South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

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

Southwestern Montana 8-24-19

The best chances for good still water fishing here is the gulper activity of which that on Hebgen Lake is the most renowned. Comparable hatches happen on other regional still waters, and many of those have fewer fly-fishing attendees. Elk, Hidden, Quake, and Wade Lakes are good examples where fewer fly-fishers means more unattended waters to enjoy.


Henry’s Fork 8-24-19


Tom Clark.jpeg

No big change here since our last report.  Terrestrial insects “rule the roost” with respect to attracting trout just about everywhere on the river. Flying ants and trico spinners are coming closer to be available in important numbers up and down the river.  It will take a lot of cooling off and some weeks before the late season BWO hatch begins.


South Fork 8-24-19


SF With Baldy 2 (640x480)

So far it has been a great year for fishing the South Fork, and indications are it will continue to be this way.   Much of this can be attributed to weather, water quality and management of flow out of Palisades Dam. That flow of quality water has been essentially constant for  much of the summer.  Riffles are plentiful and in an amount big enough to spread fishing out up and down the river.  PMDs and pink alberts continue to emerge in great numbers from them, so their life cycle patterns will bring interest from resident trout.  Terrestrial insects are adding to the great riffle fishing especially on the lower river.   Try your favorite, hopper, beetle and ant patterns.  Try double rigs such as a chernobyl variation or hopper pattern of your choice trailed with an ant or beetle pattern.


Small Streams 8-20-19

Bitch Creek

Thanks to the great snowfall we had in the area mountains last winter, most of our small streams will remain in good shape for weeks to come.  Currently some are offering great fishing. Teton River in the basin with PMDs, sallys, and terrestrial insect all feeding trout makes a good choice if you visit around the mid-day recreational boat hatch. Big Elk Creek with its getting so popular PM western green drake activity is another.  Palisades Creek with daytime terrestrial insect and PM caddis activity  deserves consideration.  Both are non-motorized so tranquility reigns. Warm River just below its big spring is another small stream worth considering for a visit.  There are several more quality small waters in out area that offer good fishing combined with scenery and solitude.   If you are looking for this combination, we can offer suggestions.   Just get in touch with a visit to the shop or call (208-525-7160).


South Fork 8-20-19

03-26-13 South Fork Bald Eagle

The good fishing is holding up, but so are the number of boats. Riffles, runs, banks, side channels: pick your favorites. Bring PMD, pink albert, sally life cycle and terrestrial insect patterns. They are all productive these days.  If you are boating, have these along with chernobyl variations, rubber legs, and super renegades.  Mutant golden stoneflies should begin emerging in significant numbers soon.  There have been no significant changes in flow for several days making for  stability in river character.


Henry’s Fork 8-20-19

Significant flying ant and trico activities are just around the corner along the upper river.  For now concentrate on presenting terrestrial patterns during daytime, then switch to caddis life cycle in the evening.  Try hopper- bead head dropper combos in Box Canyon, but be aware of recreational floaters there during mid-day. The same patterns apply to the warmed up lower river: those for terrestrial insects with and without droppers during daytime, those for caddis ( and streamers) during evening hours.


Yellowstone Park 8-20-19

Certainly the best current dry fly option for park streams is to present terrestrial insect patterns.  These should include those for spruce moths especially if you intend to fish near forested areas holding spruce and fir trees. These areas include much of the Gallatin and Madison Rivers within the park.  Other areas where spruce moth patterns are productive include the forested section between Slough Creek’s first and second meadows above the campground and around the campground, Lamar River Canyon, Duck Creek above its meadow, and Yellowstone River flowing through pine forested areas.  Be aware of the thick, stop and go  tourist traffic presently on park roads. Minimizes delays because of it by entering as early as possible.

Areal Beula Hering

Many park still waters are in the summer doldrums. These seem not to impact Beula Lake where Yellowstone cutts remain active throughout summer. You have to “pay some dues” in the form of a 2.5 mile walk off the Ashton-Flagg Road ( no worries about traffic here!) to get there, but inlet and east shoreline walk-in wade fishing or packing in a flotation device will result in a worthwhile experience.  Use speckled dun life cycle patterns, cinnamon caddis adult patterns and your favorite small leech patterns.


South Fork 8-17-19

Flow out of Palisades Dam has risen slightly but will not impact the great fishing the river currently offers.  Planning to use the Spring Creek boat ramp?  Overflow parking is inconvenient, has safety considerations, and rest assured it will get crowded.   So the earlier your arrival, the better.


Still Waters 8-13-19



Mike Miller  at Sheridan

Better days are coming as many of our area still waters, especially those of shallow depth, are experiencing the summer doldrums. Daytimes begin cooling faster and shorten significantly as we get to the end of this month. Cooler water will mean more fish returning to shallow areas, and therefore more easily encountered.