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 16)

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.