South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports (Page 7)

Henry’s Lake 8-8-17

The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has issued a blue-green algae warning for Henry’s Lake. Even boiling the water will not kill the toxins produced. So culinary use of any kind is out for now, and if you do keep any fish for the table you are taking a chance unless they are thoroughly cleaned and skinned beforehand. With respect to fishing, this bloom signals that fishing action is slow and makes for another reason to wait until autumn for action to improve and for safer water.

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Small Streams 8-5-17

For fishing all our small waters it is the time of year when you can rely on caddis life cycle and especially terrestrial insect patterns as being effective for taking trout. Particularly effective mayfly patterns this time of year vary water to water and are generally less important as trout food.  Here are some exceptions. On the Teton River in the canyon and below gray drakes are important.  Western green drake patterns (flavs, etc) will be important on South Fork and Palisades Reservoir tribs, particularly Big Elk Creek. These are also important on the Big Lost River. Any small stream of low gradient, sandy/silty bottom and adjacent or in-stream still water (think beaver ponds) will have some speckled dun populations. In a few weeks tricos will be important in attracting trout on many streams. So don’t switch all your mayfly patterns to storage!

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South Fork 8-1-17

Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped to 8450 cfs yesterday (9870 cfs at Heise). That’s lower than normal for this date historically. Reports we receive suggest best fishing on the river is above Byington.  Presenting nymph or streamer patterns remains the best way to action with dry fly fishing not up normal quality throughout.  No mutant golden stoneflies appearing in significant amounts yet. When they migrate presenting nymph patterns is fruitful, but when they come back to the stream surface this year, will dry fly fishing pick up?  That’s a good question in this year of unusual water flows. When we hear of improved dry fly fishing, we will post where, when, and patterns here.

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Southwestern Montana 7-28-17

Star of the show here remains AM gulper fishing on Hebgen Lake’s Madison Arm unless the wind comes up.  As with the Henry’s Fork, best times to be on the Madison River are early (spinner falls) and late (caddis activity) in the day.  West Fork of the Madison River offers great lightweight tackle fishing without the crowding experienced on icon waters.  Try caddis life cycle, traditional attractor and terrestrial insect patterns.

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Yellowstone Park 7-28-17

The giant and golden stonefly hatches are progressing up the Yellowstone River.  Now into September is when terrestrial insect patterns work well on Fall River Basin streams. Streams in the northeast corner of the park are now in good fishing shape. Lamar River, Slough and Soda Butte Creeks offer good dry fly fishing  with caddis, PMD, yellow sally life cycle patterns and those for terrestrial insects bringing action. Be aware that these streams tend to get crowded from now through August.   Some smaller streams in that area offering better solitude, but smaller fish, include Buffalo Fork off Slough Creek, Pebble Creek off Soda Butte Creek, and Cache Creek off the Lamar River. Leave the Firehole River alone until September when cooling air temps will bring water temperatures down to levels where fish can better withstand the rigors of being caught and released

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Still Waters 7-28-17

For sure most of our shallow reservoirs are warming to the point that released fish are tough to revive. For example, best success at Springfield Reservoir is now found around springs where fish move to cooler water.  There are a number of springs around the reservoir, and reviving then releasing fish near these or other cool water sources such as one of the culverts where water is moving really increases their chances for surviving after being played in warmer water.

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South Fork 7-28-17

Flow out of Palisades Dam is around 9500 cfs with 10800 cfs downstream at Heise. Fish have yet to key big time on scattered PMD activity, but we have a few reports of some success for folks presenting chernobyl patterns back toward banks.  Nymph and streamer fishing along soft waters remains best ways to success. Try trailing a big rubber legs pattern with your favorite bead head nymph.  We are all waiting for when fish turn more of their interest to dry flies and when the great South Fork riffle fishing lives up to its reputation. It’ll happen—just be patient!

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Small Streams 7-28-17

The number of small streams offering a great fishing experience remains too big to describe individually. Some streams stand out in particular. Bear, McCoy and Palisades Creek offer excellent dry fly fishing with traditional attractor (humpy, renegade, wulff series,) caddis life cycle and terrestrial patterns being particularly effective.  Teton River in Teton Basin is coming on with good PMD activity and building terrestrial insect populations.   Fish late & early in the day to minimize recreational boater/boarder interruptions. Gray drakes where the river breaks out of the canyon and onto the Snake River Plain will be a significant event coming up. The Birch Creek family area above Lone Pine remains the best choice to introduce that youngster to fly fishing, and something as simple as a peacock woolly worm does the trick.

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Henry’s Lake 7-28-17

Be at those creek mouths (Targhee, Howard, Duck, Hope) by the crack of dawn to present leech patterns and small fly rod jigs using intermediate lines. As the sun rises expect company. If you are having success, expect some crowding, so be patient and understand that these places provide some of the best and most easily approached fishing on the lake during summer.

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Henry’s Fork 7-28-17

Up and down the river the same theme applies. Fish early and late in the day for best action. PMDs are into smaller sub-species and flavs are diminishing. Terrestrial insect patterns are almost required for good action on the lower river, and these are coming on strong on the river from Cardiac Canyon upstream.  Rusty spinner patterns  in sizes 16 on down are good choices for AM fishing everywhere.  Caddis life cycle patterns seem to be good choices everywhere for evening fishing and especially in Box and Cardiac Canyons. It is getting to the time of the season when keeping track of the flow out of Henry’s Lake is important because as that flow drops (currently good at about 98 cfs) and warms fish in the Flat Ranch section will begin migrating downstream from the river to the Big Springs outlet-Mack’s Inn water.

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