South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports (Page 23)

Yellowstone Park 7-25-15

We do not get a lot of information on fishing at the northeast corner of the park, but we have heard that Soda Butte Creek is fishing very well with cutthroat responding to green drake and PMD life cycle patterns. Most of Soda Butte Creek flows along the northeast entrance road, and therefore can become crowded. Crowding increases on approaching the confluence with the Lamar River, so fish upstream from here to minimize company. Speaking of the Lamar River, its also fishing well.  But it is a good idea to check weather conditions before a visit because this river has a reputation of discoloring when thundershowers dump on its drainage above its reach along the highway.  Beula Lake continues to fish as well as any still water in the park. Gulpers are working these, but when wind comes up, switch to small olive or black leech patterns.

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Southwestern Montana 7-25-15

There are now 13 “hoot owl” closures (no fishing 2PM to midnight) on western Montana streams. This closure is applied when in stream temperatures reach levels considered to be dangerous to resident salmonids.  To view closures, go to the Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks official web site.  Then go to Fishing and Waterbody Restrictions and Closures.

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South Fork 7-23-15

Flows continue to drop on the South Fork to now be 9,990 cfs at Irwin. So with more gravel being exposed, I would be more aware of mutant stones hatching and using a Chernobyl Ant. Also, Golden stones along the bank and Pmd’s in the riffles are still constant throughout the entire river system. Fly selection for the South Fork would be mostly dry flies such as: Pink Comparadun size 16 and 18, Super Chernobyl Brown size 10, CFO Flesh Ant size 8 and 10, Harrop’s PMD Captive Dun size 16 and 18, CFO Sally X size 14 and 16.

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Yellowstone Park 7-21-15

Lamar River drainage streams are in great shape now. Strong thundershowers can create erosion that can temporarily discolor water, especially in the Lamar River. Right now morning spinner falls, caddis and diminishing golden stonefly activities, and increasing interest from fish in terrestrial insects provide the ways to best success.

The Snake River is another Park stream that can become discolored because of thunder storms causing erosion.  It seems more overlooked than the Lamar River, but it offers interesting fishing for those taking time to give it a try. This time of year it hosts brown and Snake River fine spotted cutthroat trout as well as whitefish. All these reach trophy sizes. Caddis life cycle patterns, golden stone fly adult patterns, traditional dry attractor (it’s almost sinful not to try humpys on Wyoming waters!) and terrestrial insect patterns and streamers presented in low light conditions bring interest. The Snake River is easily approached from where it exits the Park. Park at the South Entrance picnic area and head upstream on either side of the river. You will encounter a lot fewer anglers than on the Lamar, Madison, or Yellowstone Rivers.

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South Fork 7-21-15

About the only new aspect is that flow out of Palisades Dam is being slowly reduced. It is now just below 11,000 cfs with water temperature at 58 deg. F.  Palisades Reservoir is at 75% of capacity with inflow about half outflow. Fishing remains consistent, so fly pattern and strategy info we have given on recent reports remains good.

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Still Water 7-21-15

Most of our irrigation reservoirs to the southeast are experiencing draw-down. Water in Daniels Res. has dropped, is protected through a conservation pool limit. Twenty-Four Mile Res. is not yet down to “mud flat” conditions, but dropping. Outflow from Chesterfield Reservoir is discolored indicating silt passing the dam. North of us Island Park Reservoir’s west end springs continue to provide action, and Hebgen Lake is seeing some gulper activity. Recently released hatchery rainbows in Harriman Fish Pond will respond as gulpers in the AM to emerging speckled duns. The same is happening at Sand Creek Ponds #1, #4, and Blue Creek Reservoir (Ponds #2 and #3 are not stocked with fish) which are now open to fishing. When wind picks up enough to impact surface and near surface fishing on Sand Creek Ponds, switch to a small black or olive leech pattern. Warm water prevails on Sand Creek Ponds and the Harriman Fish Pond, so take time to fully revive your catch on releasing it.

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Henry’s Fork 7-21-15

This morning flow out of Island Park Dam was increased by 900 cfs to 2000 cfs to test low-head hydro turbines at Chester Dam. Flow will remain at 2000 cfs for two-three days, then at least by Friday, July 24th, should be returned to around 1000 cfs.  Because of this near doubling in flow, take caution while wading and consider that there will be some reaction from fish.  By this coming weekend, fishing success should return to what it was last weekend. By then consider that hopper and other terrestrial insect patterns are going to be increasingly important occupants in your fly box anywhere along the river.

If you wish to get away from the effects of the flow increase, consider trying the river (Henry’s Lake Outlet to some folks) in the Flat Ranch Preserve. Flow out of Henry’s Lake Dam is nearly 100 cfs,and cooling effects on shallow, slow running water through nighttime heat radiation help fish stay active.  Therefore morning spinner falls can bring good responses from them and terrestrial insect activity should interest them well into daytime hours.

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Yellowstone Park 7-18-15

Stealth is the name of the game on all Fall River Basin streams these days. The best time to fish is during days when thunder showers threaten because higher relative humidity brings on denser aquatic insect hatches and clouds mean more overhead cover. However getting hit directly by such a shower isn’t desirable because of discoloring water and bringing on a rapid rise then fall in flow. So hope for a glancing blow or near miss. The bulk of aquatic insect hatches are over on these streams, with speckled duns (#12-14) emerging in the meadow sections, some smaller (#18-22) PMDs, and tricos coming on later. Do not overlook drifting an adult damselfly pattern on the meadow sections, Keep ant and beetle patterns in your fly box, and get those big hopper patterns ready for action.  These thoughts also apply to any meadow stream in the Park, so whether Slough or Soda Butte Creeks or the Lamar or Gibbon Rivers, consider them.  And yes, Beula Lake still offers some of the fastest fishing in the Park.

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Small Streams 7-18-15

With the crowds on our icon rivers, it is a good time to consider visiting some smaller streams. These are usually less crowded, some to the point that you may not encounter another angler during a visit. Be assured that some of these also host trout that rival in size those in the Henry’s Fork, Madison River, and the South Fork.  A few are suitable for float fishing. The river in Teton Basin is barely suitable for drift boating, but better for pontoon boats. Rafts are better suited for fishing the canyon but only in the company of a person knowing the river. Lower Fall River is currently dewatered because of irrigation demands, so is best fished late or early in the day by wading.  The lower Blackfoot River from the dam down to Morgan Bridge can be floated, but is subject to varying flows.  If you prefer walk-in wade fishing, candidates  for a visit are numerous. We keep up as much as possible on conditions on the small streams because so many offer quality fishing with a chance for some solitude as well as great scenery.  Want more information on small streams? Visit the shop, or get in touch because we can help!

 

 

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South Fork 7-18-15

There have been many recent discussions and even front page press ( see Idaho Fall Post Register, Saturday, July 18th edition, or go to the Post Register web site) about the South Fork Reach of the Snake River being crowded. Visits there are for good reason: this is likely the best trout fishery, at least in the western USA. The bulk of anglers visit from 8 AM to late afternoon.  Thus one way to avoid crowds is to launch late in the day. With sunset currently about 9 AM there are a number of shorter floats requiring three to five hours that offer excellent fishing. Fishing this time of day may also require some strategy changes, so get in touch with us (524-7160, [email protected]) or visit for suggested locations and fishing strategy ideas.

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