As winter rolls along, we have experienced much higher water on the three major rivers fished here in Eastern Idaho. The South Fork of the Snake is the most prominent example as the winter flows from Palisades Reservoir (still hovering around 90% full) are higher than in many recent years for this time of year. Unfortunately, many of us look forward to fishing the South Fork in winter as the flows are usually around 1,000 CFS. Last week they bumped the levels to nearly 3,500 CFS, and it is impossible to walk and wade the usual haunts. The boat put-ins are pretty much closed, so the South Fork has been a non-issue this 2018 winter.
The Teton River, our local jewel here in Teton Valley, has been pretty much frozen for a few weeks. The determined angler can find open pocket water here and there, but it is few and far between. This is not remarkable for mid-winter, and most know it is not a viable location for this time of year unless you are shooting at ducks.
The good news this winter has been the Henry’s Fork, and many anglers are taking advantage of near-regular flows for mid to late January. Most spots on the lower Henry’s are fishing well as most anglers are nymphing rubber legs, pink and red worms, small pheasant tails, zebra midges and dead-drifting small streamers. I have also heard that several anglers are roping down their boats, floating and fishing, then roping back up the boats downriver. I know this is a lot of work, but we anglers need to do what we need to do.
I wish this fly fishing report was more enlightening for you! So keep tying flies people, it is tying time here in the valley. Three Rivers Ranch in Driggs holds Wednesday night fly-tying from 3:00 pm to around 6:00 pm. This is a free, info-sharing session with several wonderful tiers! Come and learn to tie flies and complete the circle from your own tie to catching a trout! Thanks from the Crew at Three Rivers Ranch in Driggs, Idaho!
Henry’s Fork near Ashton, ID