South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Small Streams

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Small Streams

Small Streams 7-13-19

We are in the time of year when South Fork-Palisades Reservoir tributaries can be destinations.Those going into the reservoir from the south, McCoy and Bear Creek, still hold a few large run-up fish. A well maintained road runs the length of McCoy Creek, a good trail  (motorized only for trail bikes) leaves the parking-corral area and runs for miles up Bear Creek.  A good non-motorized trail runs for miles up Big Elk Creek (entering from the north) which around mid August features an afternoon western green drake emergence. These streams host only cutthroat trout. Terrestrial, traditional attractor, golden stone, yellow sally, and caddis patterns work best with PMD life cycle patterns the best in mayflies for each creek. Descriptions of campgrounds on these can be seen on the Caribou-Targhee N. F. web site.

Streams coming into the South Fork below Palisades Dam include Burns, Palisades, Pine, and Rainey Creek.  Pine Creek is paralleled by State Highway 31 and therefore heavily fished for cutthroat trout.  Palisades Creek is the only one with a campground, has a non-motorized trail paralleling for miles, and below Lower Palisades Lake hosts cutthroat and cutt-bow hybrid trout.  Rainey Creek, paralleled by a gravel road hosts a diminished population of cutthroat trout, but offers good fishing in its upper reach.  Burns Creek is reached from the 12-mile gravelled River Road upstream from Heise. A motorized trail parallels it for miles with the best fishing for cutthroat trout being in its upper reach. The same fly selection given for streams running into Palisades Reservoir apply to these streams.

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Small Streams 7-9-19

The choice here is almost endless. Do you want some tranquility? Again your choice is almost endless.  Contact us on which may be best based on current information. Do you want to fill a 25-fish legal daily limit of brook trout for an upcoming fish fry? Best candidates for doing so are Little Warm River, Robinson, Sawmill, Beaver, Cottonwood, Trail, and Partridge Creeks.

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Small Streams 7-2-19

All South Fork tributaries opened to fishing yesterday.  Of the Palisades Reservoir tributaries McCoy and Bear Creeks offer the best fishing.   Look for  small stoneflies, PMDs, and afternoon caddis activity to provide the best dry fly fishing on these, so have life cycle patterns for these handy.   Small traditional attractors, wet and dry, will also work well.  Little Warm River has good fishing for small brookies which make for good holiday fish fries.  Beaver and Medicine Lodge Creek are in good shape for fishing although we have little info on each so far.

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Small Streams 6-25-19

The Blackfoot River drainage above the reservoir opens to fishing Monday (July 1st). The river flow is about normal, but best fishing will be with steamers and wooly bugger types. A minimal evening brown drake hatch occurs in the meadow reaches not long after opening.  PMDs are not numerous, and green drakes, if any, are very few. For faster water, such as in the narrows,  stonefly nymphs  (#6-8) and streamers are a good choice until we reach warmer conditions, then terrestrial patterns are best anywhere in the river.  The Teton River (and Bitch Creek) is high with run-of and will be that way for a while. Believing that  is easy on viewing the snow fields remaining on the west slope.  Most other small streams are in fishing condition and roads to them are passable. Warm River just below the spring and across from Bear Gulch and Robinson Creek are fishing well (caddis, PMD life cycle, beetle/ant and traditional attractor patterns) and will get you away from the crowds.

Here is some information on back country roads going to fishing spots.  The Ashton-Flagg Road is open west of the Bridger-Teton Forest boundary, but quite rough, meaning access to Fall River upstream drainage (including Beula Lake) is possible.  The Fish Creek Road is open at the Chick Creek Road junction, but closed above and below it. The Cave Falls Road is open but scarred with connecting potholes (gives a vehicle suspension quite a workout!) from the Horseshoe lake junction on east.

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Small Streams 6-22-19

All tributaries to Palisades Reservoir and those going out of Idaho into the Salt River are in fishing shape. The same goes for Robinson Creek, Beaver Creek, and Medicine Lodge Creek. Big Lost River is stocked with rainbows near Arco , but high water remains coming out of Mackay Dam.  Birch Creek family area remains one of the best places to take a youngster fishing. So there are plenty of small stream fishing options in our ares.

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Small Streams 6-8-19

 

 

Warm River Spg.

Back country roads are opening up allowing access to many smaller streams. Roads to Bear and McCoy Creeks are open, but both are running a bit high with some discolor. The road into Warm River Spring is open, and the river here, especially going downstream, will have good action when nymph patterns, with and without bead heads, are presented. BWOs should be coming out in good numbers there.  Fall River is running high from a combination of rain and run-off.  All Teton River drainage streams are running high with run-off and from recent rains.  Robinson Creek is clearing but high. Lower Blackfoot River is running high.

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Small Streams 9-25-18

Blackfoot River above graves creek

Flow out of Blackfoot River Reservoir is dropping and currently is just below 200 cfs. This signals the beginning of good dry fly fishing in this part of the river where banks still hold good numbers of hoppers. Evening caddis activity will attract more fish now that water is lower.   As we cool down be aware that weeds are breaking up and mats of them will be drifting down the river. Float fishing on the river below the dam will end soon because of the “rock gardens” that emerge with dropping flows this time of year.

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Small Streams 9-22-18

Big Elk (2)

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.

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Small Streams 9-18-18

 

 

 

Catfish grayling (640x480)

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.

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