South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports (Page 9)

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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Big Lost River 7-28-17

The days of high water below Mackay Dam are gone until after the next winter of big snowfall. Flow just below the dam is where it usually is historically; around 500 cfs (about down to 0 cfs at Arco). This is a bit high for safe wading, but great for float-fishing.  We have no reports on fishing this part of the river, but safe to say woolly bugger types, your favorite bead head nymphs (especially as a dropper/trailer with Woolly bugger types), and streamers will work for now. Let’s wait until water drops more before good dry fly fishing kicks in.

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Henry’s Fork 7-22-17

Best time to visit lower river is early and late in day, and terrestrial insects are coming on to being important in trout diets.  Look for this advice to remain until fall season.  On the upper river mayfly hatches have moved off the early season peak and terrestrial insects are building.  So it is the time to begin transitioning those fly box contents. Also it is the time of the season when crowds diminish a bit.

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Small Streams 7-22-17

Almost every small stream in our area is finally in fly-fishing condition. There are so many candidates, from the Teton River down to such as Medicine Lodge Creek, worthy of a visit that describing each would overwhelm this web site. Best thing to do is to for information on any of these is to contact us for suggestions and strategies.

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