South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

South Fork, August 1st, 2020

 

S. Fork sweeper_5

Flow out of Palisades Dam has dropped slightly, but not enough to impact fishing. Riffle fishing is not only productive but consistent up and down the river with PMDs & pink alberts emerging.  look for terrestrial insect coming on with this warm weather.

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South Fork, July 25th, 2020

Flow has been nearly constant for about a week and water is warming. This means PMD and pink albert hatches will soon be providing the best action especially at the heads and tails of riffles.  Hoppers are beginning to be important on banks of the lower river.

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South Fork, July 11th, 2020

 

South Fork 4

Flow on the river is at great levels ( 12400 cfs at Irwin, 13500 cfs at Heise,  5000 cfs at Lorenzo) and water is cold but clearing up. Fish responding are where you find them!  There are plenty of sallies, some caddis, PMDs and big stone flies round, but fish seem to take them on an inconsistent basis with respect to location on the river. Nymph patterns, with and without a bead head presented over drop-offs seem to be the most consistent way to success.

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South Fork, July 4th, 2020

The multiple hatch days on the Henry’s Fork have peaked. Now it is the South Fork’s turn! With the flow back to summertime levels ( 13200 cfs at Irwin, 13800 at Heise, 8000 cfs at Lorenzo)  all sorts of bugs are out. PMDs, green drakes, sallies, and salmon flies are out and up river at least into the canyon. Fish know what they are and are on them. The fun begins with figuring out which bugs are in the favor of trout at any given location on the river. So go with life cycle patterns for all those mentioned. Also include the old standard patterns. Word is out, so boat launch sites are crowded. So is the river road above Heise with boats being trailed to launch sites and shuttles being completed. You will see license plates from as far away as New Jersey and from as close as from here at home, but there is plenty of this great river for all of us.

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South Fork, June 30th, 2020

From Cpgd (640x480)

Since June 25th, outflow at Palisades Dam has been stepped up from about 13500 cfs to 19600 cfs ( 19600 cfs at Heise, 14200 cfs at Lorenzo)!  This is because of irrigation demands and to make room for run-off from recent big rains in the drainage. Give the river a few days for fish to adjust and it will be back to rubber legs, big nymphs, and streamers.  Any day now the big stone flies (yellow sallies are out and flying) will begin flying, high water or not, on the lower river.  As they move up the river, look for much of the interest on the lower Henry’s Fork to transfer here as well as from anglers waiting for this event to happen. Expect crowding especially at boat launch sites.   Understand that many of the out-of the-area anglers are here to escape virus outbreaks raging in other parts of the country as well as to enjoy this great South Fork event.  Conducting social distancing as much as possible and having masks visible at these sites will demonstrate that we intend to keep our area relatively free of the virus.

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South Fork, June 23rd, 2020

Flow is at summertime rates (about 12000 cfs out of Palisades Dam and around 13000 cfs at Heise) and likely to stay around that amount for the near future.  See our recent fishing reports for fly pattern suggestions. In several days the big stone flies will begin their activity, and we will offer strategies and fly patterns for enjoying that event. For now the river offers a less crowded and more tranquil, but less colorful option to the Henry’s Fork.

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South Fork, June 13th, 2020

With flow out of Palisades Dam down to about 11900 cfs ( 13000 at Heise, 5800 cfs at Lorenzo), fishing strategy is very similar to what we suggested on Memorial Day weekend.  That is rubberlegs and streamers fished deep in faster water, Also consider San Juan worm, squirmy wormy, super renegade, and super-X patterns there and in softer water. Look for a modest BWO hatch in shallow riffles during afternoons and oncoming caddis at that time.

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South Fork, June 9th, 2020

South Fork 4

Was it “the flush” that went through the river last week with up to around 20000 cfs out of Palisades Dam?   Who knows!  Now flows are down to summer levels again: 13500 cfs out of the dam, 14300 cfs  at Heise, 7400 cfs at Lorenzo.  So back to strategies we suggested in our earlier South Fork reports: Look for BWO activity at the top end of shallower riffles, continue trying soft water in runs and side channels with streamers and nymphs, use rubber legs and streamers in deeper, faster waters. San Juan and squirmy worm variations will work almost anywhere  in the river because those high flows of last week scoured banks enough to bring a bunch of annelids into the water.  So fish will be looking for these packages of easy protein.

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South Fork, June 6th, 2020

 

From Cpgd (640x480)

The river below the Palisades Dam is roaring because the flow has been raised to just under 20,000 cfs (about the same at Heise and near 14000 cfs at Lorenzo).  Tributaries to the the reservoir above are in run-off modes and discolor its upper end.  This is all from run-off in progress after a higher than normal snowfall winter.  Therefore expect high flows in the river below the dam for a while yet. Try streamer and rubber leg patterns DEEP in slowest water.

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South Fork June 5th, 2020

Flows on the South Fork jumped up to 20,000 cfs today. At these flows your only real option is nymphing with big indicator rigs. There are much better options in the region right now to fish though, give us a call and we can get you squared away. If you are dead set on fishing the South Fork, be extremely careful!

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