Flow out of Palisades Reservoir has been nearly constant for most of the month, that is between 3500 and 4000 cfs. Constant flow is a main reason for continued good fishing. An example is that riffle fishing this fall has been at its best for the entire season. Great BWO activity with some from mahogany duns with resulting great responses from the trout population in riffles has been the norm for several weeks. As we move into November streamer fishing will move from currently good to excellent. However, look for further reductions in flow out of the reservoir in the upcoming weeks as water storage for next year’s irrigation continues.
Not much has changed since our last report. Flow out of Palisades Dam remains nearly constant. BWOs and mahogany duns continue to provide good riffle fishing, and their life cycle patterns are the best producers. Streamer fishing during low light conditions is very good. There are many locations along the river for good walk-in wade fishing. Get in touch with us because we can help you find some of the best. It looks like the next several days will feature the fine autumn weather we have been missing for much of the season and back country roads will be in good shape. So get out and enjoy what the South Fork has to offer before real winter sets in.
Last night’s storm dumped 5-6 inches of wet, heavy snow in the Idaho Falls and surrounding area. This certainly will not hurt fishing, but getting there in some places could be a problem for two-wheel drive vehicles. Roads such as the South Fork road above Heise and the river road above the Swan Valley Bridge will lose snow cover quickly as sunshine and warmer temperatures return later today, but these roads could be muddy in places. Boat launch locations should be OK to use. Flow out of Palisades Dam was reduced to about 3700 cfs last Monday (10/9) making the river even more attractive for walk-in wading, especially now when BWO and mahogany dun activity centered around riffles has been so good. Streamer fishing is picking up all along the river, and visits are slowing down. All this makes the present a good time for a visit as long as roads are passable. We at the shop watch South Fork fishing conditions closely. Thus we can help you select a location for a visit as well as suggest a fishing strategy at any time.
Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped 500 cfs to about 3600 cfs yesterday. Flow at Heise is about 800 cfs higher, but considerably lower (about 2100 cfs) at Lorenzo because of water being diverted into the Dry Bed and other canals. If you prefer dry fly fishing, prospecting riffles for BWOs and mahogany duns brings the best results. Use life cycle patterns. If you prefer to present wet flies, streamer patterns will bring most interest from larger fish. With a week of variable weather coming up there will be plenty of time for success either way.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.