South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Small Streams

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Small Streams (Page 9)

Small Streams 6-3-14

Not far after heading east and crossing the Idaho-Wyoming border, the Ashton-Flagg Ranch Road currently becomes impassable because of snow.  Some tourists from Texas found this out the hard way a few days ago. Relying on their GPS and disregarding Mother Nature, they drove their vehicle until it became mired in snow resulting a four-hour walk back out to get help.

The Ashton-Flagg Ranch Road gives access to some of the best fly-fishing locations in our region. However, it passes through some of the country most prone to heavy snowfall in the region. This means the road usually is not passable until the end of June. When it becomes passable, we will post that change here.  When it opens, expect to have a wonderful choice of waters to fish, still or moving. We will also have information that will help you to enjoy these to the utmost.

For the next several days all streams, larger or smaller, that drain high country will be full to overflowing with run-off.  This includes streams draining the Grand Teton Range, the plateaus in Yellowstone Park, and the Snake River drainage in Wyoming and extreme eastern Idaho.  When the run-off drops to levels making these waters worth a fly-fishing visit, we will post such information here.   The same applies to other waters such as the lower Blackfoot and Big Lost Rivers currently full of water to satisfy irrigation demands.


Small Streams 5-27-14

Nearly all of our small streams draining high country are flowing with run-off. This means all Teton River, Fall River, and South Fork tribs.  Warm River, running a bit high and clear above the Robinson Creek confluence, is an exception, so is Buffalo River. Try caddis life cycle patterns and your favorite small bead head nymph patterns. On Buffalo and lower Warm River, look for PMDs to become active.   Fishing on Birch Creek above Lone Pine is excellent, especially when approached with ultra-light tackle. The aggressive rainbows and brookies here will take just about any pattern, dry or wet, in small and medium sizes.


Small Streams 5-17-14

Flow out of Blackfoot River Reservoir has been increased to answer downstream irrigation demands. The flow at the Shelley gage, near the mouth of the canyon, has gone from around 200 cfs to 555 cfs in the last two days and likely will go higher. This will put an end to the best fly-fishing on the river below the dam as high and varied flows will be the norm until October.

Run-off in the Willow Creek drainage is nearly over. This will make Willow Creek good fishing, however its tributaries will not open to fishing until July 1st.


Small Streams 5-3-14

Flow out of Blackfoot River Reservoir Dam is still very low.  The Shelley gage miles downriver remains around 90 cfs.   Caddis life cycle, streamer and wooly bugger variations  will bring action.This flow means good fishing, but you had better hurry if you are considering a visit here because any day irrigation demands will raise the river to levels that will make fishing much more difficult.  We will report here when flows out of the dam increase.


Small Streams 4-22-14

We just learned that the way to Blackfoot River Reservoir via the Bone road is now open. This opens up a quicker way from the upper valley to enjoy carp and trout fishing in the reservoir and trout in the river immediately below. Right now the river below the reservoir is at its early season best (around 100 cfs). It will remain this way until irrigation demands significantly increase flow out of the reservoir. We will watch flows and report here when they increase to the point of impacting fly fishing in a negative manner.

We fished the river several miles below the dam yesterday afternoon going by way of the Wolverine Road and on a few miles up the Blackfoot River Road to a stretch of public land.  Water was clear and around 54 deg. F. at late afternoon. A blanket caddis emergence was on-going, with fish, mostly whitefish and juvenile cutthroat, rising to pupa in the upper water column and egg-laying adults.  A few larger cutthroat responded to bead head peacock leeches (#10). All fish landed appeared to have been feeding and with full stomachs most likely because of the abundant available caddisflies.


Small Streams 3-22-14

The lower end of the Blackfoot River Road is passable meaning part of the lower Blackfoot River is accessible. Private land is present here, and the far (south) bank of the river is on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation.  But there are state and BLM lands where access to the river is available. What is the best way to find which land is open to river access?  Go to the Idaho Falls Visitor’s Center, 425 N. Capitol Ave., and purchase, then study BLM maps of the area.  Currently low flow is present here.  Midge life cycle patterns, your favorite bead head nymphs in smaller sizes, and small streamers will get you into action once you reach the river.


Small Streams 3/15/14

The catch and release season applies to many small streams in our area. Check current regulations to see which.  Now that winter is about over, access to many of these waters is freeing up. So before run-off gets going big time, consider visiting some of those open to catch and release fishing.   You are sure to find a better measure of solitude than on our more popular waters.


Small Streams 11-23-13

Weather and road conditions will now limit access to many back country streams. However many more easily accessed streams will be open during the catch and release season in the Upper Snake Region. Consult current IDF&G regulations to learn which streams are open during this season.


Small Streams 10-19-13

Thanks to cooling weather and water at base level the next few weeks could be the “last hurrah” for the best of the fishing season on many area small streams.  Currently Birch Creek, Warm River, Buffalo River and Blackfoot River below the reservoir are fishing well.   All have good BWO hatches, but they can be only at specific locations on the Blackfoot River, especially during these bright days.  Look for shaded areas there such as at the base of cliffs out of the sun.  On the Blackfoot River your chances for action are better through using streamers.  Make them small (size 8-10), and look for deep runs and holes for presenting them.


Small Streams 9-21-13

We fished Big Elk Creek during yesterday’s beautiful weather. The flav hatch is winding down significantly. They made an appearance around 3 PM, and after about 45 minutes ceased. Likewise, interest from cutts on what was going by on the surface pretty much shut down when flavs ceased.  Cutts we caught looked prosperous enough.  Compare that duration in time to the hatch in early and mid August which goes on for hours. A small, light colored mayfly emerged  later with a few rises responding. We did not capture one but the  slate cream dun could be a possibility.