South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 2)

South Fork 8-7-18

 

South Fork 4

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been stable for several days at around 11400 cfs.  Riffle fishing provides good times with PMDs and pink alberts providing the action for those folks presenting life cycle patterns of each.   Remembering that boat traffic is down early in the day, nymphing the riffles is a great approach whether you fish from a boat or wade. The same applies to evenings when  most boats are gone and caddis life cycle patterns and well-placed streamers bring action. Grasshoppers are numerous, so vegetated banks can be targeted with patterns for these.

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South Fork 8-4-18

 

Above Menan (640x480)

Flow out of Palisades Dam was raised from just under 10000 cfs to 11300 cfs on Thursday.   Likely this action is from irrigation demands. Nevertheless, riffle fishing remains great. Use PMD life cycle patterns  ( includes soft hackle patterns as emergers), and be on the lookout for pink alberts attracting attention from fish. Try grasshopper patterns of your choice next to well vegetated banks. Never forget  the PM caddis emergence and that streamer patterns presented around out-of-the-sun cover early and late in the day attract biggest fish.

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South Fork 7-28-18

151

Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped to 9750 cfs earlier today and dry fly fishing in the riffles (it’s about time!) has improved much. Presenting PMD life cycle patterns will be effective for riffle fishing. Here are a few we can suggest: Thorax dun, Williams CDC PMD, PMD captive dun, all in size 16, any emerger pattern in size 16, CDC or rusty spinner both in size 16. Also try a #14-16  partridge and olive soft hackle as an emerger.  For sallys try stimulators and CFO-X, both in sizes 14-16.  Elk Hair or X caddis, both in sizes 14 & 16 will work well for fish responding to the afternoon caddis activity.  Grasshoppers, beetles and ants are becoming numerous, so fishing well vegetated banks is also becoming productive.

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South Fork 7-17-18

At 12500 cfs

Those  small changes in flow out of Palisades Dam made recently have no impact on fishing.  But the water coming out of the reservoir remains a bit colder than normal for the time of year.  That could be part of the reason for nymph fishing in the riffles  currently being more successful that dry fly fishing. The warmest weeks of summer are here and will be present until mid August, so look for dry fly fishing in the riffles to improve soon.    This is also the time of year when courtesy is important.  Certainly the river is crowded.  Embarking and disembarking boats can require courtesy and patience to minimize problems.  There are plenty of riffles and gravel bars to visit (see the above pic taken when flow at Lorenzo is about 5500 cfs) , so if one of these you like is occupied you surely can find a vacant one downstream.

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South Fork 7-10-18

 

Lower South Fork

Flow has been stable for days at around 12000 cfs from Heise upstream.   Two nymph rigs (almost any pattern with or without a bead) still working best in riffles. Most of the big stoneflies have gone, but goldens are still around on the upper river.   Caddis, sallies, and PMDs are aquatic insects of note with respect to activity, and any day fish will be keying on their adults as well as on nymphs/emergers. Certainly grasshopper populations are building but it will be in the future before fish take big notice.

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South Fork 7-7-18

Twin Bridges Ramp 05-01-11

Flow out of Palisades Dam is down to 12500 cfs ( 12000 cfs at Heise, 5140 cfs at Lorenzo), and that is slightly less than normal for this date.  Walk-in wade fishing is now safer, and at this flow the river offers more candidates for doing so. Big stoneflies are in the canyon and moving upstream.  Presenting nymphs, rubber legs, and such as SJ worms into deep holes from gravel bars is still a very effective way to fish. Presenting small nymphs, beadhead or not, are working best when fishing riffles. Any day, however, because of the good concentrations of PMDs, sallys, big stoneflies and caddis this will turn around to better dry fly fishing.  Rest assured that boat traffic on the river is increasing and will do so at an accelerating rate as it shapes up to meet its reputation as a great river to fish.

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South Fork 7-2-18

Fall Cr. Falls (640x480)

Flow out of Palisades Dam was reduced  from 16400 cfs  to 14100 cfs last night (now 13700 cfs at Heise, 6640 cfs at Lorenzo). That’s only 1000 cfs over the normal flow for this date for the river below the dam. All kinds of bugs are flying as we mentioned in the last South Fork fishing report, but fish still seem to prefer rubber legs and streamers especially above the Big Feeder.  That will change soon as the river clears some more and flows drop, so keep those big dry patterns and PMD and caddis life cycle patterns handy.  We will keep tabs on when this begins to change.

FYI: First channel to Twin Bridges is open, but second channel remains blocked.

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South Fork 6-30-18

Above Menan (640x480)

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been stable since Wednesday at just under 17000 cfs  (16300 cfs at Heise, 8900 cfs at Lorenzo), and the reservoir is 100% full. All kinds of  bugs (big and golden stones, PMDs, sallies, caddis) are flying as far upstream as the canyon.  Fish are not on these big time yet as flow at this level still brings them enough drifting nymphs and annelids so less energy is needed to grab ’em than that needed to go to the surface. So what we recommend as strategy in the last few fishing reports  remains good for now.   The safest and most numerous places for walk in-wade fishing are below the Big Feeder which is taking off enough water to give more numerous wading opportunities below.

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South Fork 6-26-18

Fall Cr. Falls (640x480)

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been temporarily raised to 16000 cfs, but USBuRec says it will be back down to the 13000 cfs level by the weekend. This is good news because all kinds of bugs are beginning to show. These include big and golden stoneflies, sallies, PMDs, green drakes, and caddis. Fish are not keying on these yet because recent high flows have washed so many annelids and nymphs into the river.  So for now stick with the strategy we recommended in recent South Fork fishing reports. Things could change by this weekend, though, with reduced flow and increased density of aquatic insect emergences.

 

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South Fork 6-23-18

From Cpgd (640x480)

Since Wednesday flow out of Palisades Dam has been decreased from 18400 to 15400 cfs.  The reservoir above remains at 97% of capacity and normal late June flow is around 13400 cfs out of the dam.  So it’s going in the right direction to begin aquatic insect hatches. Look for the big stoneflies to begin hatching sometime next week. Right now yellow sallies are showing up with hatches peeking at mid-day, but best fishing for now remains presenting big rubberlegs, San Juan worms and streamers deep from drop-offs.

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