South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports (Page 39)

Big Lost River 7-2–13

With flow out of Mackay Dam still close to 500 cfs, wading is limited.  The flow is sure to drop, and make for easier wading to meet flav and terrestrial insect and later trico activity.  Floating the river to fish is possible, and caddis, PMD, flav life cycle patterns will work. Likely some golden stoneflies remain. We will post decreases in flow here as soon as such happens.

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Yellowstone Park 7-20-13

We offer much information about meadow streams such as in Fall River Basin, along upper Slough Creek, and Pelican Creek which is on the rebound.  Size of the fish, scenic beauty, and solitude make these places among the most enjoyable that can be visited. For many anglers seeking meadow streams, however, the problem is the long walks required to reach the best waters on these.  Let’s suggest some meadow streams that do not require hours of walking to and from.   The Lamar River above the canyon is fishing well now.  So are the Gibbon River in meadow reaches above the canyon, lower Slough Creek, and the Lewis River below the Falls and adjacent to the South Entrance highway.  Very large trout reside in each of these, and for each of these waters you need to be stealthy and knowledgeable with respect to approach. Terrestrial patterns, PMD life cycle, damselfly life cycle, patterns for diminishing brown drakes are  best for now, and in these warm, bright days the axiom “fish early, fish late” applies.  But being adjacent to major roads means that many anglers will accompany you on each of these. So we offer a meadow stream on which you cannot expect little or no company, is  in beautiful country, hosts a variety of very large trout, and requires a minimal walk.  Want to read more about this water? Go to our Articles page and read about Duck Creek in Yellowstone Park.

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Small Streams 7-20-13

This time of year fishing small streams can be a “mixed bag.” With warm, bright days open reaches can be extremely difficult because of the lack of overhead cover making fish either extremely wary or avoiding such locations. Thus concentrate your efforts where there is overhanging brush, undercuts, sweepers, and just below in-stream structure. Several small streams are good fishing now.  This really applies to the South Fork and Palisades Reservoir tributaries; Palisades, Rainy, Big Elk, McCoy, and Bear Creeks.  Take your favorite ant, beetle, hopper, caddis and PMD patterns. Concentrate on the slower water having overhead cover, and each of these streams will have plenty of such. Look for flavs to begin emerging at a significant rate soon on most of these streams making for fabulous afternoon fishing.  Cutts in some of these streams rival those in the South Fork for size, and you will encounter a lot fewer anglers on these waters.  Another water type to concentrate on is beaver ponds, particularly those with deeper areas and cover in the form of willows and well vegetated banks.  Upper reaches of McCoy Creek, the Willow Creek, the Little Lost River drainages, and Idaho’s Salt River tributaries have numerous beaver ponds. For sure, leech patterns are the most effective to use, but submerged vegetation limits their use this time of year, so go with dry damselfly and terrestrial  patterns.  We have more  information that we can place here on the great variety of small waters in the region, so it might be best to come in and discuss with us ones to visit.

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Yellowstone Park 7-13-13

Bechler Meadows opens to horse traffic on July 15th.   With the river dropping and ultra-clear, successful fishing will be tougher than any place around.  So if you want to test your dry fly skills, this is the place. If you are in the meadows and want action for sure, try Boundary Creek. The fish are smaller to be sure, but there are some large enough to be a credit anywhere and surprise you.  Start relying on your favorite small (#18) PMD patterns.  Hoppers are several days away in the meadows, but ant, beetle, and deer or horsefly (try the “out of style” humpy in size12) patterns, gently and precisely placed, will work.

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Yellowstone Park 7-9-13

Watching Fall River flow gauges and regional weather reports convinced me that it was time to head to Fall River Basin yesterday for some dry fly fishing.  I could not have timed it better as the river in Bechler Meadows was in perfect shape for such fishing, with a sky filled with cumulus clouds, higher than normal relative humidity, and only a slight breeze. PMDs began emerging (only a few green drakes, however) about lunch time and kept going until high winds put them down just after 4PM.  Before that fish responded with gusto.  I was a bit  “out of style” by using a #14 blond humpy, but the fish did not care.  More proof that it is not so much the particular fly used, but how it is presented.  Good dry fly fishing should remain in all Fall River Basin streams for several days now, given partly cloudy and relatively humid conditions prevailing.  Look for the same on similar Park waters including Slough Creek, Lamar River, meadow reaches of the Lewis and Gibbon Rivers, Pelican Creek, and Duck Creek. But avoid the bright, cloudless, and dry days for best fishing success on such waters.

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Small Streams 7-6-13

Flavs are making their significant appearance on the Henry’s Fork around Last Chance where they are famed for bringing up big rainbows. But do not think of flavs as only a “big stream” mayfly. They also live in appropriate (quality moving water with gravelly substrate) small streams. I have fished them on eastern Idaho’s Salt River tributaries this time of year.  Eventually flavs will be emerging from Bear, Big Elk, McCoy, and Palisades creeks, the Big Lost River and other local waters. Yesterday they were coming off from Birch Creek  in enough numbers that every trout there seemed to be rising.

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Henry’s Fork 7-6-13

Folks at Henry’s Fork Anglers (HFA) tell us that brown drakes are well past their peak, but flavs are coming on through the Harriman State Park reach of the Henry’s Fork. It’s mostly a PM event.  So pay HFA a visit for the best current information, and also visit a Last Chance eatery for that hearty lunch to fuel up to meet those big afternoon rainbows taking flavs!

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Still Waters 7-6-13

“Fish Early, Fish Late”  really applies to the reservoirs these days.  With so many being drawn down to meet irrigation demands water has warmed to a point that fish are active at times of most overhead cover (twilight) and when there is any cooling. Concentrate your efforts around weed beds, submerged springs, and inlets. Your favorite damselfly nymphs and midge pupa patterns work best, as usual, but think of trying dry damsel patterns, but when you do remember: “Fish Early, Fish Late.”  Consider that speckled duns are becoming numerous to attract feeding. If you do not see rises to these, go to nymph patterns. Most consistent locations right now, you ask? Twenty-Four Mile and Daniels reservoirs seem most consistent in the lower valley.  One of the better locations in the upper valley would be Aldous Lake if you do not mind walking  a float tube for a bit more than a mile. Cutts there will be taking damselflies on the surface and very soon the same for speckled duns. If you prefer a drive-to location try Horseshoe Lake off the Cave Falls Road, but remember that a braggin’ fish there is a 15-inch rainbow or a 12-inch grayling.  Want big water? try Island Park Reservoir, but head for Trude Springs with your bloodworm patterns.  Come into the shop, and talk with us for more details.

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Yellowstone Park 7-2-13

It is time to consider the evening brown drake hatches on Duck Creek and the upper Gibbon River.   Best time for either is late evening to twilight.  Duck Creek holds the larger fish, and will be the least crowded of the two.  This warm weather signals a decline in salmonid activity on the Firehole River. Many of the fish will seek out cooler water where tribs enter or go into the tribs fo relief.

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