South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

Contact us for up to the minute fishing reports and conditions.
208-524-7160
Top

Fishing Reports

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

Henry’s Fork 9-9-17

As with the South Fork, significant BWO and mahogany dun hatches on the lower river will happen later in this month.  During daytime visits here presenting terrestrial insect patterns is the best way to attract fish.  While fishing from a boat, trail that hopper pattern with a favorite bead head nymph. And as with evening visits to the South Fork, observe shallow waters for bait fish concentrations.  Such a presence is a clue that streamer patterns will attract larger fish moving in around sunset to forage on these. The Last Chance-Harriman section of the river features AM trico and speckled dun spinner falls, while daytime success is best met through presenting terrestrial insect patterns.   While fishing  during late evenings, consider drifting a hair mouse pattern along vegetated banks. You may not interest many fish, but the one(s) you do will surely be very large. On doing so, you can get away with using a heavier tippet making it a bit easier to play that big fish entering the now copious weed beds present in the river.  It is the time of year when good fishing in the Henry’s Lake Outlet section begins to fade.  Even though flow out of Henry’s Lake remains a bit above 100 cfs, warm water temperatures are present. This means larger fish will begin migrating downstream to cooler water in the Henry’s Fork just below Big Springs.  Many fly-fishers overlook the river between the Big Springs-Henry’s Lake Outlet confluence and below because of the numbers of recreational boaters. An evening visit to this stretch of water avoids conflicts with these folks and increases your chances that a well-placed streamer will bring up a very large resident trout.

Share

Small Streams 9-9-17

It is the time of year when many of our small tributary streams are at or approaching base level flows.  This reduces overhead cover, so combined with warm late summer and early autumn daytime temperatures, many resident trout begin moving downstream to larger waters which provide better overhead cover and cooler temperatures.  This does not impact our “larger” small streams, such as Big Lost, Blackfoot, Fall, Teton and Warm Rivers as well as Birch, Bitch, Little Lost, Medicine Lodge and the larger South Fork-Palisades Reservoir tributaries. Such as Burns, Robinson, Jackknife, Lanes, Rock, and Tincup Creeks are among those seeing this migration. Thus, if you enjoy streams such as these, the best of what their smaller reaches offer with respect to fishing action will diminish as we advance into autumn.

Share

South Fork 9-9-17

Stable flow out of Palisades Dam (around 9000 cfs) helps keep fishing success stay relatively constant. It’s a bit early in the month for BWOs and mahoganies to be important, so continue presenting bead head nymphs of choice in riffles until rise forms from PMDs and alberts appear in good numbers meaning emerger and dun patterns will become effective. Pitch hopper-dropper combos from boats back toward vegetated banks.  While wading around shallows later in the day, look for baitfish concentrating there. This is a tip-off that larger trout will forage on these as sunlight leaves the river.  Thus if you are on the river during evenings, streamer patterns become effective when presented near shallows as the sun sets. Patterns in somber colors (olives, browns, and ultra-violet end of the spectrum shades) are best this time of year.

The Jackson Hole One Fly Contest is ongoing along the river. No more than eight boats per section will be participating. So crowding is not an issue. This great event deserves support from all fly-fishers. Go to the Jackson Hole One Fly Contest web site to see details on organization, schedule, and purpose.

Share

South Fork 9-5-17

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been essentially constant (around 9300 cfs) for several days and is a bit higher than were it should be historically.   Clear, and of normal temperature profile (includes warming on going downstream), the river is producing good riffle fishing, but not up to the activity of the past few years.  Concentrating efforts on a particular riffle seems the best way to find action rather than slowly floating through. So anchor the boat and give the rifle a good working over with PMD and pink albert life cycle patterns, or consider leaving the boat behind and wade to available riffles. Casting terrestrial patterns with a bead head nymph dropper back to vegetated banks has been producing. No mahoganies yet, and very few BWOs. Allow a couple of weeks for these to become important.  Another factor in these mayflies emerging in numbers worthy of interest from fish is a cooler atmosphere and some unstable weather.  You can minimize the impacts of these variables by fishing in evenings when good caddis activity brings interest from resident trout and presenting streamer patterns is more effective because of increased cover.

Share

Henry’s Lake 9-2-17

Two days ago we passed around the south end of Henry’s Lake on our way to Red Rock Pass. The Cliffs, County Park, Hope and Duck Creeks and much of west shoreline were in view. Not a boat in sight!  Pretty much tells the tale of current fishing success on the lake.

Share

Southwest Montana 9-2-17

It appears that grayling in Red Rock Creek are heading downstream to Red Rock Lake.  Few, if any, remain in the creek above the Elk Lake Road bridge. Flow in the creek is a bit higher that normal, but high daytime air temps have have warmed the creek to the point that these fish are moving out.  Some juvenile cutthroat trout are in the creek throughout. Brook trout concentrate in upstream portions.

The Elk Lake Road bridge over Red Rock Creek is being replaced and a section of road north of the bridge is being improved. Construction is on going with gravel being supplied from a pit just east of the Red Rock Lakes Wildlife Refuge. Flaggers direct traffic over the old bridge and through the section of road being improved. These actions appear to not impact the creek.

Share

Still Waters 8-28-17

Seems like “slow” best describes overall action on regional still waters this summer, and that makes the reason for so few reports from us. Few visits we have heard of to Chesterfield, Hawkins, Treasureton and Twenty-Four Mile have been very productive (try leech patterns at depth). Likewise, best action at Sand Creek Ponds seems to be during early AM hours (try soft hackle patterns just below the surface). That’s not surprising when reports of mid day water temperatures being as high as in the low 70s degrees F. are frequent here.  Springfield Reservoir has been slow except for those who know where springs enter or are submerged.  Cooler water here acts as a comfort haven, especially for larger fish so dependent on dissolved oxygen content. Daniels Reservoir produces depending on who offers a report. Seems like presenting midge pupa patterns under an indicator works after the taking depth is found.

Consider trying still waters at higher elevations where cooler air predominates.  Aldous Lake is a good candidate if you do not mind walking a mile and a quarter mostly uphill while carrying a flotation device with waders and fins.  Cutts in this small lake responding to speckled dun and damsel fly activity or taking small leech patterns could make it worth the effort. Lower Palisades Lake is a four mile walk  from the trail head with best fishing (try leech patterns) where the inlet enters at the northeast corner. Don’t want to walk that far, you say? Horseshoe Lake is at about 6000 feet elevation and can be reached off the Cave Falls Road by a gravel road good enough with care for passage by a sedan.  The reward is the only roadside grayling population in this part of Idaho. As soon as speckled duns begin emerging, these fish, along with resident rainbows, become active and respond not only to soft hackle patterns just below the surface, but to any dry pattern resembling one of these insects. True, a bragging fish here is about a foot long, but their beauty makes up for size. So use that light weight tackle to best enjoy them.

In any case, cooler weather will arrive as September advances, and the resulting effects on most still waters will bring back the action we have been waiting for.

 

Share

Big Lost River 8-28-17

We have not received much information on fishing the Big Lost River so far this year. Currently flow out of Mackay Dam is a bit higher than normal at around 350 cfs. Wading with caution is possible at this amount.  Terrestrial insect patterns should work during daytime hours with trico spinner falls during morning hours and caddis evening activity filling out chances for action at other times.

Share

Small Streams 8-28-17

There was a fair amount of information in the last small streams report, but one item was not present. Last year IDF&G tried to begin a population of kokanee from Big Elk Creek in Bear Creek on the other side of the reservoir.  Has anyone seen these in Bear Creek?

Share

Small Streams 8-26-17

Several small streams should be on your destination list. For example, the Teton River in the Basin features very good early in the day Trico and PMD spinner falls. These happen before recreational boaters and floaters in big numbers come to the river. Bitch Creek offers cutties responding in tranquility and they can be enjoyed through limited access over private land. Lower Fall River features a great evening caddis swarm with evening dry fly action making up for the usual daytime lull.  Warm River just below Warm River Spring offers dry fly fishing (caddis, terrestrial insect and traditional attractor patterns) with a good chance of solitude. Palisades Reservoir tribs and Palisades Creek currently feature good dry fly fishing through using a variety of patterns from traditional attractor and caddis life cycle to terrestrial insect patterns. The upper Blackfoot River in its meadow sections seems to host half the world’s grasshopper supply, and trout there are taking advantage of them. Looking for a stream that will produce enough brook trout for that Labor Day weekend fish fry? Try Sawmill Creek at the head of Little Lost River. That’s a long way to travel (130 miles from Idaho Falls) so nearby Beaver Creek above the I-15 Stoddard Creek interchange is a good candidate, and in the same area Modoc Creek below Paul Reservoir is another host of numerous aggressive brookies.  Further east over Porcupine Pass West Camas Creek does the same. Towards Island Park, Little Warm River in the Pole Bridge Campground area hosts brookies in good numbers. Toms Creek, feeding into the upper Buffalo River, is another candidate for bagging pan-sized brookies.  Thinking of a visit to these or other great small waters? Visit us, or get in touch for more information.

Share