South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports (Page 13)

South Fork 9-25-18


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Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped last night to 6750 cfs last night, and may continuing to drop today. Current flow  of 7060 at Heise will drop further today. Look for flows to drop again later this week.  BWOs and Mahoganies are emerging from the South Fork, at least along the lower river.   Streamer action is also picking up.  Hoppers are abundant throughout, and fish near vegetated banks are responding to patterns cast toward them. Caddis provide evening action. So looks like autumn is bringing better fishing up and down the river.


Small Streams 9-22-18

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Now that most recreationists have left for the summer, the Teton River in the Basin is a lot more tranquil for a visit.  Expect a few duck hunters on the river when mid October rolls around, but they will not be scaring BWOs.  Warm River offers some good evening fishing, thanks to caddis activity.   Some of our smaller streams, i.e. Palisades, Big Elk, Stump, South Fork of Tincup, and Bear, will offer good fishing for weeks to come. The Blackfoot River below the reservoir will become a destination when flows are reduced at the end of the month.  Consider taking that lightweight rod to the Birch Creek Family Area. So there is a lot of small stream fishing to enjoy during autumn. Get in touch with us, and we can suggest even more streams to enjoy.


South Fork 9-22-18

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Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped to 7200 cfs on 9/20. Flow at Lorenzo is now about 3500 cfs.  This makes for more walk-in wade opportunities. Hopper-dropper combinations seem to work OK the lower river, but streamer fishing has been good up and down the river.  Somber patterns ( black, dark olive, brown) seem most effective.  Don’t expect BWOs and mahoganies to provide good dry fly fishing until we get some really stormy weather.


Small Streams 9-18-18




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We have a most unusual small stream in our area that can offer most interesting fishing. That stream  is Red Rock Creek in Montana’s Centennial Valley, just west of Henry’s Lake.  What makes it so interesting is its grayling population, among which are a few individuals approaching eighteen inches in length.  These fish can be difficult, however, but when found in a feeding mood provide perhaps amongst our rarest of fly-fishing treats. Right now their season in the creek is winding down, so they are retreating downstream to upper Red Rock Lake. They however can take caddis life cycle patterns (#12-18) and small ( nothing bigger than #10, 2x long hooks is advised) terrestrial patterns if in a feeding mode. If you are lucky enough to encounter then release one, be sure to handle it gently and quickly. That is because these unusually beautiful salmonids are in danger of diminishing. By the way, Odell Creek, further to the west, slightly smaller, and ending in Lower Red Rock Lake also hosts these living gems.


South Fork 9-18-18

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Fishing sure has slowed down up & down the river. Best results, if you can call it such, seems to be for those fly-fishers presenting hopper-dropper ( bead head nymphs of choice) combinations in the canyon stretch.  Flow out of Palisades has been constant for about ten days at around 8100-8500 cfs.  Lower flows are coming, but what is really needed to bring on the BWOs and mahoganies is a stretch of cold stormy weather, and for now none of this is in weather forecasts.


South Fork 9-15-18


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Flow out of Palisades Dam remains constant at about 8500 cfs.  For some set of reasons riffle fishing on the upper river has slowed, but presenting hopper  patterns in close to vegetated banks remains effective, especially on the lower river. Flows below the Big Feeder are around 5600 cfs  ( just about normal for this time of year), so downstream of Heise is best water for finding action. For sure some stormy weather would help bring on the BWO activity everyone is waiting for!


Main Stem Snake River 9-15-18


River flow is slightly higher than average for this time of year:  4530 cfs at Shelly, where 3840 cfs is normal flow there.   Nevertheless this begins the time to present streamers for browns beginning to migrate and foraging rainbows. Doing so via boating on this river is more effective than walk-in wade fishing.  You will likely encounter fewer boats than on the South Fork or on the lower Henry’s Fork. Low light conditions will be best for this, meaning first light or evening. Stormy conditions will be another good time, if we ever have some storms!


South Fork 9-11-18

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No changes in flow out of Palisades Dam in the last several days.  Presenting hopper patterns from the old Joe’s Hopper to current chernobyl types is best way for dry fly fishing success all along the river. Any day now BWOs will become important. Bad weather would bring them on sooner. Try a streamer or two if you find low light conditions.


Yellowstone Park 9-11-18

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If you are a dry fly enthusiast, presenting hopper patterns is the way to success especially on any Park meadow stream. Watch the Park weather reports before you venture to the northeast corner. Recent storms have discolored the Lamar River. Slough and Soda Butte Creeks are less likely to discolor, but they too can become quite crowded at or near roadside locations.  At the southwest corner of the park you will not find crowded fishing on Fall River Basin streams, and they are unlikely to discolor.  AM trico activity compliments the daytime use of hopper and other terrestrial insect patterns there. The Firehole River is cooling off, and BWO life cycle, terrestrial insect, white miller, and soft hackle patterns will work and do so even better during stormy periods.  If you are a streamer enthusiast, the Madison River is now hosting run-up browns and ‘bows from Hebgen Lake. Best times to encounter them is during low light periods.  Are you looking for a small stream that offers fast action? Try Obsidian Creek or any other stream in the upper Gardner River drainage.  Are you looking for the best still water fishing in the Park? Nowhere beats Beula Lake this time of year where small leech, small beadhead nymph and cinnamon caddis patterns bring action.


Stillwater 9-10-18

Most the stillwater fishing in the area would be classified as “Fair”.  The best stillwater fishing the last couple weeks has been at Hebgen. We are still hearing of some gulper fishing, but the indicator and slow sinking lines have been taking a fair amount of fish too. Smaller leeches and Callibaetis nymphs would be what I would start with. Folks are having decent fishing on Daniels, Chesterfield, and Springfield Reservoirs, but nothing crazy yet. I think all three are ready to open up and start fishing very well as soon as we get some colder weather. We have heard Chesterfield has a mild algae bloom, but it should totally dissipate as the weather starts to cool. When it does chironomids and leech patterns should be very effective in the shallows all around the lake. Like our Henry’s Lake report mentioned, I would strongly recommend having at least 3 different lines with you to fish our area stillwaters. On the reservoirs outside of Henry’s Lake, I would recommend having a floating line set up for indicator fishing and dry & dry dropper set ups. The Rio Gold has been our best selling floating line and performs perfect for the tasks mentioned. Second, I would have an intermediate sinking line for fishing the 3-8ft depth range that we commonly fish on the southern reservoirs. We have a few different options for intermediates in the shop, but the SA frequency and Cortland Clear Camo line seem to be the best performers. Last, I would have either a type 3 or type 4 for those days where things just aren’t happening in the shallows and you really need to get down to the fish. Here I would recommend either the SA wet cell type 4 or the In touch Deep 3 from Rio. The intouch deep 3 from rio has the new “non stretch” core that really transmits feel and strikes better than any full sinking line I’ve used before.