South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports (Page 5)

Henry’s Fork, May 30th, 2020

The big stonefly hatch peak has passed the  river below Ashton Dam.  These bugs are just beginning to fly in number in the Hatchery Ford area. So the event is on its way to Box Canyon and beyond.  For the river below Ashton Dam wait a matter of days and depending on weather and water temperature, fish will have digested their bugs and be looking for more until the next big hatch ( green or gray drakes?) comes along.

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Yellowstone Park, May 30th, 2020

We have received 2020 Yellowstone Park fishing licenses and regulations. All Montana entrances to the Park open Monday, June 1st. This will make it easier to get to the Firehole River rather than going via the south entrance. The Firehole, being the usual early season Park hot spot, is likely to be well attended.  But well placed BWO & caddis life cycle patterns, soft hackles (partridge & olive, partridge & amber) will bring action.  Look for that action to improve if showers threaten.

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South Fork May 28th, 2020

Flows on the South Fork were bumped recently from 11,000 to 13,800. Fishing has been very good on the river both with nymphs and streamers. Recently blue winged olive hatches have brought fish up when conditions are right. We get a lot of questions about the water clarity this time of year and even though the water is typically “green” because of snow melt up high, it is very fishable! Give us a call at the shop or stop by next time you are around and we can get you squared away.

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Small Streams, May 26th, 2020

Many of our small streams offer solitude this time of year when aquatic insect emergences or opening day “happenings”bring crowds to some of our well-known waters. Warm River, Birch Creek, and Palisades Reservoir tributaries are good examples of small streams offering good fishing and passable roads.   Some, such as the lower Blackfoot River, may be high with irrigation water. Others such as Teton River drainage streams are running run-off high. Fall River, currently is flowing at a normal rate, but with warm weather upcoming it will soon be in serious run-off made.  The best way to find if National Forest roads leading to streams are open is to contact USFS ranger stations.

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Big Lost River, May 26th, 2020

With 211 cfs coming out of Mackay Dam, wading the river below is safe. If you want to avoid crowds such as on the Henry’s Fork and Henry’s Lake, the river here is a good choice with rainbows and an occasional brookie responding to PM BWO and all day midge activity.

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Yellowstone Park, May 26th, 2020

With Montana relaxing visitor quarantine requirements on June 1st, it is likely that park entrances from Montana gateway communities will also open. This means, for example, that access to the Madison River drainage from West Yellowstone will be available rather than going from the south entrance via Jackson Hole. Look for the Firehole River to offer its good early season fishing with BWO and caddis activity providing action.

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Henry’s Lake, May 26th, 2020

Weather was a big factor in fishing Henry’s Lake during opening weekend.  This weekend on the lake is always a “happening”, so crowds were present.  From what has come our way from the few that have stopped by, it seems that fishing success was rather spotty.

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South Fork, May 26th, 2020

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been stepped down to 11600 cfs (12600 cfs at Heise,  5950 cfs at Lorenzo). This means that several walk-in wade locations are along the river, especially because the river road from Wolverine to Black Canyon is now open. Streamer and rubber leg patterns are good choices for action in deeper water, but tops of riffles can offer some afternoon BWO activity.  Remember that any pattern resembling an aquatic worm will always be effective. So such as a San Juan Worm is worthy of being in your fly box here or anywhere. Consider that while the giant and golden stone fly hatches are ongoing through the Henry’s Fork, the South Fork offers a less crowded alternative for wading and floating.

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Henry’s Fork, May 26th, 2020

The big bugs are out and flying all along the lower river. This will make for crowds being present to enjoy responding fish.  Bear Gulch is one of the best locations for finding solitude during this event, and the big stonefly hatch here is as thick as any location on the river. Most boating anglers will be on the river below (hard bottomed boats are not allowed to portage down the slide below Lower Mesa Falls Campground), and few anglers are willing to walk the near-mile downhill to the river at the Gulch. Certainly with the warming weather coming up the hatch will advance quickly up the river.  So such as Mesa Falls, Hatchery Ford, and Riverside will be locations to consider soon for meeting the hatch.

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Southwest Montana, May 26th, 2020

Governor Bullock intends to remove the self quarantine restriction for out of state visitors on June 1st.  Thus Yellowstone Park  gateway communities will offer all retail services including those for angling.  Likely many businesses will be under social distancing conditions, so consider contacting these before a visit.

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