South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

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

South Fork 9-1-15

Water flow and temperature conditions have been constant for several days now, and fishing success seems to be good anywhere on the river.  Choosing time of day is more important than where to fish on the river.  Afternoons into evenings lately have been best times to fish for a couple of reasons. First the evening caddis emergence still attracts fish throughout the river. Second terrestrial insects are more active during the PM hours. A strategy we hear that is working well is to trail a black ant pattern about eighteen inches to two feet behind your favorite hopper pattern. Once again, choose patterns for both that you believe are visible to your eyes, and  consider that fish may refuse that larger, more visible hopper pattern for the smaller less visible ant pattern. Reasons for declining riffle fishing success include slightly warmer water coming from the reservoir (warmer water means les dissolved oxygen), and that PMD and albert hatches have peaked for the year. The next big mayfly hatches, BWO and mahogany duns are a few weeks away.

Be aware that the upcoming three-day weekend is a “last hurrah” for a lot of enthusiasts. Thus expect a lot of traffic at boat launches and around popular fishing locations on the river. Patience will help, and so will considering the above comments about targeting evenings for being a good choice of when to fish.

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South Fork 8-29-15

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been around 9500 cfs for several days now. That is about 1000 cfs than the mean flow for this time of year. Water temperature is up to 63 degrees F. and gets a bit higher on going downstream.  Expect flow out of the dam to decrease as the reservoir is only half full. Water storage will begin in preparation for next year’s irrigation season. Riffle fishing is off its peak, but presenting terrestrial patterns toward well vegetated banks results in some good fishing.  So does waiting until evening when caddisflies become active. Trail an ant pattern behind your hopper pattern, and action will result. Remember that with cooling weather and less daylight the mahogany dun and BWO emergences are not far away.

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Still Waters 8-29-15

Water is warm everywhere, but with decreasing hours of sun light cooler waters are coming and will help bring action.  Chesterfield Reservoir water is low and warm with extensive weed growth. The same goes for Treasureton Res. where a few big trout and bass have been caught, Springfield and Twenty-Four Mile Reservoirs are also low and mossy enough to interfere with fishing deep. On both places  adult damselfly patterns can be effective when presented over channels between weed beds.

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South Fork 8-19-15

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been raised about 800 cfs in the last day.  Water temp there is 62 deg. F.  Water temp at Lorenzo is 60 in the same degrees. Water there is less influenced by what comes out of Palisades Dam, so loses heat by radiation more quickly. Mutant golden stone emergence is the big attraction now. Look for them emerging  early AMs from slower water, near drop-offs, and heading toward vegetated banks. Fish know they are moving, so use your favorite nymph patterns for action. Riffle fishing has slowed a bit, but is still productive with mainly pink alberts emerging. Slamming banks with hopper and chernobyl types is also productive. Try two fly rigs like a chernobyl type trailed by a hopper or ant.  Responses by fish to late afternoon caddisfly activity continues to be good.

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South Fork 8-12-15

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been going down in a gentle manner (now at 8500 cfs).  This means that riffle fishing, although diminishing a bit, is still good. These drops in flow should also help bring on mutant golden stoneflies and open up a few more wading locations.  Hopper populations are up, so dropping patterns for them close to vegetated banks anywhere along the river is going to be effective.  The evening caddisfly emergence is a great way to find action, but also try skittering an adult cranefly pattern this time of day.

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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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