South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

Contact us for up to the minute fishing reports and conditions.

Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports (Page 104)

Main Stem Snake River 3/15/14

Many folks are fishing below American Falls Dam these days taking advantage of low flows.  Fish are concentrated in the low water (400 cfs currently coming out of Dam).  But come April first flows out of the Dam will significantly increased spreading fish around and putting an end to easy access. As with below the Dam, best fishing in the river above is through presenting streamer patterns during low light conditions.


Still Waters 3/15/14

Springfield Reservoir is fishing quite well these days. Try a very slow troll for best results presenting your favorite leech pattern. Also midge hatches during early AM and evening bring fish into a feeding mode. Springfield is currently one of our few ice-free reservoirs, so expect a certain amount of boating company.


Main Stem Snake River in Springtime

Snake River.jpeg

 Main Stem Snake River Near Blackfoot

We offered a write-up on the main stem Snake River last year to give some timely thoughts on autumn fishing it offers. It’s time to look at this river again because the early season deserves notice, and that season has limits. So now is the time to consider the main stem between American Falls Reservoir and the Menan Buttes. Best conditions for access would be where ice has left the river edges, and now that is everywhere. Flows throughout are slightly above average now, and water temperatures throughout are in the low forties in degrees F., so  let’s talk strategy, dry and wet.

First is dry-fly fishing, and this revolves mainly around the midge life cycle. These make up the bulk of aquatic insects living in the river. The best times for most numerous emerging insects are during low light days without wind ( if that is possible!), however midges emerge during sun-lit days albeit in reduced numbers. Either way, look for them emerging particularly at the heads and tails of riffles and slower waters. Underneath overhead cover is another location, particularly on windy days. Although it is more fun to present dry adult imitations on the surface, emerger patterns fished in the surface film or just underneath is more effective.   Drift your pattern of choice down to where fish are rising, then raise your rod tip slightly. This action simulates an emerger rising to the surface, and it is sure to attract more attention than just drifting a fly through active fish. It’s the old Leisenring lift that has been around for so many decades. When the river warms up a bit more, look for BWOs to begin emerging  up and down the river.  Hopefully that will happen before irrigation demands interfere.

Now for some thoughts on wet fly fishing. Nymphing can be effective with rubberleg, and bead head versions of just about any nymph. Present them on a floating line in riffles and shallows or on a sink tip line in deeper water.  Keep the line tight in order to feel the strike or use an indicator to visualize the strike.  A compromise between the two techniques is to place a backing section, a couple of feet long, of color (i.e.thirty-pound test in orange, pink, or yellow) contrasting that of fly line being used between leader and fly line and watch any movement of this. Some advocates go so far as to use a waterproof pen to add black stripes to this section.  Nymphing may be furn, but streamer fishing can be more exciting.  Patterns are not as important as presentation, but woolly bugger types and various streamers are effective. Some folks advocate variations of salt water patterns! Presentation means not only where to place patterns, but when to do so. Low light conditions are always the best time for streamer fishing. Low light means more overhead cover, so early mornings and evenings, or overcast days are most likely time when large fish will take the chance for safe forage. Concentrate on the side of the river out of direct light. Look for overhanging cover, sheltering subsurface structure and drop-offs.  Begin at heads of pools and runs. Sweep your fly through or jig it a number of times. If nothing shows interest, go downstream a short distance and repeat your presentation. Continue this method through the run or hole to its end.  A short (few feet) stout leader helps in getting to depth, but if you prefer to present in shallow water even a floating line can present effectively.

Access locations are too numerous to discuss here. From Menan Buttes to the reservoir the are literally several dozen of walk-in locations, and many choices for float fishing.  The best way to make a selection is to visit the shop and discuss locations with us. We try to keep tuned to what is happening on the river. Flows will not remain in the near ideal situation as now. Not too far in the future downstream irrigation will begin and increase flows substantially.  This will  move fly-fishing to the “back burner.” So now is a good time to enjoy fishing the main stem.





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.


Henry’s Lake 11/12/13

Henry’s Lake froze over not too long ago, but the warmer weather thawed it. So there is open water, but the lake has a history of freezing over for good around the  twentieth of this month. Thinking of fishing there?  Better hurry!


Henry’s Lake 11-5-13

Bad weather usually means better fishing on Henry’s Lake. Cold temperatures and wind with strong possibility of snow will be the norm, so bundle up.  When we have a night with no wind accompanied by very low air temperatures, the lake could ice over just about any time this month.  For now best fishing seems to be with intermediate lines to present small leech patterns and small fly rod jigs just about anywhere on the lake.


Henry’s Fork 11-5-13

Top water action (BWOs and midges) has slowed a bit on the lower river. When skies cloud up, the best way for action is to present streamers.  Early and late in the day will be the best times to give them a try cloudy skies or not.  Flows throughout the lower river are somewhat lower than normal, so there are plenty of good locations for wading.  Some of the best streamer fishing on the upper river can be enjoyed in Box Canyon where flow out of Island Park Dam is just under 100 cfs. Thankfully Buffalo River adds another 200 cfs.  If you enjoy presenting streamer patterns other great locations are “The Tubs” area above Macks Inn and below Coffee Pot Rapids. It is getting close to winter in Island Park, so dress accordingly!


South Fork 11-5-13

Flow out of Palisades Dam is 1250 cfs.  At Heise flow is up to 1700 cfs.  It is time for presenting streamers anywhere on the river as browns are migrating to spawning areas. Wading conditions are at their best. During overcast days like today expect good BWO activity just about anywhere on the river.  It is cold out there, and water temps are getting into the low 40s and high 30s in degrees F.  So dress accordingly.


Big Lost River 11-5-13

Flow out of Mackay Dam is only 54 cfs. This amount will concentrate fish into deeper holes and result in little bank side habitat for young trout.  Small bead head nymphs, BWO and midge life cycle patterns will bring action. Be ready for stormy weather if you try the river here!