South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

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

South Fork 7-15-17

With flow out of Palisades Dam reduced to 16000 cfs, look for riffles to begin appearing in the river below, even though flow at Heise is about 17 500 cfs. Those flows will soon drop.  Now that run-off is nearly over expect further drops in flow out of Palisades Dam, even though there will be agricultural demands.  Fish the soft water for now, but stock up on those patterns (PMD and caddis life cycle patterns terrestrial insect patterns, your favorite bead head nymph pattern, etc.) best for the great South Fork riffle and drop-off fishing soon to come.

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South Fork 7-11-17

The Palisades Reservoir inflow seems to be equaling to the outflow. This could signal the light at end of the high flow tunnel.   Keep watching our fishing report as we follow the flow out of Palisades Dam (currently about 19,000 cfs).  Meanwhile, look for soft water along the river below for presenting nymph patterns deep from big rubber legs to your favorite bead heads.

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Still Waters 7-8-17

Hebgen Lake offers perhaps the best still water fishing in our area. Gulpers are going on big time, and the Madison Arm offers a great location for enjoying them.  We traveled past the south shore of Henry’s Lake yesterday and counted two boats in sight. That is good evidence that action there has slowed.  Both Chesterfield and Twenty-Four Mile Reservoirs seem not to produce up to par, but Daniels Reservoir continues to be the best  place for trout fishing in the southeast corner of Idaho.  Midge pupa patterns at the taking depth and damselfly life cycle patterns are the standard fare for finding action.  Springfield Reservoir is mossing up, so a good strategy is to fish channels between weed beds. Present dry damsel patterns to fish cruising these channels, and you will have action. Sand Creek Ponds open to non-motorized boat fishing after July 15th.

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Henry’s Fork 7-8-17

Here is a strategy constant for nearly the entire river; Our warm weather means that best fishing is in morning and late afternoon hours. This coincides with PM caddis activity and AM spinner falls. If you fish during mid day and see surface activity dwindling, switch to nymph patterns presented deep because waters are coolest there and thus hold higher dissolved oxygen concentrations. Flavs are still around as well as a few golden stones.  Green drakes are pretty much gone for this year but some brown drakes with responses from trout can be seen during evenings. For sure, the current heat spell will help bring on terrestrial insects, so begin stocking up on ant, beetle, cranefly, and hopper patterns.

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South Fork 7-8-17

Currently 20,300 cfs is coming out of Palisades Dam (21,700 cfs at Heise), while about 19,000 cfs is coming in. With Palisades Reservoir 100% full, it looks like the high South Fork flows are here for a while. If you intend to try the river, first of all whether boating or wading, use caution. Next fish the soft water (if you can find any!).  Try a big rubber legs pattern trail by a San Juan worm or any thing imitating a drifting earthworm.

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Yellowstone Park 7-8-17

The Ashton-Flagg Ranch road is open, but a bit slow going east of Calf Creek Hill. Fall River is still running about 50% higher than normal meaning any pattern imitating a drifting earthworm presented deep works best.  For sure the best fishing action off the road is in Beula Lake. Damsel fly and speckled dun life cycle patterns work well along with small leech patterns.   Also consider that Hering Lake may offer good fishing, but you will need to pack in a flotation device to enjoy it. The lower half of Bechler Meadows  may just as well be a rice paddy, and any pattern resembling a drifting earthworm works best in the river for now.

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Yellowstone Park 7-1-17

Looking for brown drake hatches that feature fewer anglers present?  Try either Duck Creek or the meadow reaches of the Gibbon River above the falls. Evening hours are the time to be at these waters.  Applying stealth will greatly improve your  chances of meeting large fish.  Use a floatation device to get out to Shoshone Lake weed beds to enjoy cookie cutter juvenile lake trout responding to leech and small streamer patterns presented on full-sink lines. The green drake hatch on the Lewis River in the meadow along the South Entrance Road is in progress during afternoons.  Lewis River channel between Lewis and Shoshone Lakes offers good streamer fishing with a few green drakes hatching and some fish responding. Best dry fly conditions on Fall River Basin streams is several days away.

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Small Streams 7-1-17

Several waters have opened to fishing. These include South Fork tribs Burns, Palisades and Pine creeks and any water closed until now for protecting spawning cutthroat.  Some post spawning cutts will be present in these waters because good flows remain.  Presenting wet patterns from traditional wet attractors to leech patterns and on to streamers should be effective in these for now. Don’t overlook McCoy and Bear Creeks where a few large cutts remain. Both these have great water conditions and have shaped up for dry fly fishing. These are great locations for afternoon visits to present adult caddisfly and traditional attractor patterns. A few golden stones inhabit riffle and run portions of these streams, so try some patterns for these. Nymphing with bead head patterns can result in good AM fishing on these waters and on the Salt River tributaries which are also shaping up. Robinson Creek is another stream that is in good fishing shape and offers something few other waters have. That is the presence of five salmonids: brook, brown, cutthroat and rainbow trout and whitefish. Try Robinson Creek in the afternoon when caddisflies become active. The size of responding fish could surprise you.  Lower Warm River will be crowded, but crowds will not be so bad along waters above the cascades where caddis, PMDs, and a few golden stoneflies will attract resident trout.   The stonefly hatch is proceeding up Fall River where boating is the best way for encountering responding fish in lower reaches. For sure, Birch Creek in the family area above Lone Pine is always a great location to enjoy that lightweight rod and to introduce anyone to fly-fishing.  Other sinks drainage streams; Medicine Lodge, Beaver and Camas Creeks are now in fishing shape where any small or medium sized dry fly will bring action, but the Teton River and its drainage has yet to shape up for the best fishing.  So now begins the season when the “where to visit” choice becomes almost mind boggling. We will keep on top of all the small stream information so we can help you choose a satisfying visit.

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South Fork 6/29/2017

The river at Irwin is running at 21,000 cfs, and the inflow excluding the small creeks coming into palisades is roughly 23,000. The river is still high and dirty, and considered dangerous for most to be out floating. As for the wade angler, you still need to be careful about being near the river bank as erosion has been occurring at a high rate with the flows being up, and could give way. Those people who have been brave enough to get on the river are catching fish on rubberlegs and San Juan worms. Fishing the softer water with deep nymph rigs and a fair amount of weight has been producing fish.

The Salmonflies are out in good numbers, but the clarity of the water has been keeping fish from eating on the surface. My suggestion is to wait until the river drops and clears. The gravel bars this year should be holding some really nice fish that have not been getting any pressure, and have been gorging themselves on nymphs and worms.  Yes, these are tough times folks, but let’s just stay hopeful. The fishing after run-off should be pretty great, and the river is going to give us a whole new look than we have had the previous few. Should be interesting.

If your looking for something to do in the mean time, the Henry’s Fork is fishing well, or the Salmonflies have made their appearance on the Madison and Gallatin rivers in Montana.

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Henry’s Fork 6/29/2017

Hello anglers,

As most of you know, the Henry’s Fork is the main game around. Though the crowds have been thicker than normal, the fishing remains pretty good. There are plenty of willing fish sitting in the riffles eating a whole variety of insects from caddis, pmd’s, flav’s, yellow sally’s, and some left over green and grey drake emergence, grey’s being the more prolific of the two. The flav’s have been a pretty good meal ticket at times, so my tips for success would be to fish a size 16 caddis, trailed by a pmd emerger or flav about 2 feet apart, and make sure to be on the river by 9 or 10 a.m. at the latest. 2 feet might sound like a lot, but keeping your 2 bugs further apart makes for a better presentation, and reduces pile ups. I generally fish a leader of over 10 feet this time a year, because of angling pressure and clear water, which can make for some tougher fishing. That being said, I still fish these fish on a 4x leader, because they are strong fish, and a good presentation is worth more than tippet size. Fishing into the evenings this time of year is one of my favorite things to do because fish seem to be a little less hesitant to take a dry. So if you can’t make it out early, dont worry, there are still plenty of fish to catch in the evening as well.

In between riffles I would make sure to fish a golden stone fly in a size 6 or 8 to the banks on a 2 x leader, but mostly through the buckets and riffles in the middle of the river. You can add a nymph dropper for increased chances of success, or tag one of the aforementioned bugs behind it, dry. Most of the golden stones are going to be found from the Ora bridge, down to the backwaters at Chester dam. The bugs are plentiful right now, so you should be able to have decent success.

For patterns to fish, come in and see us, and we would be more than happy to give you some local recommendations.

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