South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Small Streams

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Small Streams (Page 6)

Small Streams 8-28-17

There was a fair amount of information in the last small streams report, but one item was not present. Last year IDF&G tried to begin a population of kokanee from Big Elk Creek in Bear Creek on the other side of the reservoir.  Has anyone seen these in Bear Creek?

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Small Streams 8-26-17

Several small streams should be on your destination list. For example, the Teton River in the Basin features very good early in the day Trico and PMD spinner falls. These happen before recreational boaters and floaters in big numbers come to the river. Bitch Creek offers cutties responding in tranquility and they can be enjoyed through limited access over private land. Lower Fall River features a great evening caddis swarm with evening dry fly action making up for the usual daytime lull.  Warm River just below Warm River Spring offers dry fly fishing (caddis, terrestrial insect and traditional attractor patterns) with a good chance of solitude. Palisades Reservoir tribs and Palisades Creek currently feature good dry fly fishing through using a variety of patterns from traditional attractor and caddis life cycle to terrestrial insect patterns. The upper Blackfoot River in its meadow sections seems to host half the world’s grasshopper supply, and trout there are taking advantage of them. Looking for a stream that will produce enough brook trout for that Labor Day weekend fish fry? Try Sawmill Creek at the head of Little Lost River. That’s a long way to travel (130 miles from Idaho Falls) so nearby Beaver Creek above the I-15 Stoddard Creek interchange is a good candidate, and in the same area Modoc Creek below Paul Reservoir is another host of numerous aggressive brookies.  Further east over Porcupine Pass West Camas Creek does the same. Towards Island Park, Little Warm River in the Pole Bridge Campground area hosts brookies in good numbers. Toms Creek, feeding into the upper Buffalo River, is another candidate for bagging pan-sized brookies.  Thinking of a visit to these or other great small waters? Visit us, or get in touch for more information.

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Small Streams 8-19-17

We have so many small waters that currently will reward you with good fishing action that it is hard to single out any one to recommend.  It’s like being a kid in a candy store. Perhaps the best approach is to contact us to pass on such as which trout species you wish to target, which water type you want to try, your terminal tackle preference, and perhaps your time constraints. That way we can suggest candidate waters to try and an appropriate fly pattern selection.

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Small Streams 8-12-17

What a difference a year makes with respect to small stream fishing success! Last year such as Palisades Reservoir tribs as McCoy and Bear Creeks were slow dry fly fishing most of the summer. Now both host some large cutts that have remained in-stream because of abundant food, better cover, and cooler water.  Traditional dry patterns (humpys, renegades, wulffs, p-chute adams & cahills), caddis life cycle, and terrestrial insect patterns bring action with the chance for a trophy cutt responding from late morning to early evening.  Afternoon western green drake (flav) activity on Big Elk Creek, in addition to what works on other reservoir tribs, makes that creek particularly fun to visit.  Look for the kokanee run to start there soon, and let’s see if the same happens on Bear Creek where IDF&G transplanted some last year from Big Elk Creek.  Teton River PMD and speckled dun activity is bringing action in the river in the Basin.  But the canoe, kayak, row boat, and paddle-board emergence can hinder mid day fishing. So best chance for uninterrupted fishing there is during early AM spinner falls, and evening caddis emergence, but do not overlook presenting terrestrial insect patterns during daytime and early evening. The Blackfoot River above the reservoir features cutts responding to the great grasshopper abundance in not only the wildlife management area but the Monsanto purchase downstream of the narrows.

So it goes on and on with great small stream fishing in the area. Come to the shop, or get in touch with us for more info on our abundance of great small waters to visit and current conditions on them.

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Small Streams 8-5-17

For fishing all our small waters it is the time of year when you can rely on caddis life cycle and especially terrestrial insect patterns as being effective for taking trout. Particularly effective mayfly patterns this time of year vary water to water and are generally less important as trout food.  Here are some exceptions. On the Teton River in the canyon and below gray drakes are important.  Western green drake patterns (flavs, etc) will be important on South Fork and Palisades Reservoir tribs, particularly Big Elk Creek. These are also important on the Big Lost River. Any small stream of low gradient, sandy/silty bottom and adjacent or in-stream still water (think beaver ponds) will have some speckled dun populations. In a few weeks tricos will be important in attracting trout on many streams. So don’t switch all your mayfly patterns to storage!

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Small Streams 7-28-17

The number of small streams offering a great fishing experience remains too big to describe individually. Some streams stand out in particular. Bear, McCoy and Palisades Creek offer excellent dry fly fishing with traditional attractor (humpy, renegade, wulff series,) caddis life cycle and terrestrial patterns being particularly effective.  Teton River in Teton Basin is coming on with good PMD activity and building terrestrial insect populations.   Fish late & early in the day to minimize recreational boater/boarder interruptions. Gray drakes where the river breaks out of the canyon and onto the Snake River Plain will be a significant event coming up. The Birch Creek family area above Lone Pine remains the best choice to introduce that youngster to fly fishing, and something as simple as a peacock woolly worm does the trick.

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Small Streams 7-22-17

Almost every small stream in our area is finally in fly-fishing condition. There are so many candidates, from the Teton River down to such as Medicine Lodge Creek, worthy of a visit that describing each would overwhelm this web site. Best thing to do is to for information on any of these is to contact us for suggestions and strategies.

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Small Streams 7-15-17

Run-off is leaving many of our smaller streams, but remnant conditions remain on some. Big Elk, Bitch, and Palisades Creeks area a little high and a bit discolored.  The same for Teton River. Lower Palisades Creek could clear first because the lower lake acts as a settling basin. For now presenting nymph patterns and anything simulating an earthworm might be the best way to go in these creeks.  McCoy and Bear Creeks, however, are in good dry fly shape. The same applies to the upper Blackfoot River, where even though hoppers are flourishing ( mosquitos are doing the same) throughout the meadows, the river is high enough where fish still key most on patterns resembling earthworms and grubs. Robinson Creek is now in great dry fly fishing shape as is Warm River. For PM fishing caddis life cycle and traditional attractor patterns may produce best on these two streams. Visitations are up on all these streams, but you can bet that when dry fly conditions kick in on the South Fork, many fly fishers will forsake these excellent smaller waters  and tranquility will intensify.

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Small Streams 7-1-17

Several waters have opened to fishing. These include South Fork tribs Burns, Palisades and Pine creeks and any water closed until now for protecting spawning cutthroat.  Some post spawning cutts will be present in these waters because good flows remain.  Presenting wet patterns from traditional wet attractors to leech patterns and on to streamers should be effective in these for now. Don’t overlook McCoy and Bear Creeks where a few large cutts remain. Both these have great water conditions and have shaped up for dry fly fishing. These are great locations for afternoon visits to present adult caddisfly and traditional attractor patterns. A few golden stones inhabit riffle and run portions of these streams, so try some patterns for these. Nymphing with bead head patterns can result in good AM fishing on these waters and on the Salt River tributaries which are also shaping up. Robinson Creek is another stream that is in good fishing shape and offers something few other waters have. That is the presence of five salmonids: brook, brown, cutthroat and rainbow trout and whitefish. Try Robinson Creek in the afternoon when caddisflies become active. The size of responding fish could surprise you.  Lower Warm River will be crowded, but crowds will not be so bad along waters above the cascades where caddis, PMDs, and a few golden stoneflies will attract resident trout.   The stonefly hatch is proceeding up Fall River where boating is the best way for encountering responding fish in lower reaches. For sure, Birch Creek in the family area above Lone Pine is always a great location to enjoy that lightweight rod and to introduce anyone to fly-fishing.  Other sinks drainage streams; Medicine Lodge, Beaver and Camas Creeks are now in fishing shape where any small or medium sized dry fly will bring action, but the Teton River and its drainage has yet to shape up for the best fishing.  So now begins the season when the “where to visit” choice becomes almost mind boggling. We will keep on top of all the small stream information so we can help you choose a satisfying visit.

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Small Streams 6-17-17

Some of our small streams are beginning to shape up. Beaver, Birch, and Medicine Lodge creeks are all in good shape with flows about normal for this time of year. Both Big and Little Lost Rivers drain higher country, and therefore are still running higher than normal. The Big Lost still runs water past Arco and onto the INL.  McCoy and Bear Creek are high and a bit discolored, but offer some fishing if you do not mind presenting anything that looks like a drifting earthworm.  Cutts are in both creeks either having spawned or are about to, and the sizes they range to will surprise you. I avoid areas where they are spawning, but concentrate on presenting flies on slower and deeper waters.  Both Buffalo and Warm River are in good shape with PMDs and caddis being active in good numbers. Forget about fly-fishing the Blackfoot River below the reservoir until the first of October. The river above the reservoir opens to barbless hook, C&R  (for cutthroat) fly fishing on July 1st.

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