South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports (Page 100)

Henry’s Fork 4-29-14

Now is a good time to visit the lower Henry’s Fork. Flows are slightly less than normal, and look for water temps climb to the mid 40s in deg. F by late afternoon.  A good caddis emergence is ongoing and peaking in the afternoon. BWOs are also emerging during the PM hours, especially if weather returns to what it was last weekend. Then there are the ever present midges. March browns should become significant any day.  Don’t put away those streamer patterns just yet; save them for evening presentations.


South Fork 4-17-14

The flow is up to 10,021 cfs from Palisades dam. Some of the tributaries are starting to rise with the beginning of spring runoff giving the water its customary green spring look. Continue using a rubber leg/glow bug combination for the rainbows. Streamers cast on a full sink or sink tip line will be a good technique in these water conditions.

The great feeder canal is still shut down for maintainance so the flow down to Lorenzo is high.


Stillwaters 4-10-14

To our knowledge, all of the reservoirs south of Idaho Falls are ice free and fish-able. The ice seemed to leave most reservoirs early this year so this should be a great year to get more early season fishing in. We don’t have a lot of reports coming in from the various reservoirs yet, but that should change quickly. We will continue to post updates as things change/improve so check back often.

Chesterfield, Daniels, Springfield Reservoirs– with rising water levels and all the wind lately, water clarity seems to vary at these reservoirs day to day. They are all fishing okay, but it may be best to focus on methods that will let you cover a lot of water. Wind-drifting with a full sinking line is a great way to cover water and find fish this time of year! Concentrate on darker leech patterns like a black/olive crystal bugger in a size 8, purple showgirl size 6, and a black or dark olive mohair leech in size 6. Concentrate on the west end of reservoirs which will be warmer than the east side and try fishing a few different depths until you find fish. Fish are scattered this time of year so covering water is the key to success. The one exception here would be Springfield where its probably still a better bet to concentrate on fishing under an indicator with midge larvae patterns (holo worm size #10, Summer Duck pupa size #12,14 and a black sally in size #12,14 would be my first choices). Larvae patterns and pupa will also fish well on Chesterfield and Daniels if you are on some fish. Things are sure to pick up as the weather continues to warm and stabilize. This can be a very hit or miss time of year but its still better than the ice fishing going on at area reservoirs the past few months!


South Fork 4-8-14

The flow increased today to 4331cfs from 3400 cfs. There will be additional increases of 900 cfs each day through Saturday. Generally increases slow the fishing but on some occasions the increases don’t bother the fish. If you are looking for the tagged rainbows these flow increases cause them to start moving onto the redds. Use egg patterns dropped below a weighted san juan worm or rubber legs for the rainbows. There are usually browns and cutthroats hanging around the redds too.

We have included some photos of the diversion above byington that was modified earlier this year. At lower flows there were some power boats that hit rocks at the diversion but the river is high enough now that there shouldn’t be problem for either power and non motorized boats.

04-06-14 winter spring byington diversion 03404-06-14 winter spring byington diversion 03604-06-14 winter spring byington diversion 038



South Fork 4-4-14

The flow is now at 3,428 cfs at Irwin. With these increases it might take a day for the small amount of moss and debris that is dislodged to drift downstream.  The overall  water clarity will stay good until much higher flows come later in the Spring.


South Fork 3-28-14

Just a quick note about the flows. The Post Register had an article in Thursday’s paper quoting the Bureau of Reclamation about flows on the South Fork. The Bureau said that the flows were increased several times this week with the last increase coming this morning. Today’s increase brings the river to 2130 cfs which is still a low level. Wading is still very easy.

The water will be very clear again in a day or so and the fishing should continue to be good. Just keep using the same patterns mentioned in the earlier posts.


South Fork 3-26-14

The flow on the south fork has increased some this week. It has risen from 900 cfs to 1512 cfs. The increases could slow the fishing for a day but overall the water conditions should be good for a couple of more weeks.

We have had some very good fishing with a pair of tungsten midges in the deep slow pools. On most days there is a good hatch of midges and we have been using a Harrop’s gray Fluttering midge on the top. In the slow deep pools use a full sinking line with a streamer of your choice.

All of the ramps are open with the exception of Cottonwood/Fullmer which is closed until the access road above the closed sign is officially opened next month sometime by the Forest Service.  The water levels at the ramps are good except at Spring Creek where you have to winch your boat a short distance over the gravel at the end of the ramp.




Main Stem Snake River 3/15/14

Many folks are fishing below American Falls Dam these days taking advantage of low flows.  Fish are concentrated in the low water (400 cfs currently coming out of Dam).  But come April first flows out of the Dam will significantly increased spreading fish around and putting an end to easy access. As with below the Dam, best fishing in the river above is through presenting streamer patterns during low light conditions.


Still Waters 3/15/14

Springfield Reservoir is fishing quite well these days. Try a very slow troll for best results presenting your favorite leech pattern. Also midge hatches during early AM and evening bring fish into a feeding mode. Springfield is currently one of our few ice-free reservoirs, so expect a certain amount of boating company.


Main Stem Snake River in Springtime

Snake River.jpeg

 Main Stem Snake River Near Blackfoot

We offered a write-up on the main stem Snake River last year to give some timely thoughts on autumn fishing it offers. It’s time to look at this river again because the early season deserves notice, and that season has limits. So now is the time to consider the main stem between American Falls Reservoir and the Menan Buttes. Best conditions for access would be where ice has left the river edges, and now that is everywhere. Flows throughout are slightly above average now, and water temperatures throughout are in the low forties in degrees F., so  let’s talk strategy, dry and wet.

First is dry-fly fishing, and this revolves mainly around the midge life cycle. These make up the bulk of aquatic insects living in the river. The best times for most numerous emerging insects are during low light days without wind ( if that is possible!), however midges emerge during sun-lit days albeit in reduced numbers. Either way, look for them emerging particularly at the heads and tails of riffles and slower waters. Underneath overhead cover is another location, particularly on windy days. Although it is more fun to present dry adult imitations on the surface, emerger patterns fished in the surface film or just underneath is more effective.   Drift your pattern of choice down to where fish are rising, then raise your rod tip slightly. This action simulates an emerger rising to the surface, and it is sure to attract more attention than just drifting a fly through active fish. It’s the old Leisenring lift that has been around for so many decades. When the river warms up a bit more, look for BWOs to begin emerging  up and down the river.  Hopefully that will happen before irrigation demands interfere.

Now for some thoughts on wet fly fishing. Nymphing can be effective with rubberleg, and bead head versions of just about any nymph. Present them on a floating line in riffles and shallows or on a sink tip line in deeper water.  Keep the line tight in order to feel the strike or use an indicator to visualize the strike.  A compromise between the two techniques is to place a backing section, a couple of feet long, of color (i.e.thirty-pound test in orange, pink, or yellow) contrasting that of fly line being used between leader and fly line and watch any movement of this. Some advocates go so far as to use a waterproof pen to add black stripes to this section.  Nymphing may be furn, but streamer fishing can be more exciting.  Patterns are not as important as presentation, but woolly bugger types and various streamers are effective. Some folks advocate variations of salt water patterns! Presentation means not only where to place patterns, but when to do so. Low light conditions are always the best time for streamer fishing. Low light means more overhead cover, so early mornings and evenings, or overcast days are most likely time when large fish will take the chance for safe forage. Concentrate on the side of the river out of direct light. Look for overhanging cover, sheltering subsurface structure and drop-offs.  Begin at heads of pools and runs. Sweep your fly through or jig it a number of times. If nothing shows interest, go downstream a short distance and repeat your presentation. Continue this method through the run or hole to its end.  A short (few feet) stout leader helps in getting to depth, but if you prefer to present in shallow water even a floating line can present effectively.

Access locations are too numerous to discuss here. From Menan Buttes to the reservoir the are literally several dozen of walk-in locations, and many choices for float fishing.  The best way to make a selection is to visit the shop and discuss locations with us. We try to keep tuned to what is happening on the river. Flows will not remain in the near ideal situation as now. Not too far in the future downstream irrigation will begin and increase flows substantially.  This will  move fly-fishing to the “back burner.” So now is a good time to enjoy fishing the main stem.