South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Small Streams

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Small Streams (Page 14)

Small Streams 9-8-12

It’s a tough time of year for fish in many of our smallest streams. We visited Jackknife Creek with 2-weight rods a few days ago, and became concerned with the low water we saw there.  The creek has a large drainage, but like so many smaller streams the dry, warm summer has limited surface water throughout the drainage. We managed to catch some beautifully colored cutts, but only in deeper runs and holes having water flowing through.  We originally intended to fish beaver ponds along the creek.  But these hosted huge algae blooms, thus fish were absent because of lowered dissolved oxygen.  Concerned that we would be stressing fish, we ended our fishing early.    Such an experience can be expected now on many of our smaller streams at the end of this dry summer.  Let’s hope for a good snow winter followed by a summer with more precipitation than this one to give trout populations better living conditions next year.


Small Streams 9-4-12

Many of these are low because of the hot, dry summer we are beginning to finish up, but there are some streams with flows high enough to ensure good fishing.   Warm River may be one of the best.  A great stretch of the river begins just below Warm River Spring and extends into the canyon. We recommended this part of the river a few weeks ago with its population of brookies, browns and rainbows.  Now it is one of the better small streams.  Buffalo River is another spring fed stream worth fishing this time of year.  It’s ideal for very lightweight equipment with its trico, BWOs,  and caddisflies.  Palisades Creek will always be a good choice because of inflow from its lakes.  Want to experience the best fishing on the creek?  It’s a five mile walk up a good trail, but the low gradient reach just above the lower lake  is worth it.   Teton River in the basin makes for a easy float trip. It’s ideal for pontoon boats, and fishing and recreational traffic there is now down considerably.   Trico, BWO, caddis life cycle and terrestrial patterns should be in your fly box for this one.   So there’s a few small stream possibilities. Get in touch with us to learn of more.


Small Streams 9-1-12

The next few weeks will be a great time to visit the Blackfoot River above the reservoir.  As waters cool the river in the Blackfoot River Wildlife Management Area will offer good fishing with terrestrial patterns. There are about seven miles of river within the area, most of it being classic meadow stream, but there are some riffle and run portions.  From Idaho Falls the shortest approach is from Bone east down the Long Valley Road, on around the east side of Gray’s  Lake to Highway 34, and on to Wayan.  Once there, take a right on the Wayan Loop to the Lane’s Creek Road. Follow this road south to the upper end of the Wildlife Management Area along the Blackfoot River Road.  The countryside is gorgeous, so bring a good camera, not only for scenery shots but for the possibility of meeting up with a trophy cutt.



Small Streams 8-28-12

A lot of folks will be celebrating Labor Day weekend, so you can bet that the most popular fishing spots like the South Fork and upper Henry’s Fork will see crowds.  That makes for a  great time to try some of our small streams.   Here’s some thoughts on finding a small stream with less chance of being crowded this weekend.  If a campground, developed or primitive,  is nearby expect anglers.  Expect fishing boat traffic and some recreational boats on Fall and Teton rivers.  Salt River tribs coming out of Idaho are good candidates for more solitude. There are no developed campgrounds on Crow, Jackknife, and Stump creeks. The same is true for Bear, Bitch, Conant,  Diamond, Fall, Medicine Lodge, Robinson, Partridge, Pine, and Willow creeks, especially parts approachable only by walking.  The Blackfoot River Wildlife Management Area hosts seven miles of river, most of which is classic meadow stream which requires walking, so might be considered. Warm River in the canyon below the springs is accessible from the old railroad grade and holds some nice browns and ‘bows and brookies.  So there are some candidates for some solitude on the upcoming weekend. Get in touch with us for more information on any of these. For sure with school starting in so many places right after Labor Day, next week will see fewer folks fishing  just about anywhere.


Small Streams 8-25-12

We found that fish in the Grey’s River were quite cautious until a few PMDs came out late last Thursday afternoon. They loosened up a bit then, and we landed a few gorgeous Snake River Fine Spotted cutts.  If you have never visited this classic freestone stream, consider doing so.  It is  just a few miles east of Alpine, Wyoming.  The countryside, even with the prevailing haze, is as beautiful as it comes.  Above the Murphy Creek Bridge fishing is legal with flies and lures only. You can buy a license ($14 for a non-resident single day) in Alpine, and stop for a “stick-to-your-ribs” breakfast.  Take a good camera, terrestrial and PMD life cycle patterns.


Small Streams 8-21-12

Now is a great time to try small streams for action and a good measure of solitude. Off the beaten path, the Salt River tributaries coming out of Idaho are worthy of  a visit.  Jackknife, Tincup, Stump, Tyhee, and Crow creeks are mainly cutthroat fisheries, but all have more or less brown trout.  South Fork of  Tincup Creek is all cutts.  Early in the day tricos can be seen on each, and by mid day terrestrial patterns bring action, later caddis swarms bring action. Traditional attractor patterns in smaller sizes always work.  Lightweight rods (2 to 4 weight) are ideal for each. For sure most of the fish run small, but some large specimens are present and can really fool you.


Small Streams 8-18-12

Big Elk Creek is now well worth a visit. Fish take terrestrial patterns around early afternoon. Many “go to sleep” until flavs emerge in late afternoon when water temps get to around mid 50s in degrees F.  Then all become active to make for great top water fishing.  Last Wednesday  kokanee were about a mile up the creek. Now they are much further.  They don’t bother the cutts from feeding, but they do bring  all kinds of anglers.  If you witness kokanee snaggers, make an identity effort (vehicle registration works) then contact IDG&F.  IDF&G  has plainclothes officers patrolling the creek, but they can use help in stopping this illegal activity.


Small Streams 8-14-12

Robinson Creek is fishing well.   The canyon location and inflow from springs keep it in good shape this time of year.  Best location is off the road connecting Fish Creek Road and the Cave Falls Road. It’s a bit steep but, walk down to the creek just north of the crossing.  If it is too steep, try the creek upstream past the LDS church girl’s camp off the Cave Falls Road. Take terrestrial patterns, traditional attractors, and caddis for the evening.  With four kinds of trout present, you never know for sure what you will encounter in Robinson Creek.


Small Streams 8-11-12

Best small streams to visit now are those having a good input from springs. These include Buffalo and Warm rivers; Big Elk, Jackknife, Robinson, Stump, and Crow creek.   Put Palisades Creek in the class because subterranean flows from both its lakes keep waters at a good level and suitable temperature.   Terrestrial, caddis and traditional attractor patterns are sure to work on all these, and some feature a morning trico emergence.


Small Streams 8-4-12

Some of these are beginning to drop below normal flows because of our warm, dry weather.  Others are “lucky.”  Palisades Creek, for example, has two lakes, Upper and Lower, in its drainage. The upper lake has an almost total subsurface outflow, and the lower lake has a good subsurface component to its outflow.   These just about guarantee that water levels will remain good through the season.  So Palisades Creek is less impacted by the warm, dry weather than most other area streams.  Consider visiting this great small stream. Yellowstone cutts dominate with a few cut-bow hybrids present below the lower lake.  Right now terrestrial, caddis life cycle, and traditional attractor patterns will bring success.  Flavs should soon become important to foraging fish.   Best fishing will be during the afternoon hours, and an excellent trail parallels most of the creek.