BWOs are out along the lower river, and fish are just beginning to key on them. The unsettled weather predicted to come for the next several days could see more fish keying on them during afternoon hours. Stonefly nymph imitations and rubber leg patterns drifted along the stream bed are producing quite well, and streamer patterns continue to provide action especially during low light conditions.
Flow out of Palisades Dam has been pegged at around 7800 cfs for about a week. Pailsades Reservoir is about three-quarters full (one quarter empty if you come in through the back door). So with all the snow melt yet to come down, flow increases out of the reservoir are sure to return so the run-off can be contained.
Yesterday morning flow out of Palisades Dam was raised from 3410 cfs to 4720 cfs. This continues lowering the amount of water in the reservoir which is now at 83% of capacity. Look for more increases “coming down the pipe”, but the river flowing clear and cold while running through the Snake River Plain offers some fishing success. Try rubber legs and streamer patterns. We are in a period of nice days. Banks along the river are free of ice and snow as seen in the picture above. So the South Fork offers a chance to get out and enjoy the nice weather.
Flow out of Palisades Dam was raised late Friday from about 900 cfs to 2400 cfs. This reflects USBurRec belief that a big run-off season is coming and room in Palisades Reservoir ( now about 85% full) is needed to contain the resulting melt. More flow increases are likely, and these will impact fishing. But the higher flows are very beneficial to resident salmonids which had a tough winter enduring low flows.
A good approach for winter fishing on the South Fork by wading is to concentrate fishing the pools and deep runs. Presenting streamers and rubber legs patterns on sink-tip lines and short, stout leaders should be the most effective strategy. With the winter flows to be around 900 cfs, there are numerous locations to apply this approach, some of which offer hundreds of yards of easily reached water. We at the shop can suggest some good locations for visits. Dress warmly and be sure your waders are in leak-proof condition!
The flow out of Palisades Dam is 938 cfs. That’s around the maintenance flow through the winter. The current flow at Heise is better for the fish at 1390 cfs. There are plenty of walk-in wade locations, but there are places with some icing. Get in touch with us to learn some of the best locations for wading.
Flow out of Palisades Reservoir was reduced to 1770 cfs last night. Now there is an excellent number of places for walk-in wade fishing. Come into the shop so we can suggest some of the best of these to you. While top water fishing through BWO and midge activity may stay constant for now, streamer and large nymph presentation will soon be the best way to meet action from large trout. It is also the time of year to pay attention to weather reports. For example, next week will feature a cool-off and unsettled weather. Keep that nice warm clothing close by. Looks like you may need it!