South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

Contact us for up to the minute fishing reports and conditions.

Small Streams

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Small Streams (Page 12)

Small Streams 8-10-13

Flav emergence on  Big Elk Creek is in beginning stages and the same should be happening on Palisades Creek. If you fish before early afternoon bead head nymphs work, but presenting  grasshopper and ant patterns is more fun. Concentrate on presenting these just in front of undercuts and grassy overhangs. Water temp has to get to mid 50s before flavs begin emerging. This means mid afternoon at least.  Best action for fish chasing flavs will begin around 4PM and last for two or three hours.  Day with skies clouding up will be best for action. Any pattern resembling an emerger or dun (size 12) will interest the cutts which range up to a size rivaling those in the South Fork below.  The country here is tinder dry, so be careful with any flammable items.


Small Streams 7-27-13

Jim and Jimmy fished the upper Blackfoot River a few days ago  and had a good experience on the upper end of the Wildlife Management Area. If you have never fished this part of the Blackfoot River, consider a visit. From Interstate-15 take the Sunnyside exit and go east on Sunnyside past Ammon and up into the foothills.  Sunnyside eventually connects with the Bone Road. At this intersection take a right on the Bone Road and head south past Bone.  Just south of Bone the road splits. Take the left hand branch, the Long Valley Road, and follow around the east side of Grey’s Lake  to Idaho Highway 34.  Take a left on the highway to Wayan then a right on the Williamson Loop Road. Go about a mile and take a left on the Lanes Creek Road. Follow this road south to its intersection with the Diamond Creek Road. Here you can take a left onto this road to a parking area on the river. Or you can take a right at the intersection where the road becomes the Blackfoot River Road.  Follow it to a parking area on the left, or continue on the road to the lower end of the Wildlife Management Area, take a left to park near the river. All three of the parking areas give convenient access to the river.  Cutthroat trout are here in good numbers with a very occasional brook trout arriving from the Diamond Creek beaver ponds.  Hoppers  are out in good numbers, so what to use is obvious, but also bring a few PMD life cycle and traditional attractor patterns.  The country is beautiful so do not leave that camera behind.   Best of all, you just may be the only one fishing this classic meadow stream.


Small Streams 7-23-13

Mid summer is here, and changes happen on many small waters. On streams where flows drop to the point of little overhead cover and higher in-stream temperature, fish move usually downstream to seek more cover and cooler flows in a main stem water. A good example is that fabulous little brook trout stream, Rock Creek off the Cave Falls Road. Here as waters drop and warm with mid summer, many resident brookies move down into Robinson Creek. The same also happens on lower Willow Creek.  This part of the creek provides good early season fishing when flows between 50 and 100 cfs offer better living conditions than  much lower summertime flows and warmer in-stream temperatures.  So many fish move down into Ririe Reservoir.  Streams with a more constant flow such as from springs (Birch Creek, Big Elk Creek, Henry’s Fork above Island Park Reservoir) or with upstream lakes that add sub-surface water(Palisades Creek, Fall River in Yellowstone Park) will not be impacted as much this time of year.


Small Streams 7-20-13

This time of year fishing small streams can be a “mixed bag.” With warm, bright days open reaches can be extremely difficult because of the lack of overhead cover making fish either extremely wary or avoiding such locations. Thus concentrate your efforts where there is overhanging brush, undercuts, sweepers, and just below in-stream structure. Several small streams are good fishing now.  This really applies to the South Fork and Palisades Reservoir tributaries; Palisades, Rainy, Big Elk, McCoy, and Bear Creeks.  Take your favorite ant, beetle, hopper, caddis and PMD patterns. Concentrate on the slower water having overhead cover, and each of these streams will have plenty of such. Look for flavs to begin emerging at a significant rate soon on most of these streams making for fabulous afternoon fishing.  Cutts in some of these streams rival those in the South Fork for size, and you will encounter a lot fewer anglers on these waters.  Another water type to concentrate on is beaver ponds, particularly those with deeper areas and cover in the form of willows and well vegetated banks.  Upper reaches of McCoy Creek, the Willow Creek, the Little Lost River drainages, and Idaho’s Salt River tributaries have numerous beaver ponds. For sure, leech patterns are the most effective to use, but submerged vegetation limits their use this time of year, so go with dry damselfly and terrestrial  patterns.  We have more  information that we can place here on the great variety of small waters in the region, so it might be best to come in and discuss with us ones to visit.


Small Streams 7-6-13

Flavs are making their significant appearance on the Henry’s Fork around Last Chance where they are famed for bringing up big rainbows. But do not think of flavs as only a “big stream” mayfly. They also live in appropriate (quality moving water with gravelly substrate) small streams. I have fished them on eastern Idaho’s Salt River tributaries this time of year.  Eventually flavs will be emerging from Bear, Big Elk, McCoy, and Palisades creeks, the Big Lost River and other local waters. Yesterday they were coming off from Birch Creek  in enough numbers that every trout there seemed to be rising.


Small Streams 7-2-13

These are all in good shape now.  This weekend we tried a great one for the entry level fly-fisher. McCoy Creek (From Alpine, WY go south on US 89 to the McCoy Road which goes back into Idaho along the southwest side of Palisades Reservoir) is a major rearing stream for cutthroat trout. This time of year a braggin’ fish there may be just over a foot long, but the creek is full of them feeding on caddisflies and PMDs  right now.    Take that youngster to a meadow location on this creek and present life cycle patterns of these  for sure-fire action.  Traditional attractor patterns (size 12-14) will also work.  An ultra-light rod is ideal, and so is a floating line rigged with a 4X tippet.


Small Streams 6-15-13

Big fish are where you find them.  We have a report (pictures and all) of a 27-inch brown coming out of the Portneuf River above Lava Hot Springs. Here are a few other small streams that hold big browns: Robinson Creek,  Camas Creek, South Fork of the Madison River (Montana), Duck Creek, Grayling Creek, and Gibbon River (Yellowstone Park), Warm River, Stump Creek and Crow Creek ( all in season), lower Grey’s River (Wyoming).  The same could be said for Willow Creek, Cranes Creek, and Gray’s Lake Outlet up until the early 1990s when drought and other actions diminished them. There may be a few left in these waters, but nothing like in years gone by.


Small Streams 6-11-13

No real change since our June 8th report. With recent warm weather streams draining high country are roaring a bit, so stick with those we recommended on June 8th.  Look for the same flow increases  as we warm up on streams carrying irrigation water. We have word of some good fishing because of caddis activity on the Blackfoot River below the dam, but flows can fluctuate and impact fishing success.


Small Streams 6-8-13

Small streams not carrying run-off or irrigation waters are really shaping up because of the reduced runoff this year. With the warmer weather, however,  consider avoiding such run-off streams as the Teton River and irrigation water loaded streams such as the Blackfoot River below the dam.    The Palisades tribs on the south side of the reservoir (Bear & McCoy creeks) would be very good choices ( C&R fishing) with such as wooly bugger and leech patterns.  The Salt River tribs  (Jackknife, Tincup, Stump, Crow creeks) are also in great shape, so try your favorite bead head nymphs, small leech patterns and caddis life cycle patterns.  Robinson Creek is now a good bet with the same types of patterns.


Small Streams 6-1-13

Any  stream not draining high country such as the Teton Range, the southwestern parts of the Madison and Pitchstone Plateaus of Yellowstone Park, or subject to an increase in irrigation water are currently in great fishing condition. Some of these include Willow Creek (tribs are closed until July 1),  South Fork of the Madison River, Palisades Reservoir tributaries (catch & release for cutthroat trout), Warm River and Buffalo River. With action heating up on the Henry’s Fork and the South Fork, these make great alternatives  with good fishing and a better chance of solitude.   Come into the shop and let us advise as to which may be best to visit.