South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports (Page 17)

South Fork 9-5-17

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been essentially constant (around 9300 cfs) for several days and is a bit higher than were it should be historically.   Clear, and of normal temperature profile (includes warming on going downstream), the river is producing good riffle fishing, but not up to the activity of the past few years.  Concentrating efforts on a particular riffle seems the best way to find action rather than slowly floating through. So anchor the boat and give the rifle a good working over with PMD and pink albert life cycle patterns, or consider leaving the boat behind and wade to available riffles. Casting terrestrial patterns with a bead head nymph dropper back to vegetated banks has been producing. No mahoganies yet, and very few BWOs. Allow a couple of weeks for these to become important.  Another factor in these mayflies emerging in numbers worthy of interest from fish is a cooler atmosphere and some unstable weather.  You can minimize the impacts of these variables by fishing in evenings when good caddis activity brings interest from resident trout and presenting streamer patterns is more effective because of increased cover.

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Henry’s Lake 9-2-17

Two days ago we passed around the south end of Henry’s Lake on our way to Red Rock Pass. The Cliffs, County Park, Hope and Duck Creeks and much of west shoreline were in view. Not a boat in sight!  Pretty much tells the tale of current fishing success on the lake.

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Southwest Montana 9-2-17

It appears that grayling in Red Rock Creek are heading downstream to Red Rock Lake.  Few, if any, remain in the creek above the Elk Lake Road bridge. Flow in the creek is a bit higher that normal, but high daytime air temps have have warmed the creek to the point that these fish are moving out.  Some juvenile cutthroat trout are in the creek throughout. Brook trout concentrate in upstream portions.

The Elk Lake Road bridge over Red Rock Creek is being replaced and a section of road north of the bridge is being improved. Construction is on going with gravel being supplied from a pit just east of the Red Rock Lakes Wildlife Refuge. Flaggers direct traffic over the old bridge and through the section of road being improved. These actions appear to not impact the creek.

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Still Waters 8-28-17

Seems like “slow” best describes overall action on regional still waters this summer, and that makes the reason for so few reports from us. Few visits we have heard of to Chesterfield, Hawkins, Treasureton and Twenty-Four Mile have been very productive (try leech patterns at depth). Likewise, best action at Sand Creek Ponds seems to be during early AM hours (try soft hackle patterns just below the surface). That’s not surprising when reports of mid day water temperatures being as high as in the low 70s degrees F. are frequent here.  Springfield Reservoir has been slow except for those who know where springs enter or are submerged.  Cooler water here acts as a comfort haven, especially for larger fish so dependent on dissolved oxygen content. Daniels Reservoir produces depending on who offers a report. Seems like presenting midge pupa patterns under an indicator works after the taking depth is found.

Consider trying still waters at higher elevations where cooler air predominates.  Aldous Lake is a good candidate if you do not mind walking a mile and a quarter mostly uphill while carrying a flotation device with waders and fins.  Cutts in this small lake responding to speckled dun and damsel fly activity or taking small leech patterns could make it worth the effort. Lower Palisades Lake is a four mile walk  from the trail head with best fishing (try leech patterns) where the inlet enters at the northeast corner. Don’t want to walk that far, you say? Horseshoe Lake is at about 6000 feet elevation and can be reached off the Cave Falls Road by a gravel road good enough with care for passage by a sedan.  The reward is the only roadside grayling population in this part of Idaho. As soon as speckled duns begin emerging, these fish, along with resident rainbows, become active and respond not only to soft hackle patterns just below the surface, but to any dry pattern resembling one of these insects. True, a bragging fish here is about a foot long, but their beauty makes up for size. So use that light weight tackle to best enjoy them.

In any case, cooler weather will arrive as September advances, and the resulting effects on most still waters will bring back the action we have been waiting for.

 

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Big Lost River 8-28-17

We have not received much information on fishing the Big Lost River so far this year. Currently flow out of Mackay Dam is a bit higher than normal at around 350 cfs. Wading with caution is possible at this amount.  Terrestrial insect patterns should work during daytime hours with trico spinner falls during morning hours and caddis evening activity filling out chances for action at other times.

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Small Streams 8-28-17

There was a fair amount of information in the last small streams report, but one item was not present. Last year IDF&G tried to begin a population of kokanee from Big Elk Creek in Bear Creek on the other side of the reservoir.  Has anyone seen these in Bear Creek?

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Small Streams 8-26-17

Several small streams should be on your destination list. For example, the Teton River in the Basin features very good early in the day Trico and PMD spinner falls. These happen before recreational boaters and floaters in big numbers come to the river. Bitch Creek offers cutties responding in tranquility and they can be enjoyed through limited access over private land. Lower Fall River features a great evening caddis swarm with evening dry fly action making up for the usual daytime lull.  Warm River just below Warm River Spring offers dry fly fishing (caddis, terrestrial insect and traditional attractor patterns) with a good chance of solitude. Palisades Reservoir tribs and Palisades Creek currently feature good dry fly fishing through using a variety of patterns from traditional attractor and caddis life cycle to terrestrial insect patterns. The upper Blackfoot River in its meadow sections seems to host half the world’s grasshopper supply, and trout there are taking advantage of them. Looking for a stream that will produce enough brook trout for that Labor Day weekend fish fry? Try Sawmill Creek at the head of Little Lost River. That’s a long way to travel (130 miles from Idaho Falls) so nearby Beaver Creek above the I-15 Stoddard Creek interchange is a good candidate, and in the same area Modoc Creek below Paul Reservoir is another host of numerous aggressive brookies.  Further east over Porcupine Pass West Camas Creek does the same. Towards Island Park, Little Warm River in the Pole Bridge Campground area hosts brookies in good numbers. Toms Creek, feeding into the upper Buffalo River, is another candidate for bagging pan-sized brookies.  Thinking of a visit to these or other great small waters? Visit us, or get in touch for more information.

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South Fork 8-26-17

Flow out of Palisades Dam was increased to 10900 cfs a few days ago, but with flow down below at Shelley at a bit over 2000 cfs,it appears someone between there and Byington is using a lot of water.  Riffle fishing now is as good as that which the South Fork can offer. PMDs (3 tails) and pink alberts (2 tails) are providing the action. Mutant golden stoneflies are beginning to show in place, and well placed hopper patterns (with a small bead head nymph patterns of choice  dropper) aimed back toward well vegetated banks are producing.

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Henry’s Fork 8-26-17

The lower river fishes best during daytime hours when two-nymph rigs are used, especially below Ashton Dam where the river is warmer than above. Not much dry fly action there during daytime unless you present hopper patterns close to the well vegetated banks. Best dry fly action is during evening caddis activity.  Other than AM spinner falls the best fishing on the upper river is found by presenting such terrestrial patterns as ants, beetles and hoppers.

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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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