South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 10)

South Fork 8-8-15

The river has been stable for days with respect to flow. However water temperature has climbed a few degrees to slow riffle fishing a bit at some locations.  But fishing back toward banks has really picked up because of an expanding terrestrial insect population. Evening caddis hatches continue to provide good action, as do mutant stones. Early in the day try bead head nymph patterns at drop-offs.

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South Fork 8-4-15

Flow and water temperature have been stable for days. Pink alberts are taking their spots in providing action in riffles with their emergence beginning around mid-morning. The other happening is that mutant golden stoneflies are working their way up the river. Currently they are quite numerous in the Byington to Twin Bridges area.  Caddisflies always provide evening action, and streamers presented under low light conditions, especially if you observe bait fish jumping and scurrying, can bring action from the big guys.

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South Fork 7-28-15

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been lowered only slightly over the past several days. It’s now a bit more than 9500 cfs. The river is warming a bit with water out of the dam now at 60 degrees F.  That temperature is not high enough to have a big impact on hatches. Getting into the middle 60s in same degrees begins impacting mayfly hatches. Caddisflies seem to be not as affected. So get out and enjoy those PMDs and pink alberts that makes South Fork riffle fishing so much fun, but be sure to have hopper patterns in that fly box.  They are around on the lower river and become more important to fish as the days go by.

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South Fork 7-23-15

Flows continue to drop on the South Fork to now be 9,990 cfs at Irwin. So with more gravel being exposed, I would be more aware of mutant stones hatching and using a Chernobyl Ant. Also, Golden stones along the bank and Pmd’s in the riffles are still constant throughout the entire river system. Fly selection for the South Fork would be mostly dry flies such as: Pink Comparadun size 16 and 18, Super Chernobyl Brown size 10, CFO Flesh Ant size 8 and 10, Harrop’s PMD Captive Dun size 16 and 18, CFO Sally X size 14 and 16.

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South Fork 7-18-15

There have been many recent discussions and even front page press ( see Idaho Fall Post Register, Saturday, July 18th edition, or go to the Post Register web site) about the South Fork Reach of the Snake River being crowded. Visits there are for good reason: this is likely the best trout fishery, at least in the western USA. The bulk of anglers visit from 8 AM to late afternoon.  Thus one way to avoid crowds is to launch late in the day. With sunset currently about 9 AM there are a number of shorter floats requiring three to five hours that offer excellent fishing. Fishing this time of day may also require some strategy changes, so get in touch with us (524-7160, [email protected]) or visit for suggested locations and fishing strategy ideas.

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South Fork 7-14-15

Fishing remains great! Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped about 500 cfs to 13000 cfs this AM. That amount will not impact fishing. Water temp at the dam is around 57 in deg. F., and about the same at Lorenzo.  In-flow to Palisades Reservoir is about half of out-flow, but we are going into the peak of irrigation season with the reservoir at 80% of capacity which is good for the fishing future.

Riffle fishing remains great and is attracting huge numbers of boating anglers. Golden stoneflies may be pretty much gone, but older, larger fish still look for them, especially close to bank-side cover.  Hoppers are small and just starting to appear along the middle and upper river.  So another aspect of great South Fork fishing is not far in the future.

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South Fork 7-11-15

Fishing great!   Flow out of Palisades Dam  was dropped in two steps down to 13500 cfs on 7/7 and 7/8. This change will not effect fishing. Water temp coming out of dam is near ideal 55 in Deg. F. At Lorenzo it is 58 in same degrees.  Palisades Reservoir is about 85% full which is good news for keeping water in the river for the summer, even though current inflow is about half outflow.

Some golden stones still coming out on the upper river. So bring your favorite dry patterns for them, and if you intend to buy some, be sure to choose ones you can see on the surface where you will fish. Not being able to see a pattern trumps all comments of how effective it is!  PMDs are coming out in riffles.  As daytime advances, begin with your favorite nymph, then emerger, and finally dry pattern when fish feed on surface.

Here’s where you might help: A 6-wt Winston BIIIX with Nautilus FWX, 5/6 system, fell off a vehicle somewhere between Driggs and Palisades boat ramp. Should be along the road. If you find this, please contact us at 524-7160, or [email protected]

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South Fork 7-06-15

The Bugs have finally reached the Swan Valley in full force. From about Husky/Palisades boat ramp down, the dry fly fishing with Salmon flies and Golden Stones along the bank is great. Then in the rifles from about 1 o’clock to 4 o’clock the PMD action has also been fishing well. Although, the canyon section of the South Fork still has ton of bugs and is still fishing spectacular with Salmon flies, Golden Stones, Sallies, and PMDs. Then as you continue further down the river from Byington boat ramp down, small Golden stones and PMDs are the main ticket. However, the PMDs did take awhile to start in the rifles,  beginning around 1 o’clock. The flows on the South Fork have stayed constant at 14,500 cfs at Irwin.

Dry Flies that I would use are: Brett’s Salmon Fly size 6, Super Chernobyl Pink size 6, CFO Yellow Flamer size 8, CFO Sally X Stone fly size 16, Pink Comparadun size 16 and 18, and a Harrop’s CDC Pink Albert Biot Emerger size 16.

Nymphs and Streamers that I would use are: Brown Rubber Leg size 8,  Red Copper John size 16, Pearl Lightning Bug size 16, Kraft’s Kreelex Minnow Gold/Copper size 4, and Gallop’s Yellow Dungeon size 2.

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South Fork 6-27-15

All kinds of bugs are popping out from the river these days. PMDs and green drakes are bringing action. Sallys are emerging from many locations. Caddisflies are out in their usual good numbers.The big stoneflies are on the river as far upstream as Burns Creek. Remembering that fish in the river are now selective, if life cycle patterns of one of the above discussed insects does not seem to be of interest, switch to those of another insect because South Fork trout are famed for not always being consistent with respect to feeding preference. Other than a 500 cfs jump in flow out of Palisades Dam early last Thursday AM, the river has been physically stable for several days. This will result in continuation of good fishing for days to come.

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South Fork 06-23-15

The bugs are coming out! From about Byington down, Golden Stones and Salmon Flies are hatching with fish eating them. Although, I would take some big bugs with me from Cottonwood down. Also, Green Drakes and Sallies are leading the way up the canyon and are up to Cottonwood. They have been most productive in flats and rifles. Then as you continue further up the river, nymphing and streamer fishing has been good. Also having a few Pmds in that section.The flows have been stable at 14,000 cfs at Irwin allowing the bugs to keep moving up the River.

Fly selection from Cottonwood Down would consist of: Super Chernobyl Brown size 6 & 8, CFO Pink Flamer size 8, Jake’s Hot Cake Salmon Fly size 6, Green Drake CDC Thorax Dun size 10, CFO Sally X Stonefly size 14, Olive Hare’s Ear Parachute size 12, CW Pink Albert Dun size 16 and 18.

Fly selection from above Cottonwood would consist of: Kreelex Minnow Copper/Gold size 6, Sparkle Minnow Rainbow size 6, Bennet’s Seal Rubber Legs Black/Brown size 6 & 8, Psycho Prince Yellow  size 16, Pearl Lightning Bug size 16.

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