South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports (Page 7)

Henry’s Lake, October 27th, 2020

Air temperature  was way below zero in West Yellowstone Sunday morning, and area around Henry’s Lake was likely about the same. Ice formed around the edges making fishing from shore and boat launching nearly impossible. But look for melting as warmer weather is coming by the end of the week.


Yellowstone Park, October 24th, 2020

Snow is on the ground and it is COLD in West Yellowstone.  A lot of folks remain in town or are visiting from other places to fish for run-up browns and bows in the Madison River any where you go above Hebgen Reservoir.   If you are considering fishing the Firehole River, which is fishing very good (BWO, white miller, soft hackle patterns),first check the Park web site for road conditions.


Henry’s Fork, October 24th, 2020

From Box Canyon down to Rexburg the river a bit below normal in flow. It’s a good time to pitch streamer patterns because of the cloudy skies and easier wading conditions. However, wind will put a damper on BWO and midge activity. Cold weather coming up early next week could make any kind of fishing a bit tough.


South Fork, October 24th, 2020

Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped to 1680 cfs on Thursday (now 2110 cfs at Heise, 1340 cfs at Lorenzo). Great for walk-in fishing and from a boat because  low flow concentrates fish, but is not so good for them.  Let’s hope flow goes no lower with winter coming up.  The current windiness does not help any aquatic insect hatches.


Still Waters, October 20th, 2020

Daniels Res

Most reservoirs established to store irrigation water are at low capacity. This includes American Falls, Chesterfield, Daniels, Island Park, Treasureton, Twenty Four Mile. Because of windy days limiting visits, we do not have a lot of fishing information for these. Fish deep or in front of inlets in any of these.  Springfield Reservoir is an exception, even with low water level. Weeds are breaking up and midge fishing is good if the taking depth can be found. Slowly trolled leech and damselfly nymph and pitching small fly rod jigs also bring responses.


Main Stem Snake River, October 20th, 2020

With flow a bit below normal or near it  everywhere above Shelley, there are many locations for walk-in fishing. Some convenient ones include top end of the Deer Parks above Menan,  just below the power plant upstream of Idaho Falls, Open areas in Freeman Park, Gem Lake Dam on either side of the river, just above and below the Shelley I-15 connector. Pitching streamer patterns using a sink-tip line gives the best chance for encountering big brown trout, while BWO and midge activity  is ongoing and attracts trout for the top water enthusiast.


Henry’s Lake, October 20th, 2020

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Because of windy days keeping many fly fishers off the lake, we do not a bunch of information to pass on.  Nevertheless, the passing of tough weather has a reputation for improving fishing here. So if and when the wind dies down, it it might be worth a visit to this usually great fall season fishery.  Henry’s Lake State Park is now closed to camping, but remains open for fishing and launching boats. These conditions are sure to bring in visitors, as is the case every year, but there is enough lake in front of the park to allow room for both shoreline and boat fishing. Fish seem to congregate here each year with nearby Howard Creek attracting brook trout and cutthroat and cuttbows staging close to shore.


Henry’s Fork, October 20th, 2020

The lower river offers BWO and midge activity with responding trout for the top water enthusiast and streamer fishing for the brown trout enthusiast.  Now and during the upcoming weekend the upper river offers winter-like weather with BWO and midge activity and responding trout. Streamer and nymph presentation in deep Box Canyon holes and runs may entice a big rainbow to hit, but dress for winter especially with reliably leak proof waders.


Yellowstone Park, October 20th, 2020

Other than the Firehole River with its BWO and white miller activity ( don’t overlook offering soft hackled patterns!) making fish active, the fall season brown trout run is ongoing on all hosting streams.  All other streams offer tough fishing because of cold, low water. If you seek brown trout, no matter where you choose to go: the Madison River (which also offers run-up rainbows), the Gibbon River, the Firehole River below the falls, the Lewis River (anywhere but the steep and dangerous canyon), or the Snake River at the South Entrance, brown trout are migrating. The only problem is that there are more fly-fishers than trout on all of these!  Nevertheless streamer patterns should work well. But for the most heavily visited locations  ( Lewis River Channel, just below Lewis Lake, the Madison River within the park, the Gardner River, the Gibbon River, fish have seen streamers presented by the mass of visitors and may associate them with vibrations and disturbances from wading visitors. So try smaller flies ( bead head nymphs, egg patterns, etc.). Old Lewis River favorites pretty much forgotten these days include the Montana Black Nymph and Bitch Creek Nymph.  They sure worked well decades ago.

For all these streams, please avoid spawning locations: let’s do everything we can to help a successful spawning season, on which future populations depend. Remembering that the Yellowstone Park fishing season ends on the first Sunday in November and winter is just around the corner, you do not have much time left to encounter those big park browns.