Great news for the South Fork! We are at normal irrigation demand flows (currently 11900 cfs out of Palisades Dam, 14500 cfs at Heise) which may prevail for weeks, and the river is shaping up in a fly fishing sense. Established riffle areas have become riffles again, soft water is increasing in size & amount, and drop-offs are more easily approached. There are some physical changes in the river meaning new channels, movement of gravel bars and some riffles, size of islands, etc. This is especially true for the lower river. Consider that the South Fork from Byington downstream is a “new river.” That means new channels, new riffles, new drop-offs, new snags and log jams. In other words new everything. Changes such as these are to be expected because of length of time that the unusually high flows (since March) took place. All this means caution takes a front seat when fishing especially this section of river.
With respect to fly-fishing strategy, nymphing with such as rubber legs on down in size to your favorite bead head patterns are the way to go for now. With respect to dry fly presentation, effectiveness will improve as we move through the days ahead. So try your favorite golden stonefly adult pattern trailed with a small bead head nymph dropper such as copper john, zebra, or prince. PMDs and sallys are coming out on the lower river, but it may take a few days for trout to key on them in a serious manner. Below see some fly pattern info that you can use to build a inventory for upcoming trips on the South Fork (and Henry’s Fork)
We at Jimmy’s will keep on top of the South Fork’s return to its reputation as a great fly-fishing location. Get in touch with us for up-to-date info on it, or on any other area stream or still water.
The Snake River Cutthroats, the TU and FFF affiliated club in Idaho Falls, is offering a winter slate of classes. See below.
Beginning Fly Tying begins Tuesday, January 17th at Idaho Falls high School and runs for six weeks. Classes are each Tuesday from 7-9PM. Basic techniques are taught with emphasis on local patterns. Materials are included in the cost of $30. Students (10 yrs and older) must bring a tying vise, scissors, bobbin and other useful tools. Some extra tools will be available at the class. Contact Jeff Armstrong at 208-522-7005.
Fly Rod Building starts with an informational/orientation class on Saturday, January 12th, 6:30-7:30 at All Seasons Angler. Here instructors will help students determine which size rod blank and components to purchase for the class. On Saturday, January 28th rod building class will be held from 10 AM to 5:30 PM at the Idaho Falls Public Library. Cost is $30 and is for novice and expert. A rod can be built for half of retail cost. Contact Wade Allen; 208-390-3130.
We can now answer questions on when our 2016-2017 Saturday fly tying demos will begin. The first demo will be held Saturday, November 26th. Demos will continue each Saturday through the middle of March, 2017. As in the past, demos begin at 10 AM and extend to around 1 PM. We are contacting tiers to work out a schedule which we will begin posting and updating here within a few weeks.
A big story this spring in Franklin County has been the threat to close access to lakes because of the concern of invasive mussels. The situation seems to be constantly evolving, but here is the most current information as we have heard it. The whole situation is very confusing, so interpret this information as you wish, hopefully things are clarified here shortly.
All Franklin County Reservoirs: No ballast compartment boats allowed (wake board boats)
Twin Lakes : $5 launching fee, all watercraft using Twin Lakes must have been recently inspected by an inspection station operated by and for the ISDA and have in its possession written certification. You have to stop at Twin Lakes e to show this.
Glendale Reservoir: The barricades will be open tomorrow May 15 at 7:00 a.m. A verification checkpoint will be staffed 7 days a week from 7 am to 7 pm The cost for verification per watercraft will be $10.00 for Franklin county residents and $20.00 for out of county. The license plate of the tow vehicle and driver license will prove residency. No cash accepted just debit/credit cards and local checks.
The verification staff will be asking for proof of a ISDA inspection form/passbook for any watercraft that has left the county AND a 2016 invasive sticker attached to vessel or Idaho boat registration. The ISDA form must then be displayed on the dashboard of tow vehicle. County residents need to visit the ISDA station within 5 days of launching or have an ISDA trailer/boat orange tag.
ISDA stations are open all daylight hours. One is located at Highway 91 in Franklin City. Others at state line roads throughout Idaho.”
These are the two main lakes we have heard information about. You can safely assume that all lakes owned by the Twin Lakes Canal company will have these regulations in place.As of this writing, nothing has been posted or made known to us about Treasureton Reservoir.
Speaking of Treasureton…… For those who fish Treasureton, this is a big year for the lake. For several years the Fish and Game has been monitoring the situation at the lake with illegally introduced Largemouth Bass. There is talk of poisoning the reservoir this fall and starting over. We have been talking to biologist Dave Teuscher about this and have mixed feelings. Here is a message from Dave regarding the situation;
“We have been considering a treatment since bass were illegally introduced about 10 years ago. As you know, we have many bass fisheries in Franklin County and Treasureton Reservoir is managed as a trophy trout water. I am preparing a data summary for the reservoir that shows the changes that have occurred in the fishery and what actions IDFG has completed to limit bass expansion (e.g., no harvest or size limit on bass and moving bass from Treasureton to other bass fisheries).
We plan to have that summary done in the next week or so. Please check back with me for a copy.
Prior to making a final decision, we will hold a meeting in Preston to discuss options. I will also be trying to meet with the irrigation company to get their input. The irrigation company has been excellent to work with and very supportive of the fishery.”
We will be sure to update conditions as they progress, as well as when this meeting will take place. Dropping an email to the Idaho Fish and Game would be a great way to voice your opinion as well.