South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports

Small Streams 9-18-18

 

 

 

Catfish grayling (640x480)

We have a most unusual small stream in our area that can offer most interesting fishing. That stream  is Red Rock Creek in Montana’s Centennial Valley, just west of Henry’s Lake.  What makes it so interesting is its grayling population, among which are a few individuals approaching eighteen inches in length.  These fish can be difficult, however, but when found in a feeding mood provide perhaps amongst our rarest of fly-fishing treats. Right now their season in the creek is winding down, so they are retreating downstream to upper Red Rock Lake. They however can take caddis life cycle patterns (#12-18) and small ( nothing bigger than #10, 2x long hooks is advised) terrestrial patterns if in a feeding mode. If you are lucky enough to encounter then release one, be sure to handle it gently and quickly. That is because these unusually beautiful salmonids are in danger of diminishing. By the way, Odell Creek, further to the west, slightly smaller, and ending in Lower Red Rock Lake also hosts these living gems.

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South Fork 9-18-18

At Heise Br. (640x480)

Fishing sure has slowed down up & down the river. Best results, if you can call it such, seems to be for those fly-fishers presenting hopper-dropper ( bead head nymphs of choice) combinations in the canyon stretch.  Flow out of Palisades has been constant for about ten days at around 8100-8500 cfs.  Lower flows are coming, but what is really needed to bring on the BWOs and mahoganies is a stretch of cold stormy weather, and for now none of this is in weather forecasts.

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South Fork 9-15-18

 

South Fork 4

Flow out of Palisades Dam remains constant at about 8500 cfs.  For some set of reasons riffle fishing on the upper river has slowed, but presenting hopper  patterns in close to vegetated banks remains effective, especially on the lower river. Flows below the Big Feeder are around 5600 cfs  ( just about normal for this time of year), so downstream of Heise is best water for finding action. For sure some stormy weather would help bring on the BWO activity everyone is waiting for!

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Main Stem Snake River 9-15-18

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River flow is slightly higher than average for this time of year:  4530 cfs at Shelly, where 3840 cfs is normal flow there.   Nevertheless this begins the time to present streamers for browns beginning to migrate and foraging rainbows. Doing so via boating on this river is more effective than walk-in wade fishing.  You will likely encounter fewer boats than on the South Fork or on the lower Henry’s Fork. Low light conditions will be best for this, meaning first light or evening. Stormy conditions will be another good time, if we ever have some storms!

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South Fork 9-11-18

Fall Cr. Falls (640x480)

No changes in flow out of Palisades Dam in the last several days.  Presenting hopper patterns from the old Joe’s Hopper to current chernobyl types is best way for dry fly fishing success all along the river. Any day now BWOs will become important. Bad weather would bring them on sooner. Try a streamer or two if you find low light conditions.

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Yellowstone Park 9-11-18

fallriver (2)

If you are a dry fly enthusiast, presenting hopper patterns is the way to success especially on any Park meadow stream. Watch the Park weather reports before you venture to the northeast corner. Recent storms have discolored the Lamar River. Slough and Soda Butte Creeks are less likely to discolor, but they too can become quite crowded at or near roadside locations.  At the southwest corner of the park you will not find crowded fishing on Fall River Basin streams, and they are unlikely to discolor.  AM trico activity compliments the daytime use of hopper and other terrestrial insect patterns there. The Firehole River is cooling off, and BWO life cycle, terrestrial insect, white miller, and soft hackle patterns will work and do so even better during stormy periods.  If you are a streamer enthusiast, the Madison River is now hosting run-up browns and ‘bows from Hebgen Lake. Best times to encounter them is during low light periods.  Are you looking for a small stream that offers fast action? Try Obsidian Creek or any other stream in the upper Gardner River drainage.  Are you looking for the best still water fishing in the Park? Nowhere beats Beula Lake this time of year where small leech, small beadhead nymph and cinnamon caddis patterns bring action.

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Stillwater 9-10-18

Most the stillwater fishing in the area would be classified as “Fair”.  The best stillwater fishing the last couple weeks has been at Hebgen. We are still hearing of some gulper fishing, but the indicator and slow sinking lines have been taking a fair amount of fish too. Smaller leeches and Callibaetis nymphs would be what I would start with. Folks are having decent fishing on Daniels, Chesterfield, and Springfield Reservoirs, but nothing crazy yet. I think all three are ready to open up and start fishing very well as soon as we get some colder weather. We have heard Chesterfield has a mild algae bloom, but it should totally dissipate as the weather starts to cool. When it does chironomids and leech patterns should be very effective in the shallows all around the lake. Like our Henry’s Lake report mentioned, I would strongly recommend having at least 3 different lines with you to fish our area stillwaters. On the reservoirs outside of Henry’s Lake, I would recommend having a floating line set up for indicator fishing and dry & dry dropper set ups. The Rio Gold has been our best selling floating line and performs perfect for the tasks mentioned. Second, I would have an intermediate sinking line for fishing the 3-8ft depth range that we commonly fish on the southern reservoirs. We have a few different options for intermediates in the shop, but the SA frequency and Cortland Clear Camo line seem to be the best performers. Last, I would have either a type 3 or type 4 for those days where things just aren’t happening in the shallows and you really need to get down to the fish. Here I would recommend either the SA wet cell type 4 or the In touch Deep 3 from Rio. The intouch deep 3 from rio has the new “non stretch” core that really transmits feel and strikes better than any full sinking line I’ve used before.

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Henry’s Lake 9-10-18

If you wait all season to hear a report of Henry’s Lake picking up, you may miss the fall season completely. Numbers appear to be down considerably on the lake, but the size of the fish is more than making up for it. There have been many large hybrids caught this season by folks paying their dues and if you want to have your shot at one, I’d go sooner rather than later. There hasn’t been any one area that has been on fire, I’d pick a spot on the west or south shore in 6-10ft of water and fish hard. Fly choice doesn’t seem to be too important, I’d stick with all the traditional mohair leeches and crystal buggers in sizes 6 & 8. This fall, its going to be about putting your time in at the lake. Make sure you have an assortment of fly lines with you as depths your fishing and depths the fish cruise can vary throughout the day. We’ve been having success with the new SA frequency type 1 line for the shallows, the cortland clear camo intermediate for the 5-8ft range, and the revamped SA wet cell lines for the deeper water. We get folks in all the time asking for the best “do all” line for Henry’s and the honest answer is none. You really need 3 lines minimum to effectively cover your bases on the lake, any less and you leave yourself the chance of being unprepared for certain situations. We have all the lines above in stock at the store and would be happy to help answer any questions and get you set up for your trip. We have a few guys fishing it weekly in the shop here, so check back with us for updated reports.

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Still Waters 9-8-18

 

Daniels Res

Daniels Reservoir remains offering the best still water fishing to the south. Try midge patterns deep under an indicator, or small leech patterns in shallow water. If wind muddies shorelines through wave action, present those leech patterns close to the clear-discolored water interface.

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Small Streams 9-8-18

Bear Creek reduced

Smaller streams are now mostly at base level. That means concentrate fishing efforts on deepest downstream water. Terrestrial insect patterns will be effective, even for days after a killing frost. In the smaller category Bear, Birch, Palisades, and Big Elk Creeks currently offer the best fishing.  Larger small streams offering good fishing are the Teton River throughout, lower Blackfoot River (still a bit high with nymphing and presenting streamers best ways to find action), and Warm River (BWO, hopper, and caddis activity).

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