South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Small Streams

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Small Streams

Small Streams 7-17-18

Lower Teton River

Many stories are going around about crowding along our icon waters ( South Fork, Henry’s Fork, Madison, etc). Fortunately we have ways to escape this condition with the regional presence of many smaller quality waters.  Most of these will get you away from those fishing from boats and the increasing crowds of recreationists. If you enjoy fishing from a boat but want to experience less crowding the Teton River offers two locations for doing so (do not consider drift boat fishing in the canyon. There are two unfloatable rapids in the canyon for a drift or hardsided of type boat. It should only be floated in an inflatable and rowed by someone with expert whitewater experience.)  One location for boat fishing is the river in Teton Basin. Expect crowds of recreationists  during daytime hours, so an evening or early AM float will allow you fewer interruptions.  Caddis life cycle, yellow sally, rusty spinner, and terrestrial insect patterns should be in your fly box. Another location is the river from Spring Hollow downstream to either the dam site or the Hog Hollow Road.   Recreational floaters are minimal here. PMD, caddis, yellow sally, grey drake life cycle, and terrestrial insect patterns should populate your fly box.  If you prefer walk-in fishing your choices this time of year are numerous. We can feature some from time to time in this report, but a best way to find the best at a given time is to get in touch or visit the shop.

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Small Streams 7-10-18

 

 

 

 

Conant Creek

Just a “heads up” on fishing small streams higher up in any drainage.  Many of these headwaters are now dropping to base level. This means larger fish will move downstream to find better overhead cover, deeper water that provides cooler temperatures, and better chances for in-stream food.  We fished the McCoy Creek head waters yesterday and found this situation to be in progress.  We did better downstream where deeper water held more trout to moderate sizes. PMDs and caddis provided mid-day and afternoon fare for foraging trout. Grasshoppers are beginning to populate stream sides here, but fish were yet to key on them big time.  Be aware that thundershowers threaten to shorten time on the water this time of the season.

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Small Streams 6-30-18

robinson creek3

Several small streams in which spawning cutthroat are protected by a closed season open to fishing tomorrow. These include South Fork tributaries Burns, Palisades, and Pine Creeks, Blackfoot River above the reservoir,  Teton River tributaries including Bitch Creek, and Willow Creek tributaries.  Nymph, leech, and small streamer patterns may be most effective on all small streams for several days.

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Small Streams 6-23-18

Bear Creek reduced

Many of our small streams not draining high country are finally shaping up for good fishing.   Consider trying such as Bear Creek, McCoy Creek, the Salt River tribs ( Jackknife, Tincup, Stump, & Crow Creeks), Beaver Creek, Birch Creek and Warm River. Give such as Big Elk, Bitch, and Robinson  Creeks a bit more time to clear and drop. By 4th of  July weekend the choice of small streams worth fishing will have numerous candidates. Remember that South Fork tribs Palisades, Rainey, Pine, and Burns Creek and the Blackfoot River and its tributaries above the reservoir do not open to fishing until July 1st.

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Small Steams 6-19-18

Birch Crk

Bear Creek and McCoy Creek Roads are open, but with muddy spots thanks to our recent rains. Jensen Creek Road remains closed. The Ashton-Flagg Road is open with soft spots at higher elevation points. The Fish Creek Road is open to Teardrop Lake.  Most of our smaller streams are in reasonable fishing conditions but with high water. That means presenting such as San Juan worms, woolly buggers, and any pattern meant to imitate earth or aquatic worms deep works. Exceptions to these conditions include Birch Creek and Warm River.  Get in touch with us for info on fishing these.

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Small Streams 5-29-18

Bear Creek reduced

All roads accessing Palisades Reservoir tributaries are open with the exception of the Jensen Creek Road connecting Bear and McCoy Creeks.  Some grading is ongoing on the upstream end of the McCoy Creek Road. All Palisades Reservoir tributaries are currently running high and discolored.

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Small Streams 5-14-18

Baby Brook Trout (3)

Either high run-off or bad road conditions, and in some cases both, prevent us from enjoying fishing outings to many of our small streams.  There is one exception, and that is Warm River in the Three Rivers area. Warm River above the Robinson Creek confluence is not a major run-off stream through draining relatively flat lands in the eastern portion of Island Park where roads may still be in poor condition.  Much of the lower river can be accessed near Warm River Campground and above by following the abandoned rail road line.   Afternoon caddis activity, the same with BWOs, and  from remaining March browns will interest trout.  Thus life cycle patterns of these insects should be in fly boxes of anyone visiting to fish. The same goes for a variety of nymph patterns in small sizes, with and without beads. A four-weight system is ideal for use here, and certainly the fish (brook, brown, rainbow and whitefish) here run smaller than in the nearby Henry’s Fork.   Nevertheless, solitude and tranquility will make for a pleasant outing.

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Small Streams 10-21-17

Blackfoot River above graves creek

The best possible happening for resident trout in the lower Blackfoot River is that 200 cfs rather than 100 cfs is coming out of the reservoir. The result is that  trout have many deeper runs and pockets into which they can live with good overhead cover.  In recent years the scanty flows, sometimes less than 100 cfs,  reduced good living space to the deepest holes with resulting crowding. A few hoppers remain on stream-side banks, and patterns for them can interest fish. But the best fishing results from offering bead head nymphs, small streamers, and woolly bugger types.  BWO hatches continue to provide good afternoon fishing on Teton River in the Basin. The best news is that except for some duck hunters, most recreational boaters have left the river meaning fewer interruptions.

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Small Streams 10-14-17

 

robinson creek3

Last night’s storm will make it difficult to reach some back country waters in the region until soon-to-come warmer weather melts the resulting snow accumulation. Then muddy conditions could prevail for a while on unpaved roads.  Some of the unpaved back country roads giving access to best small waters are used frequently this time of year by ranchers and farmers, so can be maintained because of demand.  For the next few days check with county road maintenance offices to determine driving conditions before attempting to reach waters “off the beaten path.”  Doing so might be a good idea for such as fishing visits planned for upper Warm River, Bitch and Robinson Creeks in Fremont County, Blackfoot River in Bingham and Caribou Counties, and Bear, Big Elk,  and McCoy Creeks in Bonneville County.

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Small Streams 9-30-17

Old Stockng Ranch (640x480)

The above photo shows the Blackfoot River Wildlife Management Area with the river in the distance. The big meadow you see it winding through is still full of grasshoppers. The river is flowing slightly above normal meaning there is plenty of cover so some large cutthroat remain within.  Also no killing frosts here yet, but any day now that could change.  The same applies to the Teton River in the Basin where elevation is about the same as the Blackfoot River in the above photo.

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