South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports (Page 18)

Small Streams, April 25th, 2020

robinson creek3

Eastern Idaho received a higher than normal amount of snow last winter.  Now that our weather is warming significantly, run-off in large proportions is here. Examples include the Willow Creek and upper Blackfoot River drainages with both having some flood potential. The upper Blackfoot River drainage and Willow Creek tributaries do not open to fishing until July first, but their run-off situations provide what to expect on eastern Idaho streams draining high country and being open for catch and release fishing.  Many of these streams are currently unreachable until roads are passable but can provide good fishing when run-off subsides.   The best way to find when such roads open is to contact local National Forest ranger district and BLM offices.


South Fork, April 25th, 2020

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been  steady at around 13800 cfs for about a week (Now 16200 cfs at Heise, 10900 cfs at Lorenzo).  The river is flowing clear and cold for now.   Big nymphs, rubber legs, and streamers with midge life cycle patterns in calmer waters being a good choices for success. Palisades Reservoir is about 70 % full making room for certain upcoming run-off thanks to our warming days.


Henry’s Fork, April 25th, 2020

Flow out of Island Park Dam has been raised from around 550 cfs to nearly 900 cfs.  This flow is not carried down much to the lower river where flows are a bit above normal for this time of year.  Fishing on the lower river is good ( BWO, March brown, midge, caddis  small stonefly life cycle patterns and streamers) except for windy days when anything emerging onto the surface is blown away before fish have a chance to raise to them.


Still Waters, April 25th, 2020

Daniels Res

The road from Hawkins Reservoir over to Daniels Reservoir is now open.  Good midge pupa fishing is ongoing at Daniels on finding the taking depth which varies depending on location.   Damselfly nymph and small leech patterns should work well in areas where weeds are beginning to grow.  You will see some out of state anglers here. Hopefully they have purchased fishing licenses before April 4th.

Hawkins Reservoir also offers good fishing, but social distancing at the dam, adjacent boat ramp, and nearby campground can be chancy.  Of course, no such problem exists when out on the water.  There are some flotation device launch sites, primitive as they are, along the highway paralleling the north shore.  Use the same presentation strategies suggested above for Daniels Reservoir.


South Fork, April 20th, 2020

Flow out of Palisades Dam was tweaked upward to 14000 cfs (now 16000 cfs at Heise, 11700 cfs at Lorenzo). Flow remains well within the range of that for summer, so keep the fishing strategy recommended for the river in our recent reports.


Today at Jimmy’s, April 21, 2020

F&G Commission amends earlier decision and allows more nonresident license, tag and permit sales.


The Idaho Fish and Game Commission on April 9 amended its previous ( April 4th) decision to temporarily suspend sales of some nonresident licenses, tags, and permits to also allow nonresident sales under specific situations, including with respect to fishing:

  • Allow people who moved to Idaho to establish residency less than 6 months ago, or who have not gotten an Idaho driver’s license as required within 90 days of Idaho residency, to still purchase a nonresident license under these conditions:

1. Person produces an Idaho driver’s license, or Idaho Identification Card, issued by the Idaho Transportation Department, or a person produces two documents issued by a third party showing name and Idaho residence address, such as rent, mortgage receipts or utility bills.

2. Person signs a declaration demonstrating bona fide intent to become an Idaho resident.

People who are eligible to buy license and tags under these criteria must contact a Fish and Game regional office  or headquarters via phone to arrange for the purchase of eligible nonresident items.  This action cannot be performed by license vendors.


Big Lost River, April 18th, 2020

Flow out of Mackay Dam has been constant at around 130 cfs for at least a week.  This makes for good wading conditions and consistent BWO and midge activity. However look for flow out of the dam to increase when irrigation water demands begin.  Run-off from such as Copper Basin, sure to increase, will also impact flow out of the dam.


Still Waters, April 18th, 2020

Currently Daniels Reservoir is as good a place as any for good still water fishing with chironomid activity providing the bulk for such. Take time to find the taking depth which could vary depending on location. Damselfly nymph and small leech patterns also produce.    If the wind comes up, be sure to try around the shoreline discolored water where food items are washed out by erosion. The same applies to Hawkins Reservoir which is easier to reach, especially because we do not know for sure if the road from there over to Daniels Reservoir is open. One thing is certain for both reservoirs is that there will be less out of state fishing visits for the immediate future. Springfield Reservoir remains a convenient still water to try, but successful fishing there seems to be a day by day happening. Try midge pupa patterns, but find the taking depth. Small black or purple leech patterns also seem effective.


Henry’s Fork, April 18th, 2020

Social distancing is a bit tougher to find at launch sites on the lower river. That is because currently some of the best fishing in the region can be found there.  Sun shiny days, like those coming up until mid-week, will dampen the BWO activity a little, but March browns, caddis and midges will provide surface and near surface action from life cycle patterns of each.  Streamers remain effective under low-light conditions and as we advance past April, large stonefly nymph patterns will be increasingly effective.


South Fork, April 18, 2020

From Cpgd (640x480)

Flow out of Palisades Dam was increased to 13500 cfs yesterday ( now 15500 cfs at Heise, 12200 cfs at Lorenzo).   These flows remain in the range of what is expected during summer, and all boat launch sites are open. Palisades Reservoir is now about 75% full to contain upcoming run-off.  The river has clear, cold water throughout making streamers and large nymph patterns (Bitch Creek, Montana nymph, etc) and rubber legs, best bets for successful fishing.  Try trailing a San Juan worm, squirmy wormy, or otter egg behind a big nymph or rubber legs.