South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

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

South Fork 9-30-17

Just above Heise Br. (640x480)

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been constant ( around 4100 cfs increasing to about 5000 cfs at Heise) for several days, and weather is as good as it gets for BWO activity. The results are continued good riffle fishing with a great selection of such to explore from Palisades Dam to the Henry’s Fork confluence. Unsettled weather also means good streamer fishing almost anywhere along the river. For now stick to somber colors (olives, brown/rust, black) for those streamers.

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South Fork 9-23-17

Alex Asante

This summer the riffle fishing was not up to par up and down the river, but current BWO and mahogany dun activity with fish responding is making up for the summer conditions. In some ways now is a better time to enjoy the riffles because fishing pressure is on the decline and much more of the river offers safe wading.  Flow out of Palisades Dam today is just under 4200 cfs (about 5200 cfs at Heise) and sure to go lower. Streamer fishing is picking up, evening caddis action continues, and terrestrial insects still interest trout.  With weather predicted to improve as we move to the end of September, it looks like the most enjoyable time to fish the South Fork this year is now!

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South Fork 9-16-17

Current weather is “just what the doctor ordered” for increasing fishing success on the South Fork.  Back this up with decreasing flows out of Palisades Dam (currently just under 7700 cfs and sure to drop further as the water storage season begins), and fishing in the near future here looks great. BWOs in good numbers are coming out in the riffles with mahogany duns beginning to show in places. Be sure to have life cycle patterns for each in that fly box.  When periods of good sunshine happen, go back to presenting your favorite hopper pattern back to the vegetated banks and be sure to trail that pattern with a small bead head nymph. We could not ask for better conditions for presenting streamers because of increased low light conditions brought on by unsettled weather looking to last into next week.  So whether you fish from a boat or wade, the South Fork could now be offering some of the best fishing this season.

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South Fork 9-12-17

A taste of fall weather will be in our area for the rest of the week, and with respect to fishing the South Fork it could signal some changes.  One change is the beginning of the fall mayfly emergence cycle meaning the appearance of BWOs and mahogany duns in numbers big enough to interest resident trout. At the same time PMDs and pink alberts will begin a decline in numbers.  But until a killing frost wipes out land based bugs, any fly pattern looking like a terrestrial insect will be effective in interesting trout.  The other change that will gradually take place is the increased effectiveness in time of streamers in luring larger trout. So consider going to the tying vise to crank out patterns appropriate for fishing during the upcoming change in season.

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South Fork 9-9-17

Stable flow out of Palisades Dam (around 9000 cfs) helps keep fishing success stay relatively constant. It’s a bit early in the month for BWOs and mahoganies to be important, so continue presenting bead head nymphs of choice in riffles until rise forms from PMDs and alberts appear in good numbers meaning emerger and dun patterns will become effective. Pitch hopper-dropper combos from boats back toward vegetated banks.  While wading around shallows later in the day, look for baitfish concentrating there. This is a tip-off that larger trout will forage on these as sunlight leaves the river.  Thus if you are on the river during evenings, streamer patterns become effective when presented near shallows as the sun sets. Patterns in somber colors (olives, browns, and ultra-violet end of the spectrum shades) are best this time of year.

The Jackson Hole One Fly Contest is ongoing along the river. No more than eight boats per section will be participating. So crowding is not an issue. This great event deserves support from all fly-fishers. Go to the Jackson Hole One Fly Contest web site to see details on organization, schedule, and purpose.

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South Fork 9-5-17

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been essentially constant (around 9300 cfs) for several days and is a bit higher than were it should be historically.   Clear, and of normal temperature profile (includes warming on going downstream), the river is producing good riffle fishing, but not up to the activity of the past few years.  Concentrating efforts on a particular riffle seems the best way to find action rather than slowly floating through. So anchor the boat and give the rifle a good working over with PMD and pink albert life cycle patterns, or consider leaving the boat behind and wade to available riffles. Casting terrestrial patterns with a bead head nymph dropper back to vegetated banks has been producing. No mahoganies yet, and very few BWOs. Allow a couple of weeks for these to become important.  Another factor in these mayflies emerging in numbers worthy of interest from fish is a cooler atmosphere and some unstable weather.  You can minimize the impacts of these variables by fishing in evenings when good caddis activity brings interest from resident trout and presenting streamer patterns is more effective because of increased cover.

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South Fork 8-26-17

Flow out of Palisades Dam was increased to 10900 cfs a few days ago, but with flow down below at Shelley at a bit over 2000 cfs,it appears someone between there and Byington is using a lot of water.  Riffle fishing now is as good as that which the South Fork can offer. PMDs (3 tails) and pink alberts (2 tails) are providing the action. Mutant golden stoneflies are beginning to show in place, and well placed hopper patterns (with a small bead head nymph patterns of choice  dropper) aimed back toward well vegetated banks are producing.

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South Fork 8-22-17

Last Friday flow out of Palisades Dam was raised a few hundred cfs to satisfy downstream irrigation demands. This small amount did not impact fishing, and riffle fishing has been picking up over the past several days.  Look for this most enjoyable South Fork type of fishing to improve as our weather becomes more temperate.

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South Fork 8-19-17

The flow out of Palisades Dam has been essentially constant at around 9000 cfs (about 100 cfs higher at Heise) for about two weeks, so this stability certainly helps fishing success. Finally the riffle fishing is worth trying on most on the river where an off-color (yellow-olive) PMD, #16, is emerging with fish responding.  Hopper-dropper combinations work well when drifted through runs, pockets and into the heads of holes. Some mutant golden stones are appearing on the lower river, so look for this event to move upstream over the upcoming days.  Look for improved dry fly fishing to last well into September when hopefully good BWO and mahogany dun activity will convince trout to look on top for some food.

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South Fork 8-15-17

Not much change here. Even flow out of Palisades Dam is about the same as last week. Dry fly fishing shows little improvement since then also. It a year with a unusual major situation (lengthy high water period) than recent years.  So we have expect differences, even though the fish are still in residence.

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