South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports (Page 6)

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.

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Henry’s Fork 7-14-18

Twin Bridges Ramp 05-01-11

If you intend to fish Box Canyon, be aware that daytime waterborn recreationists are almost as numerous as those at Mack’s Inn. So for fewer interruptions consider visits scheduled early and late in the day.  Do the same with the lower river (Warm River to Chester)  but for different reasons. Those reasons are the lower flows and warmer weather bringing on rising water temperatures that make fish less active during mid-day. If you want to fish with company, try the Harriman east part of the river where flavs and brown drakes are making for many visiting fly fishers.

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South Fork 7-10-18

 

Lower South Fork

Flow has been stable for days at around 12000 cfs from Heise upstream.   Two nymph rigs (almost any pattern with or without a bead) still working best in riffles. Most of the big stoneflies have gone, but goldens are still around on the upper river.   Caddis, sallies, and PMDs are aquatic insects of note with respect to activity, and any day fish will be keying on their adults as well as on nymphs/emergers. Certainly grasshopper populations are building but it will be in the future before fish take big notice.

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Small Streams 7-10-18

 

 

 

 

Conant Creek

Just a “heads up” on fishing small streams higher up in any drainage.  Many of these headwaters are now dropping to base level. This means larger fish will move downstream to find better overhead cover, deeper water that provides cooler temperatures, and better chances for in-stream food.  We fished the McCoy Creek head waters yesterday and found this situation to be in progress.  We did better downstream where deeper water held more trout to moderate sizes. PMDs and caddis provided mid-day and afternoon fare for foraging trout. Grasshoppers are beginning to populate stream sides here, but fish were yet to key on them big time.  Be aware that thundershowers threaten to shorten time on the water this time of the season.

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Still Waters 7-7-18

Daniels Res

Daniels Reservoir is producing as well as any still water, but Chesterfield Reservoir is coming on with a few very large fish being caught.  For Daniels fish midge pupa deep with an indicator, or watch for fish taking damselflies on the surface.  Speckled dun life cycle patterns are also effective, and these should become more so in the upcoming days.  And remember that a most effective strategy on Daniels Reservoir (see the above pic?) is to fish the mud lines during our ever present windy days.  Use you favorite pattern that simulates a worm.   For Chesterfield leech patterns presented  deep or trolled seem to attract fish, but damsel fly life cycle patterns are effective in bays and such protected from the wind.  24-Mile is fishing OK with speckled dun and damselfly life cycle patterns producing.  Next year its trout will be larger.

 

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Yellowstone Park 7-7-18

03-12-09 South Fork 010

Fall River Basin streams are all in good fishing shape. About the only real hazard is the copious amount of mosquitoes hiding out in the timbered areas.  A good  soaking of DEET on exposed skin helps, but it is a bit distracting to breath in some of these pests. With respect to dry fly activity, remnant gray drakes, sallies, PMDs, and wind blown giant and golden stone flies provide great action on Bechler and Fall Rivers and Boundary, Mountain Ash and Proposition Creeks.  Green drakes, and a bit later brown drakes, will come on soon.  Elsewhere in the park , the Firehole River is warming up to the point that it will be soon tough on resident trout to be caught and played. Caddis and PMDs make for action on the Madison River, brown drakes are appearing during evenings in the meadows of the upper Gibbon River and if you are game enough to carry a flotation device into Shoshone Lake, you will find great action around submerged weed beds if you present leech and small streamer patterns using a full sink line.  Give streams (lower Yellowstone, Lamar, Slough, Soda Butte) in the northeast corner of the park some more time to get into good fishing shape.  The best days to fish Trout Lake this time of year are behind us, but consider coming back in October. Give the Snake River a bit more time to round into best fishing shape.  Some green drakes remain in the meadow reach of Lewis River below the lake and the meadows between Lewis and Shoshone Lakes.

river

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Small Streams 7-7-18

robinson creek3

Almost every small stream in our region now offers good to great fishing.  Exceptions are the lower Blackfoot River, a few streams in the headwaters of the Teton River drainage, and the Teton River in the basin where recreational boating could dominate mid-day hours.  Robinson Creek has to be a favorite this time of year.  With five different salmonid species present ( browns, brookies, cutts, rainbows, and whitefish), the fun of not knowing which will respond to life cycle imitations of caddis, golden stones, PMDs, western green drakes, sallies, and to those of terrestrial insects is hard to beat. True most of these fish are in small to medium sizes, but a few residents of large sizes are present.  There is a lot of activity going on and current interest in our larger waters.  So such as Bear, McCoy, Palisades, Beaver, Crow, Jackknife, Medicine Lodge, Stump, Tincup Creeks and upper Blackfoot, Little Lost, and Warm Rivers  will offer much more serenity.

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Henry’s Fork 7-7-18

Bucky

Big attraction here is the evening brown drake hatch, and it has consequences. Harriman East will see as many fly-fishers as brown drakes emerging.  This will be true especially during evenings, and the river above in Harriman Park and Last Chance will not be far behind.  Flavs, PMDs, caddis and a growing terrestrial insect population will make for good fishing during daytime hours.  With all these emergences going on along this fabled stretch of river, the lower river will see less pressure. Flavs, PMDs, caddis, and a remnant of golden stones will provide action with a building terrestrial insect population and promising to do the same from the lower Mesa Falls access on down.  Another factor in the game of “where to fish” is that the South Fork is coming on big time in offering good fishing.  That long awaited happening and the brown drake hatch, make the lower Henry’s Fork is a good candidate for experiencing less crowding.

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South Fork 7-7-18

Twin Bridges Ramp 05-01-11

Flow out of Palisades Dam is down to 12500 cfs ( 12000 cfs at Heise, 5140 cfs at Lorenzo), and that is slightly less than normal for this date.  Walk-in wade fishing is now safer, and at this flow the river offers more candidates for doing so. Big stoneflies are in the canyon and moving upstream.  Presenting nymphs, rubber legs, and such as SJ worms into deep holes from gravel bars is still a very effective way to fish. Presenting small nymphs, beadhead or not, are working best when fishing riffles. Any day, however, because of the good concentrations of PMDs, sallys, big stoneflies and caddis this will turn around to better dry fly fishing.  Rest assured that boat traffic on the river is increasing and will do so at an accelerating rate as it shapes up to meet its reputation as a great river to fish.

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