South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports (Page 31)

Still Waters 7-28-18


Paul Res (2)

Our lengthy hot dry (excluding hit or miss thundershowers) weather has been a main reason for many of our still waters heating up or having an algae bloom.  We had a report of water temperature in Sand Creek Pond #4 being in the mid 70s in degrees F.   Shallower places in Daniels Reservoir have water temperatures around this level. Water temperatures this high will slow down fishing anywhere, and playing fish at these water temperatures can be a death sentence. Might be best in such a situation to wait out these water temps until they reach a level not so tough on fish.


South Fork 7-28-18


Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped to 9750 cfs earlier today and dry fly fishing in the riffles (it’s about time!) has improved much. Presenting PMD life cycle patterns will be effective for riffle fishing. Here are a few we can suggest: Thorax dun, Williams CDC PMD, PMD captive dun, all in size 16, any emerger pattern in size 16, CDC or rusty spinner both in size 16. Also try a #14-16  partridge and olive soft hackle as an emerger.  For sallys try stimulators and CFO-X, both in sizes 14-16.  Elk Hair or X caddis, both in sizes 14 & 16 will work well for fish responding to the afternoon caddis activity.  Grasshoppers, beetles and ants are becoming numerous, so fishing well vegetated banks is also becoming productive.


Yellowstone Park 7-21-18


upper slough (2)

We hear that Slough Creek and the Lamar River, although both flowing a bit high, are fishing  quite well. Daytime PMD, gray drakes, some green drakes, and PM caddis actions are attracting fish. Terrestrial insect populations are beginning to increase but are not yet to their peak.   As fishing improves on these top notch streams, look for the easiest access locations to become crowded.  That suggests trying these waters as soon as possible to beat the sure to come crowds.


Henry’s Lake 7-21-18

Fishing is still slow.  Best chance for any action would be creek mouths including Targhee, Howard, and Duck or any submerged springs. The lake is warming up, and that is a big part of the problem.  Looks like best strategy is to wait until September-October when fishing action will likely pick up.


Yellowstone Park 7-17-18



Bechler Meadows

Warm weather means giving Firehole River resident salmonids a break from the rigors of being hooked and played in warming waters.  Try the nearby Madison or Gibbon Rivers where PMDs, yellow sallies, and afternoon caddis activity are interesting trout.  Big salmonflies have pretty much left the Gallatin River within the park, but terrestrial insect populations are building and caddis are always active during PMs.  Slough Creek and the Lamar River are shaping up with PMD, evening brown drake, and caddis activity interesting trout.  Fall River Basin streams are reducing to base level flows, terrestrial insect populations are building but mosquitoes are still the most numerous insect.


Small Streams 7-17-18

Lower Teton River

Many stories are going around about crowding along our icon waters ( South Fork, Henry’s Fork, Madison, etc). Fortunately we have ways to escape this condition with the regional presence of many smaller quality waters.  Most of these will get you away from those fishing from boats and the increasing crowds of recreationists. If you enjoy fishing from a boat but want to experience less crowding the Teton River offers two locations for doing so (do not consider drift boat fishing in the canyon. There are two unfloatable rapids in the canyon for a drift or hardsided of type boat. It should only be floated in an inflatable and rowed by someone with expert whitewater experience.)  One location for boat fishing is the river in Teton Basin. Expect crowds of recreationists  during daytime hours, so an evening or early AM float will allow you fewer interruptions.  Caddis life cycle, yellow sally, rusty spinner, and terrestrial insect patterns should be in your fly box. Another location is the river from Spring Hollow downstream to either the dam site or the Hog Hollow Road.   Recreational floaters are minimal here. PMD, caddis, yellow sally, grey drake life cycle, and terrestrial insect patterns should populate your fly box.  If you prefer walk-in fishing your choices this time of year are numerous. We can feature some from time to time in this report, but a best way to find the best at a given time is to get in touch or visit the shop.


South Fork 7-17-18

At 12500 cfs

Those  small changes in flow out of Palisades Dam made recently have no impact on fishing.  But the water coming out of the reservoir remains a bit colder than normal for the time of year.  That could be part of the reason for nymph fishing in the riffles  currently being more successful that dry fly fishing. The warmest weeks of summer are here and will be present until mid August, so look for dry fly fishing in the riffles to improve soon.    This is also the time of year when courtesy is important.  Certainly the river is crowded.  Embarking and disembarking boats can require courtesy and patience to minimize problems.  There are plenty of riffles and gravel bars to visit (see the above pic taken when flow at Lorenzo is about 5500 cfs) , so if one of these you like is occupied you surely can find a vacant one downstream.


Still Waters 7-17-18

Sand Creek Ponds 2

Sand Creek Ponds are now open to boat fishing, but we have yet to receive fishing success information to pass on. Anyway, speckled dun and damselfly life cycle  and leech patterns should be in your fly box when you visit. Present these on floating lines in the shallow waters and intermediate lines in the deeper waters along the rip-rap. Early mornings are the best time to avoid crowding at this popular still water.  Horseshoe Lake is another place you can avoid crowding just about any time. A bonus for fishing here is the presence of grayling. Best success at Daniels is to fish midge pupa deep (that means ten to twelve feet) under an indicator.  As all our still waters begin warming during summer look for fish to seek the coolest water. That means look for them to frequent depth, submerged springs, and inlets.


Southwestern Montana 7-17-18

Another grayling

Giant and golden stonefly fly adults on the Madison River are moving through the river in the Hebgen Lake area. So the river there is being heavily fished. Same is going on in Yellowstone Park where the Madison’s PMDs, caddis, sallies, and big stonefly remnant are bringing on fly-fishers in big numbers. Getting away from the crowds is easy if you enjoy fishing Montana’s Centennial Valley waters.  Besides tranquility, the good news here is that grayling seem to be in good numbers in Red Rock Creek.   And they are present in several year classes.  Speckled duns and adult damsel flies are providing interest to Elk Lake cutthroat and Hidden Lake rainbows especially during days with less wind, and Elk Lake Resort is serving scrumptious dinners.