South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Fishing Reports

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Fishing Reports (Page 70)

Henry’s Fork 8-19-17

No real change here since out last report. One event worth noting is the significant flying ant appearance along parts of the upper river.   So add patterns for these to your terrestrial patterns in that fly box if you fish during daytime.  Otherwise approach is the same: AM spinner fall patterns, terrestrial insect patterns during day time, then caddis life cycle patterns during evenings.


Small Streams 8-19-17

We have so many small waters that currently will reward you with good fishing action that it is hard to single out any one to recommend.  It’s like being a kid in a candy store. Perhaps the best approach is to contact us to pass on such as which trout species you wish to target, which water type you want to try, your terminal tackle preference, and perhaps your time constraints. That way we can suggest candidate waters to try and an appropriate fly pattern selection.


Southwestern Montana 8-19-17

If you are looking at fishing the upper Madison River and its West Fork or the Gallatin River and its Taylor Fork, be sure to include spruce fly patterns in that fly box. Certainly there are specific patterns for this insect, but such as an elk hair caddis, small stimulator, or blond humpy work just as well when presented under the same conditions. On most streams the current effective strategy, besides these, is presenting early AM trico spinner patterns, daytime terrestrial patterns, and evening caddis life cycle patterns.


South Fork 8-19-17

The flow out of Palisades Dam has been essentially constant at around 9000 cfs (about 100 cfs higher at Heise) for about two weeks, so this stability certainly helps fishing success. Finally the riffle fishing is worth trying on most on the river where an off-color (yellow-olive) PMD, #16, is emerging with fish responding.  Hopper-dropper combinations work well when drifted through runs, pockets and into the heads of holes. Some mutant golden stones are appearing on the lower river, so look for this event to move upstream over the upcoming days.  Look for improved dry fly fishing to last well into September when hopefully good BWO and mahogany dun activity will convince trout to look on top for some food.


Yellowstone Park 8-19-17

For sure such great but easily approached park waters such as the Gibbon, Lamar and Madison Rivers, Slough and Soda Butte Creeks have as many fly-fishing visitors as resident trout. Fall River Basin features streams where the sames strategies apply (current emphasis on presenting terrestrial insect patterns daytime, and trico spinner patterns in the AM, caddis life cycle patterns in later PM) but much fewer fly-fishing visitors.  But Fall River Basin also features Beula Lake which this time of year offers perhaps the fastest fly-fishing in the park.  It is only a 2.5 mile walk off the Ashton-Flagg Road and can be fished from shore to enjoy a Yellowstone cutthroat trout population with individuals ranging to trophy size. Before usual PM breezes kick in, dry fly action through presenting  cinnamon caddis, speckled dun and damsel fly adult patterns around the shoreline can be excellent. Afterwards small leech, and nymph patterns bring the best action.  The Ashton-Flagg road is rough but with care can be traveled by such as sedans.   Like much of the park Fall River Basin is bear country and PM thundershowers are frequent. Other than these for which standard precautions apply, no big dangers exist. Contact us for more information on fishing not only Beula Lake but other Fall River Basin waters whether Beula Lake or the other quality waters within.


South Fork 8-15-17

Not much change here. Even flow out of Palisades Dam is about the same as last week. Dry fly fishing shows little improvement since then also. It a year with a unusual major situation (lengthy high water period) than recent years.  So we have expect differences, even though the fish are still in residence.


Southwestern Montana 8-12-17

For the Madison River, same as on the Henry’s Fork: expect best action during early in the day spinner falls and evening caddis activity. Terrestrial patterns along well vegetated banks will be you best bet during day time.  If you fish below the wade only section, whether you are wading or from a boat, expect interruptions from other boating anglers having accents or lingo from all corners of the world.


Still Waters 8-12-17

The “Fish deep, Fish early, etc”  saying still applies just about everywhere.   The only exception might be for presenting dry speckled dun and damselfly patterns in the event rising fish are spotted.   On most of our reservoirs the top several inches of water are warmer than below and therefore of less comfort when fish move into this level. This suggests that only a dense emergence of these insects will bring fish to the top and that in other situations they are more likely to feed at lower depths on such as nymph, leech, and pupa forms simply because of higher dissolved oxygen concentrations.  Thus be sure to include  these “deeper water” patterns in that fly box even though you may spot fish rising.


Yellowstone Park 8-12-17

If you enjoy presenting terrestrial insect patterns on meadow streams, this time of year the park offers an unmatched variety of quality waters for doing so. Starting in the southwest corner, all Fall River Basin (Bechler, & Fall Rivers, Boundary & Mountain Ash Creeks) streams have meadow reaches full of ants, beetles, crane flies, and grasshoppers and not many fly-fishing visitors. The same insects prevail in the meadow stretches on Duck Creek and the Gibbon River, and the “Grasshopper Bank” on the Madison River was named for good reason.  Do Firehole River trout a favor and try elsewhere until late September cools waters to their comfort. Now that the big stonefly events have moved through the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone River, terrestrial insect patterns bring the big interest from trout as they do on the Gardner River meadow sections. Not to be outdone, the northeast corner of the park offers almost a many quality meadow streams as Fall River Basin, but in a more crowded manner. Lamar River and Slough and Soda Butte Creek offer roadside convenience as well as upstream isolation.  To the south, Lewis River meadow sections and the Snake River around and above the south entrance offer the same.

Certainly aquatic insect activity attracts trout on all these waters with such as AM spinner falls,  daytime PMD & speckled dun emergences and some afternoon caddis activity. But you can bet on those big fish lurking in undercuts and beneath well-vegetated banks waiting for that unfortunate terrestrial guy drifting by and a resulting take!


Small Streams 8-12-17

What a difference a year makes with respect to small stream fishing success! Last year such as Palisades Reservoir tribs as McCoy and Bear Creeks were slow dry fly fishing most of the summer. Now both host some large cutts that have remained in-stream because of abundant food, better cover, and cooler water.  Traditional dry patterns (humpys, renegades, wulffs, p-chute adams & cahills), caddis life cycle, and terrestrial insect patterns bring action with the chance for a trophy cutt responding from late morning to early evening.  Afternoon western green drake (flav) activity on Big Elk Creek, in addition to what works on other reservoir tribs, makes that creek particularly fun to visit.  Look for the kokanee run to start there soon, and let’s see if the same happens on Bear Creek where IDF&G transplanted some last year from Big Elk Creek.  Teton River PMD and speckled dun activity is bringing action in the river in the Basin.  But the canoe, kayak, row boat, and paddle-board emergence can hinder mid day fishing. So best chance for uninterrupted fishing there is during early AM spinner falls, and evening caddis emergence, but do not overlook presenting terrestrial insect patterns during daytime and early evening. The Blackfoot River above the reservoir features cutts responding to the great grasshopper abundance in not only the wildlife management area but the Monsanto purchase downstream of the narrows.

So it goes on and on with great small stream fishing in the area. Come to the shop, or get in touch with us for more info on our abundance of great small waters to visit and current conditions on them.