South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Today at Jimmy’s

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Today at Jimmy’s

Today at Jimmy’s, January 2nd, 2021

Unfortunately we will not offer fly tying and fly casting classes for the foreseeable future. The ongoing virus situation is the reason.  When administration of vaccines reduces infections to a rate acceptable to State of Idaho health authorities to normal social conditions, we will resume these classes.  We regret this announcement, but public safety comes first.


It’s Time for Season Ending Tasks

Old Man Winter is knocking on our doors, and those “bluebird days” are getting rarer. Soon only the few hardiest of fly-fishers will be out on the water.  Most of us are saying good-bye to ice in the guides, ice clogged reels, frigid winds, and chilled fingers. For many of us there could be a final trip to the river where it remains accessible or to one of the diminishing number of still waters remaining ice free. True, memories from the good times of the season past will sustain us until faded by events coming in the next season.  We, of course, our lucky because Idaho Department of Fish and Game grants us the Catch and Release season on many streams and many still waters remain open even though for ice fishing. The only problem will be travel to many of these places will not be possible, so our where-to-go choice will be limited. But for those bidding adieu to the season, there remains some actions born out of prudence to prepare for either the upcoming Catch and Release or when the next general season begins. All this revolves around, cleaning, repairing, and even updating that equipment we all treasure.

Perhaps nothing in the fly-fishing equipment world suffers wear and tear like a fly line.  It is always under some kind of stress when in motion.  Any loop whether formed during casting or drifting applies a differential stress on a line.   The best action here is to unload the line and inspect it for surface breaks that eventually will expose the core or for areas of exposed core. Either one signals it is time to buy a new line. After inspection it is time to clean the line. Immersion in a warm water-detergent mixture to loosen grime deposits works, then a wipe dry with a soft fabric towel under gentle pressure from index finger and thumb works. After drying I like to lubricate with a product such as Mucilin before storage.

Fly line backing also suffers wet-dry cycles, so it is a good idea to inspect it for damage. If you are lucky enough to tackle a number fish that get into your backing, a cleaning with that detergent-warm water mixture then drying before storage is a good idea.

For cleaning that reel an old tooth brush to apply the detergent-warm water mixture followed up with lubrication works. Nothing, however, works as well as an ultrasonic cleaning. Jewelers use these as a standard for cleaning all kind of jewelry. Ask your jeweler friend to immerse your reel and separated spool in the cleaner tank and turn the cleaner on. If the jeweler allows you to watch it in action, you will be amazed to see the dirt literally flying off these into the tank’s water. After a minute or so the immersed equipment will be totally cleaned of a seasonal accumulation of grease and grime. By the way, ultra sonic cleaning also works great for cleaning lines.

Leaders and tippets should be replaced at the end of the season.   They suffer the same differential stress as the line and “wind knots”  are a death knell to any leader or tippet.

No one wants leaking waders regardless of the season. Inspection after any use is always a good practice for nipping emerging damage at the bud.  But if significant repairs are needed, now is the best time to send them to the manufacturer for doing such.

At the end of a season the contents of that fly box can be mixed up. So complete drying of each then reorganizing or placing in storage is the next step. But while doing either of these, have that nearby tea kettle going in a steaming mode.  Using tweezers, place any fly with disorganized hackle in the out-coming steam jet. Hackles will jump back into position. Allow the steamed flies to dry thoroughly, then move to storage.

Sad as it is, these actions signal a general season coming to an end. But they also are prudent for beginning the next begin season with minimum equipment failures.



Today at Jimmy’s, October 17th, 2020

Chad Larson (208-346-1459) tells us Thursday evening he lost a green & black Cabela’s backpack between Kelly’s Island and Wolf Flat.  Contents include a Pfleuger reel, multi-compartment box of flies, dual sided snap box of flies, and assorted tools.  Chad would much appreciate recovery if you find this item.


South Fork October 17th, 2020

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been ramped down to 3980 cfs ( now 4610 cfs at Heise, 2380 at Lorenzo).  This makes for even more wading  locations. Even with the wind this is good BWO conditions up and down the river.  There are plenty of sheltered spots along the river, especially in side channels. Don’t forget to have streamer patterns in that fly box; they are becoming more effective each day this time of year.

Chad Larson (208-346-1459) tells us Thursday evening he lost a green & black Cabela’s backpack between Kelly’s Island and Wolf Flat.  Contents include a Pfleuger reel, multi-compartment box of flies, dual sided snap box of flies, and assorted tools.  Chad would much appreciate recovery if you find this item.


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.


Yellowstone Park, May 16th, 2020


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We will be a 2020 Yellowstone National Park fishing license vendor.  Interruptions caused by dealing with the covid-19 virus has slowed the Park’s preparation and distribution of these licenses, but we expect having them with accompanying regulations soon. On arrival of these items, we will place notice of such here.  The Park fishing season is scheduled to open this year on Saturday, May 23rd. However to date certain areas of the Park are currently closed including to fishing.  If/when these areas open to fishing, we will post such on this web site.

For more information on Yellowstone Park’s upcoming happenings and plans, go to


Today at Jimmy’s, May 16th, 2020

Beginning at 10 AM today we will resume selling non-resident fishing licenses. This is because “Phase Two” of the Governor’s  covid-19 recovery plan allows such actions. Also quarantine restrictions ( 14 days self isolation) for out of state visitors has been lifted through the Governor’s action.

All this is great news for fly-fishers anticipating trout responses to the upcoming sequence of  insect hatches on east Idaho waters.


Jim Gabettas Life Sketch

As many of you know, our dad, Jim Gabettas, passed away April 12 after a brief illness. In these unusual times, we thought the best way to celebrate Dad’s life is through photos and memories of a quiet, yet remarkable life.

We are grateful to everyone who touched our father over the years—the countless friends, customers, shop employees and folks who dropped by to say “hello” and talk fishing in Dad’s office.

Jimmy, Chris and Jennifer


Today at Jimmy’s, May 2, 2020


As we are rolling out a plan for re-opening the shop, we hope everyone takes into consideration the safety of not only yourself, but those around you.

  • Monday, May 4th we will be “soft•opening” the shop. What does this mean? We are still HIGHLY encourage curbside pick up.
  • Face masks <or buff> will be mandatory for all customers to enter the shop.
  • All shop staff will also be masked.
  • Only 4 customers will be allowed in the shop at a time.
  • A sanitation station <compliant with the CDCs recommendations> will be placed at the door for use before entering & upon exiting.
  • Have a prepared shopping list upon arrival to limit browsing time.
  • Appointment only for trying on waders, boots & clothing.
  • Out of state fishing/hunting licenses are still NOT available to purchase at the shop or online.
  • We will keep you posted on any dates/information pertaining to fishing, licensing, etc., made available to us.
  • Thank you all for continuing to show your support for the shop and our community, we look forward to getting back to “normal” and seeing your faces!

Today at Jimmy’s, April 21, 2020

F&G Commission amends earlier decision and allows more nonresident license, tag and permit sales.


The Idaho Fish and Game Commission on April 9 amended its previous ( April 4th) decision to temporarily suspend sales of some nonresident licenses, tags, and permits to also allow nonresident sales under specific situations, including with respect to fishing:

  • Allow people who moved to Idaho to establish residency less than 6 months ago, or who have not gotten an Idaho driver’s license as required within 90 days of Idaho residency, to still purchase a nonresident license under these conditions:

1. Person produces an Idaho driver’s license, or Idaho Identification Card, issued by the Idaho Transportation Department, or a person produces two documents issued by a third party showing name and Idaho residence address, such as rent, mortgage receipts or utility bills.

2. Person signs a declaration demonstrating bona fide intent to become an Idaho resident.

People who are eligible to buy license and tags under these criteria must contact a Fish and Game regional office  or headquarters via phone to arrange for the purchase of eligible nonresident items.  This action cannot be performed by license vendors.