South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Small Streams

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Small Streams (Page 13)

Small Streams 5-25-13

This time last year Henry’s Lake Outlet was full of escapee trout from the lake. Flows as high as 300 cfs had flushed these into the outlet, and good fishing resulted down into the Flat Ranch well into the summer.   Fewer fish are in the Outlet this year because flows out of the lake  have not exceeded 80 cfs.  Unless there is a flush out of the lake equal to that of last year, fishing will be slower here this year.   If a significant increase if flow out of the lake happens, we will report it here because such an event would have a good impact on fishing.

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Small Streams 5-18-13

We fished Henry’s Lake Outlet above Highway 20 yesterday. What a pleasant day to be out fishing with air temps in the mid 50s, very light breeze, and occasional light rain!  We caught some cutts and a few brookies using medium sized streamers.  Trouble was the fish were not present in big numbers like this time last year.  Big part of the reason for this is the flow out of Henry’s Lake has yet to exceed 61 cfs this season.  Don’t expect fishing to pick up here and down below in the Flat Ranch until an increase in flow brings more fish into the outlet.

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Small Streams 5-14-13

Last Friday we fished the Blackfoot River about twenty miles below the dam.   On arriving we knew fishing success would be difficult as we geared up in a very dense caddisfly swarm.   They would fly into your eyes and ears and cover your clothing.  The river was in good wading condition, a bit discolored, and with a water temperature in the mid 50s deg. F.   We finished the day with only three fish landed. These responded to such as prince nymphs and small bead head peacock leeches.  One was a gorgeous twenty-inch cutt, so all was not lost.  Lesson learned: when such a swarm of aquatic insects is encountered, expect slow fishing.   Being in water “24-7”, fish will respond to such activity quickly and feed until filled up.  If an angler arrives near the beginning of such feeding action, good fishing results. If arriving later when fish stop feeding, as we did, expect reduced success.

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Small Streams 4/27/13

Birch Creek is the best option for fishing a small stream right now.   Being essentially a spring creek  in origin,  it is influenced little by run-off after snow around it is gone, such as now.  See our web site article on Birch Creek for details.  A strategy for fishing it is to present nymph and very small wooly worm patterns during the morning hours, then as the waters warm and insects (caddis, midges, BWOs) emerge during the PM hours switch to dry patterns.  Warm River is another small stream not influenced by a large amount of high country run-off.  It is open for catch and release fishing until general season begins.  Consider the same strategy as we suggest for Birch Creek for fishing it this time of the season.

 

 

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Small Streams 10-27-12

Recent storms have shut down access to many in the back country. So the season on many is over until next spring.  Here are a few exceptions.  All are near well-maintained highways, but be sure to check road conditions before you venture to them.  Warm River in the Three Rivers area and Buffalo River around the campground will offer responses to good BWO activity. Birch Creek in the family area will do the same, and all these waters hold fish that will respond to small nymph pattern with & without bead heads.

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Small Streams 10-23-12

Big concerns this time of year is the impact of weather on the roads and colder weather. Getting back in such as Willow Creek and Blackfoot River countries almost requires preparation for bad roads and cold weather.  So pack  foul weather gear along with making your vehicle “bad road ready” in case you venture to places such as given above.  What would be the best fly selection for smaller streams this time of year?  Small streamer patterns, small nymphs, with and without a bead head, and for closer to the surface fishing depend on BWO dun and emerger patterns.

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Small Streams 10-20-12

Yesterday we fished the Blackfoot River at several locations below the dam. The flow out of the dam has been reduced to an amount that concentrates fish in the deeper runs, pockets, and holes.  That means anywhere you can approach the river, look for the deepest parts and you will have your chances.  Small streamers, no pattern in particular, seemed to work best for us, until a relatively sparse BWO emergence brought fish up in the water column water away from the deepest parts when mid afternoon water temperatures climbed to 45 deg. F.  Then emerger and dun patterns, about #18, were a sure bet to attract trout.   The experience I describe for yesterday is one that  repeats itself in many streams this time of year.  That is streamer and BWO life cycle patterns being effective. Try it anywhere on your favorite waters large or small.

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Small Streams 10-13-12

Best bet now is to try the larger of these such as Teton, Fall, Blackfoot, Warm and Portneuf rivers and creeks such as Big Elk, Bitch, Crow, Robinson, Stump, and the sinks streams (Little Lost River, Birch, Medicine Lodge and Beaver-Camas creeks). Reason is that as water flow decreases and insect activity declines, fish in smaller tributaries will move to larger waters that offer more overhead cover and food.  In the sinks streams fish will concentrate in deeper waters.  Caddis, midge, BWO, and decreasing trico activity will bring fish up through the water column on all these, but the best bet for action is through streamers and small wooly bugger types.

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Small Streams 10-6-12

Although our icon waters will remain popular for weeks to come, most folks have left streams around the area..  This is especially so with small waters. and now they have  lot to offer: BWOs and caddis for the top water enthusiast, streamers and nymphs for the wet fly guy.  Consider the Blackfoot River above and below the reservoir where bigger cutts will take streamer patterns.  Consider the Fall river near the Wyoming border where flows are now low enough for safer wading and big ‘bows will respond to streamers.  Warm River below the spring will offer great afternoon BWO hatches and responding browns and ‘bows.  Cutts in Big Elk Creek will continue to take terrestrial patterns until a killing frost.  That’s just a sample of what fall season fishing on small streams can offer.  Come in and talk to us about others in the array of smaller waters we have.

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Small Streams 9-15-12

We fished the Blackfoot River several miles below the dam a few days ago. We caught a  few fish on bead head peacock leeches, but nothing on dries even tho’ hoppers and trico spinners were abundant. The fish just were not interested in coming up. A big reason why was that weeds were breaking apart in the river. When this happens, life forms are released from them to drift in the current. All fish need to do to feed is hang out and grab drifting life forms as they go by.  It takes minimum effort for them to respond in this manner, so no wonder those that we caught were in great shape.

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