life cycle patterns.

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South Fork 8-19-17

The flow out of Palisades Dam has been essentially constant at around 9000 cfs (about 100 cfs higher at Heise) for about two weeks, so this stability certainly helps fishing success. Finally the riffle fishing is worth trying on most on the river where an off-color (yellow-olive) PMD, #16, is emerging with fish responding.  Hopper-dropper combinations work well when drifted through runs, pockets and into the heads of holes. Some mutant golden stones are appearing on the lower river, so look for this event to move upstream over the upcoming days.  Look for improved dry fly fishing to last well into September when hopefully good BWO and mahogany dun activity will convince trout to look on top for some food.

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Yellowstone Park 8-19-17

For sure such great but easily approached park waters such as the Gibbon, Lamar and Madison Rivers, Slough and Soda Butte Creeks have as many fly-fishing visitors as resident trout. Fall River Basin features streams where the sames strategies apply (current emphasis on presenting terrestrial insect patterns daytime, and trico spinner patterns in the AM, caddis life cycle patterns in later PM) but much fewer fly-fishing visitors.  But Fall River Basin also features Beula Lake which this time of year offers perhaps the fastest fly-fishing in the park.  It is only a 2.5 mile walk off the Ashton-Flagg Road and can be fished from shore to enjoy a Yellowstone cutthroat trout population with individuals ranging to trophy size. Before usual PM breezes kick in, dry fly action through presenting  cinnamon caddis, speckled dun and damsel fly adult patterns around the shoreline can be excellent. Afterwards small leech, and nymph patterns bring the best action.  The Ashton-Flagg road is rough but with care can be traveled by such as sedans.   Like much of the park Fall River Basin is bear country and PM thundershowers are frequent. Other than these for which standard precautions apply, no big dangers exist. Contact us for more information on fishing not only Beula Lake but other Fall River Basin waters whether Beula Lake or the other quality waters within.

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South Fork 8-15-17

Not much change here. Even flow out of Palisades Dam is about the same as last week. Dry fly fishing shows little improvement since then also. It a year with a unusual major situation (lengthy high water period) than recent years.  So we have expect differences, even though the fish are still in residence.

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Southwestern Montana 8-12-17

For the Madison River, same as on the Henry’s Fork: expect best action during early in the day spinner falls and evening caddis activity. Terrestrial patterns along well vegetated banks will be you best bet during day time.  If you fish below the wade only section, whether you are wading or from a boat, expect interruptions from other boating anglers having accents or lingo from all corners of the world.

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Still Waters 8-12-17

The “Fish deep, Fish early, etc”  saying still applies just about everywhere.   The only exception might be for presenting dry speckled dun and damselfly patterns in the event rising fish are spotted.   On most of our reservoirs the top several inches of water are warmer than below and therefore of less comfort when fish move into this level. This suggests that only a dense emergence of these insects will bring fish to the top and that in other situations they are more likely to feed at lower depths on such as nymph, leech, and pupa forms simply because of higher dissolved oxygen concentrations.  Thus be sure to include  these “deeper water” patterns in that fly box even though you may spot fish rising.

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