South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 11)

South Fork 8-12-17

Finally riffle fishing is nearing the good category! PMDs and pink alberts are emerging  from these. Emergences  of both are overlapping a bit more than usual  because of high water earlier this summer.   So choosing the best pattern at a given time is interesting. Fishing back to the banks seems to be lagging a bit even though terrestrial insect population is excellent, so look for future improvement.  Be sure to keep rubber leg patterns in that fly box because although not significant mutant golden stone flies are yet to appear, their nymphs are migrating. Right now flow out of Palisades Dam is about 9000 cfs and about the same at Heise.  That’s just about where the flow should be historically.

One thing to consider is that the lengthy time of high water coming from the dam has changed local bottom structure in the river below.  In places riffles have moved downstream, some have become runs, some holes have deepened while others have filled in, and so on. For sure the fish are still in the river, but favored locations are not always in the same places as last season. Now the fun will be to figure out where the best new locations for fishing are.

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South Fork 8-1-17

Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped to 8450 cfs yesterday (9870 cfs at Heise). That’s lower than normal for this date historically. Reports we receive suggest best fishing on the river is above Byington.  Presenting nymph or streamer patterns remains the best way to action with dry fly fishing not up normal quality throughout.  No mutant golden stoneflies appearing in significant amounts yet. When they migrate presenting nymph patterns is fruitful, but when they come back to the stream surface this year, will dry fly fishing pick up?  That’s a good question in this year of unusual water flows. When we hear of improved dry fly fishing, we will post where, when, and patterns here.

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South Fork 7-28-17

Flow out of Palisades Dam is around 9500 cfs with 10800 cfs downstream at Heise. Fish have yet to key big time on scattered PMD activity, but we have a few reports of some success for folks presenting chernobyl patterns back toward banks.  Nymph and streamer fishing along soft waters remains best ways to success. Try trailing a big rubber legs pattern with your favorite bead head nymph.  We are all waiting for when fish turn more of their interest to dry flies and when the great South Fork riffle fishing lives up to its reputation. It’ll happen—just be patient!

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South Fork 7-22-17

With flow out of Palisades Dam at 11900 cfs this AM (13900 cfs at Heise), the river is at almost ideal flow for this time of year. Fish still are keying mostly on streamers and rubberlegs, earthworm imitations, and bead head nymphs as they did during the high water days.  Look for more top water action  coming soon as PMDs are out, especially along lower river.  See last South Fork fishing report for fly pattern suggestions for upcoming days.

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South Fork 7-15-17

With flow out of Palisades Dam reduced to 16000 cfs, look for riffles to begin appearing in the river below, even though flow at Heise is about 17 500 cfs. Those flows will soon drop.  Now that run-off is nearly over expect further drops in flow out of Palisades Dam, even though there will be agricultural demands.  Fish the soft water for now, but stock up on those patterns (PMD and caddis life cycle patterns terrestrial insect patterns, your favorite bead head nymph pattern, etc.) best for the great South Fork riffle and drop-off fishing soon to come.

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South Fork 7-11-17

The Palisades Reservoir inflow seems to be equaling to the outflow. This could signal the light at end of the high flow tunnel.   Keep watching our fishing report as we follow the flow out of Palisades Dam (currently about 19,000 cfs).  Meanwhile, look for soft water along the river below for presenting nymph patterns deep from big rubber legs to your favorite bead heads.

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South Fork 7-8-17

Currently 20,300 cfs is coming out of Palisades Dam (21,700 cfs at Heise), while about 19,000 cfs is coming in. With Palisades Reservoir 100% full, it looks like the high South Fork flows are here for a while. If you intend to try the river, first of all whether boating or wading, use caution. Next fish the soft water (if you can find any!).  Try a big rubber legs pattern trail by a San Juan worm or any thing imitating a drifting earthworm.

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South Fork 6/29/2017

The river at Irwin is running at 21,000 cfs, and the inflow excluding the small creeks coming into palisades is roughly 23,000. The river is still high and dirty, and considered dangerous for most to be out floating. As for the wade angler, you still need to be careful about being near the river bank as erosion has been occurring at a high rate with the flows being up, and could give way. Those people who have been brave enough to get on the river are catching fish on rubberlegs and San Juan worms. Fishing the softer water with deep nymph rigs and a fair amount of weight has been producing fish.

The Salmonflies are out in good numbers, but the clarity of the water has been keeping fish from eating on the surface. My suggestion is to wait until the river drops and clears. The gravel bars this year should be holding some really nice fish that have not been getting any pressure, and have been gorging themselves on nymphs and worms.  Yes, these are tough times folks, but let’s just stay hopeful. The fishing after run-off should be pretty great, and the river is going to give us a whole new look than we have had the previous few. Should be interesting.

If your looking for something to do in the mean time, the Henry’s Fork is fishing well, or the Salmonflies have made their appearance on the Madison and Gallatin rivers in Montana.

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South Fork 6-27-17

As of today, Palisades Reservoir is 97% full. More water is coming into it from above (the river, creeks, Grey’s River, and Salt River) than is leaving.  So expect high water to continue for a while. Today 23000 cfs is leaving the dam which increases to 24700 cfs at Heise.

We are all interested in when the flow out of Palisades Dam will decrease significantly.  So we will continue to post South Fork flow reports here.

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South Fork 6-17-17

Flow out if Palisades Dam was reduced to 20400 cfs yesterday (22300 cfs at Heise) and is dropping. The reservoir is about 85% full, with more water coming in (at least 25000 cfs) than leaving. We are past the peak of run-off season, but plenty of snow remains in the upper Snake River drainage. So expect high water remaining in the river for the near future. Look for the river to shape up in the fishing sense by the end of the month

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