South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports (Page 62)

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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Small Streams 5-14-13

Last Friday we fished the Blackfoot River about twenty miles below the dam.   On arriving we knew fishing success would be difficult as we geared up in a very dense caddisfly swarm.   They would fly into your eyes and ears and cover your clothing.  The river was in good wading condition, a bit discolored, and with a water temperature in the mid 50s deg. F.   We finished the day with only three fish landed. These responded to such as prince nymphs and small bead head peacock leeches.  One was a gorgeous twenty-inch cutt, so all was not lost.  Lesson learned: when such a swarm of aquatic insects is encountered, expect slow fishing.   Being in water “24-7”, fish will respond to such activity quickly and feed until filled up.  If an angler arrives near the beginning of such feeding action, good fishing results. If arriving later when fish stop feeding, as we did, expect reduced success.

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Henry’s Fork 5-14

Fishing has continued to hold steady on the Henry’s Fork. Good hatches of Blue Wing Olives and March Browns on the upper river in Box Canyon. Warm River to Ashton and Vernon bridge down have had excellent hatches of Caddis and March Browns. The fish have been looking and eating dries. Nymphing and streamer fishing have also been very effective. If I were to nymph and I would be fishing 2 large and  heavy stonefly nymphs close to the bank. I am predicting we are still at least 10 days from seeing a Salmon Fly hatch. However I could be wrong and things might begin to happen earlier with this warm weather we have been experiencing. Regardless of the hatch the fishing has been really good and the Henry’s Fork is about to turn into it’s prime time for fishing.

They are still doing construction on the Fun Farm boat ramp, however you can still take a boat out at Fun Farm. With the flows up on the Fall River, we don’t recommend floating below Chester Dam until runoff on the Fall is over.

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South Fork 5-14

Flows are going up on the South Fork! As of yesterday the flows were increased and will continue to increase until they reach 18,000 cfs on the 18th of May. Once this is sustained for a couple days the flows will drop to it’s normal summer flows around 13,000 cfs in time for Memorial Day weekend. Apparently we have enough snow pack in the mountains that they feel we can have a flush this year. The reservoir is only 43% full right now but the inflow into the lake is rising very quickly.

We don’t advise floating the river during the flush due to all the trees and debris that will be floating down the river. Time to focus on the Henry’s Fork for a week to 10 days.

Here is the press release from the Bureau of Reclamation:

Snake River Flows Increasing to Benefit Native Fish

BURLEY, Idaho — The Bureau of Reclamation will increase flows in the Snake River below Palisades Dam this week to about 18,000 cubic feet per second (cfs). Each day, starting May 13, the flow will increase about 15 percent until the maximum is reached on May 18. After the high flow is sustained for two days, it will be slowly decreased. The flow will return to the 30-year average of about 13,000 cfs during Memorial Day weekend.

“One objective of this operation is to approach 20,000 cfs at the gage near Heise, approximately 48 river miles downstream of Palisades,” said Roland Springer, Assistant Area Manager for Reclamation’s Upper Snake Field Office. “Providing high flows at the same time that nature would provide them benefits native fish.”

These water releases will not affect Reclamation’s ability to meet its water delivery obligations. American Falls Reservoir will store the water that is passed through Palisades Reservoir to be used farther downstream.

The river will be fast and cold during the high flow period. Please use caution and be aware when recreating near the river.

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