South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports (Page 44)

Henry’s Fork 5-25-13

 

The big attention getter right now is the giant stonefly “hatch.”  Folks come from far and wide to try for that big fish through using a big dry fly.   So some locations can become quite crowded.  Knowing this, I seek out locations sure to be less crowded.  Yesterday I walked into Hatchery Ford from Highway 20 to fish the west side of the river.  Two fly-fishers had walked in from the east side boat access, but they left early.   Only three boats came by  ( that won’t happen at Box Canyon, Warm River to Ashton or Ora to Chester!) during the time I fished.  Action began just after 2PM when big bugs were warmed enough to fly and deposit eggs.  Some olive duns, BWOs, midges and a number of caddis species were also active, but only small fish responding to them.  I did not catch a big number of fish, but had two “hogs.”  All fish I caught appeared to be in early stages of keying on the big bugs.  None were “full of bugs.”  Based on this experience I recommend that during the next few days Riverside Campground to Hatchery Ford will offer some terrific fishing with adult stonefly patterns whether you fish  from a boat or by wading.

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Yellowstone Park 5-25-13

Yellowstone Park’s fishing season opens today, so it is time to pass on some information on fishing there this time of year. The Firehole River will be the stream drawing the most attention for a while with  legendary BWO and caddis activity  (Don’t overlook presenting  dragonfly and damselfly nymph patterns on slower reaches).   Gibbon River, Duck and Cougar creeks are in fishing condition.  The Madison River will host a few Hebgen Lake rainbows heading home, but better fishing days there are around the corner.   The Ashton-Flagg Road will not open until the end of June, so those great fisheries east of Calf Creek Hill along the Park’s south boundary are not accessible until then. You can walk  into Bechler Meadows and even fish some of Fall River Meadows, but high water will limit you big time.  The best days fishing in the Park are ahead, and we will keep you well informed of their arrival and progress on this web site.

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Warmwater 5-24-13

If you are a warmwater fly fisherman now is the time to get out and really start chasing bass, bluegill, carp, etc….. We have been hearing good reports on the warmwater fishing from all over the area.

 

Bluegill– Although the water is a little lower then what we would typically like to see at Twin Lakes, we have heard of fisherman doing well on bluegill this past week. Any shallow structure you can find in the lake is likely to have bluegill on it. Fish to these fish either under an indicator with small nymph patterns or even try a popper if the fish are aggressive. The Bluegill fishing should continue to get better in the coming week in all of the Preston area reservoirs containing Bluegill.

 

Carp– Any shallow bay on blackfoot reservoir or on the lower Snake is fishing great for carp right now. If you can choose a day to fish, pick a day in which the weather has been consistent a day or two prior. Any of the carp flies we carry in the shop paired with a full floating line will work great on both places.

Bass– Smallmouth in Ririe and the lower Snake are active right now and this is a great time of year to get into a bigger fish. I like fishing crayfish or clouser minnow/baitfish type patterns on an intermediate line. Fishing out of a boat is nice, but not necessary. Right now and the next couple weeks is peak Smallmouth time, so if this is something you like doing or wanna try get out there and do it! The Largemouth fishing really turned on this past week down around Preston. I visited a couple lakes down there and found the bass had moved into very shallow water and for the most part, were very willing to eat. Any bigger leech pattern will work on the largemouth right now. Switch up your retrieve to see what kind of mood they are in. The largemouth fishing will be good all the way through the summer and as it warms up poppers can be a great way to take these bass as well.

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Henry’s Fork 5-23

The Salmon flies are continuing to hatch in good numbers. This cold weather might slow things down a little. The hatch has started to move up the Canyon and bugs can be found at Hatchery Ford. The main portion of the hatch is still below Warm River. Caddis are still present on the river and make a great alternative fly when the trout are not keyed in on the Salmon Flies. We have some awesome patterns here at the shop for imitating both insects.

The water below Ashton Dam to Vernon bridge opens on Saturday morning. This is going to be a great section to float if you one of the first boats down the section. Lots of fish have not seen any flies all winter and they will be eager to eat some Salmon Flies on the surface.

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South Fork 5-22

Just wanted to give you all a heads up on the fishing conditions on the South Fork. Rollin fished yesterday and they caught plenty of fish. He mentioned they caught fish on the riffles and a few on the banks. Egg patterns and San Juan worms were the best flies yesterday. The water clarity is good and the flows are continuing to drop I expect the flows to level out on Friday around 13,000 cfs. If you want to escape the crowds chasing salmon flies on the Henry’s Fork, the South Fork should be a great alternative this weekend.

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Still Waters 5-21-13

Not much change in activity since our last report. Midge life cycle and damselfly nymph patterns are producing on Chesterfield, Daniels, Hawkins and Twenty-four Mile reservoirs.  Try the upper end of Daniels or around the point just west of the boat dock on Chesterfield.  Better days are ahead, especially when damselfly nymphs become active big time.

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Henry’s Fork 5-21

Well if you haven’t heard yet, the Salmon Flies are out in full force. You can expect to see good numbers of these stoneflies from Warm River down to Chester Dam. As the week progresses the hatch will begin to move up stream into Island Park. I am expecting Salmon Flies in Box Canyon for the Holiday weekend. The fish will key into the big dries for a few hours during the day. When the fish are not taking the big flies on the surface, fish with nymphs or try a caddis or Yellow Sallie. Streamers is also a good option for those slow times during the hatch. Remember that the fish gorge themselves on the nymphs and the adult flies. This is also the first major hatch that we see in this area and it brings a lot of anglers to the river. Mixing up the patterns or your fishing technique is a good option for showing the fish something different or interesting. That could make all the difference between a 2 fish day and an epic day. Don’t hesitate to call the shop if you have any questions.

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South Fork 5-21

Flows have begun to decrease on the South Fork. Rollin is fishing it today and will be able to give us a good report tomorrow! Flows are currently at 16,000 cfs and will be dropping this week until they reach a base level around 13,000 cfs. Once this happens the fish will begin to move onto the bank and the riffles. Nymphing is going to be the best option for catching fish right now. Streamers will also be another good option for hooking trout. As things start to warm up in the next few weeks we could see an early Salmon Fly hatch if the reservoir doesn’t fill. We have been told there is sufficient snow in the mountains to fill Palisades, however I am skeptical from what I see in the mountains. If the reservoir does not fill above 60% we will have an early stonefly hatch and the water in August is going to be warm, forcing you to fish early in the morning and late into the evening. Granted this is just a prediction and hopefully (fingers crossed) this will not happen and the lake will fill up.

The flies you need to be fishing the next few days should be San Juan worms, Stonefly nymphs and big bead head nymphs. Weight will be important right now for getting those nymphs to the bottom of the river where the fish are holding. Don’t be afraid to fish split shot and long leaders. In regard to fishing streamers I would still be fishing a slow presentation and making sure I get those streamers as deep as I can with a sink tip line. Switch up fly size and fly color until you find the fish reacting to your streamers.

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Small Streams 5-18-13

We fished Henry’s Lake Outlet above Highway 20 yesterday. What a pleasant day to be out fishing with air temps in the mid 50s, very light breeze, and occasional light rain!  We caught some cutts and a few brookies using medium sized streamers.  Trouble was the fish were not present in big numbers like this time last year.  Big part of the reason for this is the flow out of Henry’s Lake has yet to exceed 61 cfs this season.  Don’t expect fishing to pick up here and down below in the Flat Ranch until an increase in flow brings more fish into the outlet.

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Still Waters 5-14-13

Water in Chesterfield, Daniels, Hawkins and Springfield reservoirs is clear. Being clear suggests that turnover is completed.  Early season fish will really key on chironomid pupa, leeches, and early hatches of callibaetis nymphs. Flies like mohair leeches (Olive, Black, Burgandy) in a size 6, Lt. Olive Crystals, Rickards stillwater nymph, and the brown/black crystal buggers would all be great flies to be fishing right now. For the indicator rig I would be throwing the bigger (size 10-12) chironomids of the flashier variety. We also have some really cool new 1/80 oz black jig flies that would be great to imitate everything from a leech to a snail. Fishing those darker colored leeches on a type 2 full sinking line or an intermediate line is a great way to cover water and find active fish. Once active fish are located, you can continue to fish the leech or drop and indicator rig and get after them that way. Since most of these lakes are lacking any significant amount of weed growth right now, look for shoals or sharp breaks in the lake bottom where fish can cruise searching for food. A fish finder really helps locating breaks in the lake bottom, but shallow breaks can be seen just by looking at the water for a color change. Consistent weather will provide the best fishing right now, this time of year we have a lot of fronts moving in and out of the area that can mess up the fishing for a day or two.

We have a lot of new lake flies in the shop this year, some of them are flies we have never carried. Come down to the shop or call us with any questions you might have on the stillwater fishing in the area!

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