South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

Contact us for up to the minute fishing reports and conditions.
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South Fork

South Fork, March 17th, 2020

Considering the times of stress reigning in the country, getting out to fly fish seems very attractive, and the South Fork is offering such an escape. Warming weather adds more to this attraction.  Boat ramps on the upper river ( Conant, Spring Creek, Huskey’s) remain a challenge to use needing ropes, chains and such for launching. But walk-in access is good especially the further downstream  you venture where snow banks diminish.  Best strategy  for action is nymphing. So your favorite nymph patterns, bead heads or not,  presented through and at the base of riffles will get you action. During nicer weather midge activity really picks up during PM hours. So with oncoming midge activity as the day passes, life cycle patterns for these become quite effective.  For sure water is cold, but “clear as a bell” even though flow out of Palisades Dam was upped to 5000 cfs  yesterday afternoon ( now 6300 cfs at Heise, 3600 cfs at Lorenzo).

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South Fork, March 14th, 2020

As we mentioned in the previous South Fork fishing report, flow out of Palisades Dam was raised to  around 3700 cfs last Monday.   This is just the beginning of ramping up flow.  Palisades Reservoir is at about 94% of capacity with MUCH snow yet to be melted in the drainage above. Not only that situation exists, but irrigation demands will soon increase as warmer parts downstream in south central Idaho become agriculturally active.  That means more increases are “coming down the pipe” as is typical for this time of the season.  For sure this will temporarily impact fishing in the river ( and the mainstream Snake River) for a few months to come. Therefore we will try to pass on fishing condition information on other waters in order to give a chance to make an informed choice to select waters for a visit.

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South Fork, March 10th, 2020

Flow out of Palisades Dam was increased yesterday to 3700 cfs ( now 4400 cfs at Heise, 3610 cfs at Lorenzo). Boat ramps at Huskey’s, Spring Creek, and Conant have been plowed.  The coming week promises good weather with many walk-in wade locations open on the lower river. Get in touch with us (208-524-7160,  [email protected]) to see which are most convenient.

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South Fork March 3, 2020

Here is an FYI. With Palisades Reservoir at 95% of capacity, flow out of Palisades Dam was raised from about 1800 cfs to around 2700 cfs yesterday, a 50% increase. Flow at Heise is now 3210 cfs and 2280 cfs at Lorenzo. That’s good news for resident trout.  More rises in flow are certain as the near normal snow pack in the drainage begins to melt and irrigation demands start.

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South Fork February 22, 2020

March South Fork

As February recedes there is certainly more pleasant days upcoming. Cold water temperatures dominate, but fish will become increasingly active, and whether pitching streamers and big nymph patterns or doing the same with tiny midge life cycle patterns fishing begins to improve.  River flow has been adequate for maintaining fish populations at around 1800 cfs in flow all winter being the norm, with somewhat higher rates through the canyon down to Heise. Access is present for walk-in fishing along the lower river, and we at Jimmy’s can recommend locations for doing so.  The river road from Wolverine to Black Canyon is closed to motorized access to minimize stress to wintering wildlife, and will remain so until IDF&G determines an opening.  Consider a cross country skiing trip to fish and do photography in this stretch where tranquility reigns. Boating is more limited, but can be done. Boat launch parking areas are plowed at some locations (Conant, Palisades Creek, and Spring Creek), but ramps are not thus requiring chain-ups and care to launch and takeout.  So now is the time to check those waders for integrity, put cleaning touches on reels and lines, and anticipate the improving conditions that signal a beginning to the South Fork fishing season.

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South Fork 12-28-19

You have likely noticed the lack of our fishing reports on this river and on other regional waters. The main reason is because of “Old Man Winter.”  Certainly there will be some bluebird days when getting out on the river to enjoy fish responding to midge or diminishing BWO activity or a well-placed streamer or rubber leg pattern is attractive. But when the air temp plummets, the wind blows, or an atmospheric inversion takes place, tying flies for that upcoming nicer season seems more attractive.

One thing that is favorable for the later season is that flow out of Palisades Dam has been around 1200-1300 cfs so far the winter.  That’s better than the  earlier predicted 900 cfs and results in “not too bad” flows around 1600-1700 cfs at Heise. With Palisades Reservoir at about 85% of capacity it could be that flows remain at this level through the winter in order to fill downstream American Falls Reservoir and make room for what so far looks like an average run-off.

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South Fork 12-10-19

Flow out of Palisades Dam was upped to 1250 cfs a week ago today from around 1000 cfs. It is uncertain if 1250 cfs will be the winter flow, but if it were it would benefit the fishery.   A good number of walk-in wade locations remain, but weather determines how pleasant fishing will be this time of year. If you  give it a try be sure to have rubberleg and streamer patterns in your fly box.

 

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South Fork 11-16-19

Looks like flow we now have coming out of Palisades Dam will be with us through the winter. Some good walk-in areas for pitching streamers are just below Palisades Dam, channels above Squaw Creek dugway, locations along the river road above Heise, and near Twin Bridges.  Evenings and early AMs have best potential for success.

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South Fork 11-12-19

It looks like the flow currently coming out of Palisades Dam, around 1000 cfs  ( 1400 cfs at Heise, 850 cfs at Lorenzo), will be that which will last throughout the winter.  This flow situation means many walk-in wade fishing locations and  some tough locations for boating.  Currently presenting streamer and rubber legs patterns are best ways to encounter larger trout, whereas BWO and midge life cycle patterns will get attention of trout in general.

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South Fork 11-5-19

Because of the nice weather predicted for the rest of the week and low flow, currently 1000 cfs out of Palisades Dam, think about taking advantage of these for an outing before bad weather sets in!

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