South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

South Fork, September 19th, 2020

The constant flow out of Palisades Dam, about 7000 cfs (  about 7600 cfs at Heise, about 3300 cfs at Lorenzo ) makes for good fishing and a lot of places for walk-in fishing. BWO, mahogany dun and caddis activity are making the dry fly fisher happy. Even a few mutant golden stones remain, but do not overlook pitching a streamer during the evening hours.

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South Fork, September 12th, 2020

It’s been a good end of the summer fishing season so far. Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped to 6600 cfs ( 7300 cfs at Heise, 3360 cfs at Lorenzo) Thursday, 9/10.  This opens up many more walk-in wade locations to enjoy fish responding to BWO, mahogany dun and caddis activity.  Shorter days with earlier evenings mean streamer patterns should be in that fly box.

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South Fork, September 5th, 2020

Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped to 8230 cfs Thursday ( 9160 cfs at Heise, 4160 cfs at Lorenzo).  Looks like we may have some more BWO weather right after Labor Day. Forecasts say cool and cloudy, so “just what the doctor ordered” if you are waiting for the Fall season.  That season won’t start officially until about 9/20, but Ma Nature likes to tease us a bit when it comes to weather.

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South Fork, September 1st, 2020

Our rainy day yesterday brought BWOs out on the South Fork.  Their numbers were only temporary because we are back to summer weather. But that temporary presence means they are waiting for more permanent cool weather to begin emerging big time.  So if you fish the South Fork, it is time to stock up on BWO life cycle patterns.

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South Fork, August 29th, 2020

SF With Baldy 2 (640x480)

No big change since our last report. Flows remain about the same throughout except for a 700 cfs drop out of Palisades Dam drop on Wednesday.  Mutant stones greet early AM fly-fishers.  Fish are responding best to hoppers and other terrestrial insects on the river below Heise.    Riffle fishing varies day by day, but PM caddis activity seems reliable almost every day. If you are considering a float trip downstream from Twin Bridges, be advised that someone in your group knows that part of river.  The river in that section can be tricky with blind side channels and dangerous snags and sweepers. It is a good example of a “living river.”

We are starting with good conditions for the upcoming fall fishing season: clear  water, suitable flows, and cooling weather.  A lot of folks are looking forward to the BWO and mahogany dun activities which the fall season features and also the increasingly later effectiveness of presenting streamer patterns to amorous brown trout.

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South Fork, August 24th, 2020

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been constant at about 9800 cfs (10555 cfs at Heise, 5000 cfs at Lorenzo) for at least a week. Not much change since our report a few days ago.  Mutant golden stones early, hoppers and riffle-feeding mayflies and PM caddis are interesting fish.

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South Fork, August 22nd, 2020

 

South Fork 4

There are certainly a lot of float fishing ongoing. Just look at how crowded the Conant, Palisades, and Spring Creek boat launches are. But walk-in wade  is quite popular as seen by the number of folks on the river road above Heise.  Mutant golden stone flies are active in the early mornings and attract fish. Riffle fishing is “off and on,” so be patient. Hoppers are everywhere along the river, and caddis activity can make for good evening fishing.

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South Fork, August 15th, 2020

Look at the boat ramp-parking areas. A glance at these tells how good the fishing is (for example Spring Creek overflows to near the highway during daytime). Mayflies, early morning mutant stones, PM caddis and terrestrial insects are active. Have patterns for all of these, and you will find action. At 9800 cfs at Irwin, 10700 cfs at Heise and 4850  cfs at Lorenzo, the river could not be in better shape.

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South Fork, August 8th, 2020

Mayflies (PMDs & pink alberts) are out in the riffles up and down the river, and so are drift boats. If you fish early in the morning ( before around 9 AM), you will see mutant golden stoneflies emerging  and fish keying on them.

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