South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports (Page 20)

South Fork April 10th, 2020

 

Just above Heise Br. (640x480)

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been steady at around 10,000 cfs for several days. However flow out of the dam will be increased to 12,500 cfs later today. This action is making reservoir room (Palisades Reservoir is currently at 85% of capacity) for upcoming run-off and to meet downstream irrigation demands.  The increase will likely put a “temporary dent” in fishing success, so allow a couple of days for fish to adjust and a return being active.

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Today at Jimmy’s April 10th, 2020

So many of roads in our nearby National Forests lead to fishing locations that are superb “social distancing” candidates. Currently deep but diminishing snow remains on most.  It appears that many national forest roads, including such as the Bear and McCoy Creek roads, will not host opening operations until at least the middle of this month.  We will keep in touch with the nearby forest service offices to find when openings of such roads take place.  When openings are confirmed, we will place such information on this web site.

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Henry’s Fork, April 10th, 2020

A good bit of news for the Henry’s Fork  immediately below Island Park Dam is that flow out of the dam has remained above 500 cfs all winter. Annual average flow out of the dam through the winter has been just below 400 cfs.   The higher flow gives more natural bank cover for the youngest of trout to use for shelter thus helping their life expectancy.  They are the future, so the more of them, the better.

Chester Dam b4 redo (640x480)

On the lower river successful fishing is holding steady, so visits whether through boating or wading are on the increase making “social distancing”  more difficult to achieve. Nevertheless solitude can be found especially early and late in the day. Consider using the presentation strategies offered in our recent fishing reports for this part of the river.

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Today at Jimmy’s, April 7th, 2020

Because Idaho non-resident fishing licenses have ceased being issued until further notice, we have received some questions as to whether the same would happen with Montana non-resident fishing licenses. To date such has not happened, so Montana non-resident fishing licenses are still available at Jimmy’s.

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Yellowstone National Park, March 31st, 2020

Effective immediately, Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks are closed to all visitors until further notice.  State highways and/or roads that transcend park/state boundaries and facilities that support life safety and commerce will remain open. Both parks will cooperate on the implementation of the closures. The public will be notified when full operations will resume, and both parks will provide updates on respective websites and through social media channels.

View further details of this closure on the Yellowstone Park web site.  Hopefully this restriction will be lifted in time for the usual opening of Park general fishing season on Memorial Day Weekend.  We will keep watching the park web site for any such change, and if opening of fishing season is allowed, will post such on our web site.

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Henry’s Fork, April 7th, 2020

Fun Farm Bridge (1024x768)

Fun Farm Bridge at Twilight

Below Ashton Dam river flow has been near normal with minor variations not being enough to impact fishing success.  With near constant flow and increasing daylight BWO, midge and increasing March brown  and caddis activities are making presenting their life cycle patterns effective. Add to these streamer and large nymph presentations also being effective, and many fly-fishers are currently attracted to the river.   Thus compared to the South Fork, social distancing is a bit harder to realize, especially around boat launching locations.  Nevertheless, solitude can be realized but especially during early and late hours.  So consider these times for a visit.

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South Fork, April 7th, 2020

 

Above Menan (640x480)

What part of the river?

 

Since April 1st flow out of Palisades Dam has been raised from around 5000 cfs to a bit over 10000 cfs ( now 12500 cfs at Heise, 7900 cfs at Lorenzo).   Palisades Reservoir has dropped to about 85% of capacity and certainly will drop further meaning more flow in the river below.  Consider using the same fly selection strategy we have given in recent fishing reports, and even though we are open on the limited basis we will pass on conditions that impact fly fishing on the river.  With social distancing a best practice during the current crisis, the South Fork, with many walk-in locations, is a top candidate for enjoying fishing without a crowd.   Get in touch with us ( 208-524-7160); we can suggest an number of such locations.

 

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Big Lost River, April 7th, 2020

Flow out of Mackay Dam currently is about 132 cfs, making the river below very approachable for wading.  This flow rate has been near constant for several days, and with warming weather  stream-side ice & snow is disappearing. Midge and BWO activity make presenting life cycle patterns effective and the same can be said for presenting any small or medium sized nymph patterns.  Social distancing is an active part of fly-fishing, so getting out to the water is about as safe an activity around.

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Today at Jimmy’s, April 4, 2020

This notice came into Jimmy’s this morning:

Nonresident licenses, permits, and tags sales temporarily suspended by F&G Commission.

At their April 4 meeting, the Idaho Fish and Game Commission adopted a rule that temporarily suspends the sale of several types of nonresident fishing and hunting licenses, tags, and permits.  The action is effective immediately and lasts until the rule is repealed consistent with relevant state of Idaho public health orders.

The Commission found this rule-making supportive of the protection of public health consistent with the March 25 Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Order to Self-Isolate for the State of Idaho in response to COVID-19. https://coronavirus.idaho.gov/statewide-stay-home-order/

Fishing and hunting licenses, tags, and permits purchased by nonresidents prior to the April 4 Commission action are still valid for existing hunting, fishing, and trapping seasons, which remain in effect.

Nonresident hunting licenses along with currently available nonresident deer and elk tags are not included in the suspension. Nonresidents who purchase a 2020 hunting license may still apply for controlled hunts that will occur this fall.

The Commission action does not affect Idaho residents and there are no new limitations on resident purchase of licenses, tags, and permits or any changes to existing seasons.

Full story and more details: https://idfg.idaho.gov/press/nonresident-licenses-permits-and-tags-sales-temporarily-suspended-fg-commission

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Today at Jimmy’s, March 31st, 2020

March South Fork

The last day of March, and most public agencies are now recommending that outdoor activities, fishing included, are safe to enjoy during these uncertain times because they enhance social distancing. Fly-fishers always prefer social distancing when on the water, and none of us likes to be within six feet of each other (excepting when boating), especially during casting actions!    Also the further we separate from our fellow fly-fishers while on the water, the better the “one that got away” stories become!  So getting out to the water can be a great and safe way the relieve the boredom of being cooped up.

With springtime advancing, more water is becoming approachable. The lower Henry’s Fork is losing stream-side ice and snow each day. BWOs, midges and the beginnings of March brown mayflies make for active top water fishing.  Streamers and any pattern imitating a stonefly nymph bring action if you prefer to fish deeper.  On the South Fork boat ramps are opening up, flow out of Palisades Dam has been near constant for about a week, midges remain active making fishing adjacent to riffles and runs productive, and streamers and fly patterns imitating a stonefly nymph can bring action.  Nearby still waters such a Springfield Reservoir and Jim Moore Pond offer midge activity and nymphing for boating fly fishers.  It is catch and release season on many streams, so consulting 2020 fishing regulations can reveal which can be fished now or when roads open up.   Such as lower Fall and Warm Rivers, the main stem Snake River, Willow Creek (but not its tributaries), the Dry Beds, and the Big Lost River from Mackay Dam downstream are candidates.  We can provide information on fishing all of these, and we welcome you to get in touch for information on any of these and other waters.

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