South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Big Lost River

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Big Lost River (Page 3)

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.


Big Lost River 7-15-17

IDF&G is strongly considering a salvage regulation on the Big Lost River below Moore.  This is because as flows out of Mackay Dam decrease fish will become trapped in downstream pools and perish.  So rather than being wasted, salvage by legal means is being considered for the lower river. Go to the IDF&G web site for details on where this operation will be applied and for how long.


Big Lost River 5-20-17

It’s worth the time to drive to Arco just to see the Big Lost River doing something it has not done in decades. That is flow through town (currently 383 cfs) and beyond.  Flow out of Mackay Reservoir is currently 1300 cfs and has been at least as high for weeks, so it is no wonder that Arco is experiencing the river again.  This high flow below Mackay Dam makes approaching the river tough and fishing slow.


Big Lost River 8-23-16

Flow out of Mackay Dam is well over 300 cfs meaning wading immediately downstream should be done with some care. Early morning trico activity and late in the day caddis activity are providing action.  With flow at the current level, such as San Juan worms or small woolly buggers can bring action.


Big Lost River 7-23-16

Flow out of Mackay Dam was raised a little recently, but at slightly over 400 cfs wading is a bit difficult. Western green drakes are finished, but terrestrial insects are coming on. Fishing has been somewhat slow, but nymphing with PMD patterns is a good method for some success. The same for presenting patterns simulating aquatic or washed-in worms (SJ worm, medium sized woolly buggers).  Flows will drop as irrigation demands diminish and calls for storage in the reservoir increase. Such should make for better wading conditions during the trico activity later this summer..


Big Lost River 10-17-15

The South Fork isn’t the only one having a significant drop in flow. Flow out of Mackay Dam was reduced yesterday from 150 cfs to 50 cfs today. It’s great for wading but not for fish. Midging will get you into the fish concentrated in holes and runs.


Big Lost River 10-1-15

Flow out of Mackay Dam is at 200 cfs, an amount that makes wading practical. Flows out of the dam will likely go lower as storage takes over in the reservoir. Tricos are diminishing, but BWOs are coming on, and there always is plenty of midges for fish to key on.