South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports (Page 63)

South Fork 5-9-18


03-26-13 South Fork Bald Eagle

Looks like the South Fork is on its way to reasonable fly-fishing conditions, but has a way to go.  On May 1st flow from Palisades Dam was dropped to 13900 cfs (now 15400 cfs at Heise, 11200 cfs at Lorenzo) and remains there this day. The reservoir is currently about 47% of capacity and slowly filling.  Warming weather and abundant remaining snow could speed up the filling rate.  So for now stock up on well-weighted streamer, San Juan worm,  and rubber leg patterns because better fly-fishing days on the river are soon to come.


Big Lost River 5-9-18



We’ve had a few inquiries about Big Lost River fishing conditions just below Mackay Dam. Right now flow out of the dam is not far below 400 cfs making for difficult and dangerous wading there.  That’s about double normal flow for this date.  It might be a while before run-off and water demand allow for better wading conditions.



Still Waters 5-5-18

Sand Creek Piggy

With most of our approachable streams running high with runoff, folks are looking at still waters for an outing.  Most reports we have indicate slow fishing on most still waters. At  Springfield Reservoir presenting a midge pupa pattern under an indicator at depth is the best bet.  Chesterfield Reservoir action is as slow as molasses in January, and Twenty-Four Mile Reservoir seems to feature only small fish. We have no reports of action on Hawkins and Treasureton Reservoirs.  Roads to Horseshoe and Teardrop Lakes remain snow covered.

You will have to go the long way around (through Malad City) to fish Daniels Reservoir.  The short cut of Dairy Creek Road above Hawkins Reservoir is currently impassable but will soon be worked on.

If/when we hear of action picking up anywhere, we will post such here


Henry’s Fork 4-10-18

Fishing success along the river from Warm River to Chester Dam has been about normal for this time of year.   Flows here are a somewhat high.  BWOs, and March browns have been providing top water action for those enthusiasts presenting emerger and dun patterns along with midge life cycle patterns. Big rubber leg and stone fly nymph patterns drifted through runs and into upstream portions of holes and pockets will produce with chances for more interest from larger fish.  The same goes for streamer patterns presented under low light conditions.

Be ready to see more anglers, whether wading or boating, present anywhere along the Henry’s Fork because of the South Fork’s high water situation.


South Fork 4-1-18

Yesterday flow out of Palisades Dam was increased to 18000 cfs.  That flow makes for difficult near-term fishing. Over the last month the Palisades Dam flow graph looks like a step function, and for good reason. There is more than normal snow pack in the upper Snake River drainage.  Thus the Bureau of Reclamation placed a public announcement on April 3rd giving their Snake River water management strategy. Here is an excerpt from it that impacts the South Fork reach and the main stem Snake River to just below American Falls Dam.   Note Reclamation’s  estimate of 114% of the recent decade average.  That’s the basis for their management strategy.

Reclamation’s April through July volume runoff forecast for Heise is 3700 KAF, which is 114% of the 1981-2010 average.  To begin advancing on updated flood control targets for Jackson Lake Dam and Palisades Dam the following changes have or will be made this week. 

·       Jackson Lake Dam discharge will be increased Thursday (4/5) at 10 am from the current 630 cfs up to between 1,000 cfs and 1,500 cfs.

·       Palisades Dam discharge will be increased Thursday (4/5) evening into Friday (4/6) morning to go from the current 10,000 cfs up to between 14,500 cfs and 16,000 cfs by Friday morning.

·       American Falls Dam discharges were increased today from 11,000 cfs to 13,000 cfs.  Another increase will occur Wednesday (4/4) morning at 10 am to go from 13,000 cfs to 15,000 cfs.

The intent with respect to Palisades Reservoir is to decrease its capacity to around 50% ( Currently at about 70%) in order to contain expected run off.  More increases in flow out of these three dams are possible, with weather being a factor in determining flow management. For additional information and resources, please visit Reclamation’s website at: .


Henry’s Fork

This is the time of year where we are starting to see the bug activity picking up on the Henry’s Fork. Around mid-day there has been the long awaited emergence of Blue Winged Olives, and the midge hatches continue to be pretty steady. Fishing midges and BWO in the slower water has been pretty productive, so  try using BWO and midge clusters in sizes 16 and 18, and single midge patterns in sizes 18 and 20. I will fish a sparsely tied BWO size 16, or a well dressed BWO in 18. I usually fish 2 flies 2 feet apart on 4 and 5x Rio Suppleflex tippet, on a 9 – 12 foot Rio Powerflex 4x leader.

As for the nymph angler, running a Pat’s Rubberlegs trailed 18″ off the back with a size 14 Pheasant Tail or chartreuse Glo Bug, have been producing good numbers of fish. We are starting to see plenty of beds dug by spawning rainbows, so like every year, please watch your step if you see areas of dug, clean gravel. There are plenty of fish that are pushed in to a little faster water right now, and they are feeding well on nymphs, so don’t just focus on the deep water. I have caught some nice fish in only a foot or two of riffle water, and there seems to be a good amount of them sitting right off the drop offs of fast water in 2-4 foot deep buckets. The slow pools are kind of tricky to nymph, but running a little lighter setups while slowly bouncing the bottom will produce some nice size fish. I know it sounds like fish are all over the river, and they are, but if you focus your efforts on drop offs and slow pools, you will find fish.

Streamer fishing can produce some nice fish right now. Try fishing a slower retrieve with a pause, or a fly on the swing to produce some feisty fish. I usually swing or dead drift sculpin patterns, and strip some larger articulated patterns, usually in the Galloup variety. Color is going to be a day to day, or hour to hour thing, so bring a good selection of streamers to fish. I can usually get fish to eat olive or brown sculpin patterns on every trip, so you should at the very least have those in your box..


Tying Demo 3-3-18


10:00 A.M. TO 1:00 P.M., Saturdays from November 25th, 2017 though March, 2018
Each year Jimmy’s All Seasons Angler features this winter-time institution.   These Saturday fly tying demonstrations are free to the public.  Attending the demos is a great way to learn tying techniques, new and old, and to stay current on the use of materials and tools. The tiers we feature are among the best.  Each has great experience in tying and use of the flies they demonstrate.  Each is ready to share their tying and presentation knowledge and skills with you.

We began our winter slate of fly tying demos on Saturday, November 25th. So far we have scheduled tiers up to March 10th which will be our last this season. Take a look below at who is scheduled. Bring your fly tying questions to the shop any time.  We have fly tiers on our staff with enough experience to answer any question you may have on materials, equipment, technique, and presentation.  On moving through the given dates, we will post a bio for the upcoming tier.

                                                                 2017-2018 Fly Tying Demo Schedule Completed

It was a fun season with several fly tiers demonstrating for the first time at the shop.  We began on November 25th, 2017, continued through a cold, blustery December,  on through a mild January and most of February, and finished during a wintry first week in March.  Attendance was excellent and well-behaved.   Demonstrating tiers  were the same as well as generous.  All this means that we will resume our tying demos next November. Again the demos will feature  excellent, personable tiers, and we will invite the public to attend.   Watch our web site and Facebook to see the date 2018-2019 our tying demo season begins.










Main Stem Snake River 11-28-17

FullSizeRender (2)

Flow out of Palisades Reservoir certainly impacts flow in the Snake River down to American Falls Reservoir this time of year when water use for agricultural purposes greatly diminish. Currently flows in this part of the river are around double historical averages at nearly all gauge stations. Because Palisades Reservoir is near capacity, flow will likely remain higher than the historical average  with the possibility of increasing  during the winter. As with the South Fork reach above the Henry’s Fork confluence, walk-in-wade fishing will be tougher, but fish will benefit greatly.  Presenting streamer patterns will be the best way to encounter fish in the river during the winter season.


South Fork 11-28-17

At Heise Br. (640x480)

Palisades Reservoir seems to be filling. Volume of water there was 95% capacity a few days ago, now it is 97% capacity. Look for flows into the South Fork to remain about where they are now ( about 4200 cfs) with future increases out of Palisades Reservoir possible.  Although walk-in-wade fishing will be a bit tougher than in past winters, fish will be the big winners of these flows if they last through the winter.  Whether or not we have high water conditions during spring and summer of 2018 depends on snowfall amounts this coming winter.  Until springtime midge hatches will provide top water fishing, while presenting streamer patterns and nymph patterns ranging from small bead heads to larger rubber leg types will result in the best techniques for sub-surface fishing.


Henry’s Fork 11-21-17



With respect to BWO and midge activity, conditions on the lower river are much the same as those on the South Fork. Upcoming weather and fewer daylight hours means more overhead cover.  So with mild but unsettled weather coming up, now is a good time to give the lower river a try. Presenting small flies will be the name of the game for top water fishing.  Presenting soft hackle patterns just under the surface during BWO activity can be particularly rewarding, and presenting streamers will be the best way to encounter larger fish anywhere on the river.  BWO and midge hatches will slow on the river in Island Park, although presenting streamers remains effective in such as Box Canyon and The Tubs area.  Winter conditions prevail on the river in Island Park, so venturing to the river there means taking precautions for such as well as being aware of any upcoming hazardous travel conditions.