South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 3)

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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South Fork 6-13-17

Current flow out of Palisades Dam is 24100 cfs (about the same at Heise).  Palisades Reservoir is  at 82% of capacity, and the rainy weather we have means new snow in some higher elevations.  So South Fork flows are unlikely to decrease significantly in the near future.

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South Fork 6-10-17

22400 cfs is currently flowing out of Palisades Dam. No wonder the river below looks like a milk shake!  Fish likely cannot even see San Juan worm patterns as they go whizzing by in the watery gloom. Go somewhere else to fish for now.

Here’s an overview of South Fork run-off situation.

Flow out of Jackson Lake is up to 6500 cfs and Buffalo Fork, Hoback, Grey’s and Salt Rivers are running high making inflow to Palisades about 41000 cfs.  Currently  Palisades Res. is 70% full and Jackson Lake is about 87% full, not leaving enough room in both reservoirs to catch projected run-off.   Thus inflow to Palisades is about double outflow with run-off peaks yet to be reached. In the near future release profiles from both reservoirs will depend on run-off forecasts and flood control requirements.  We will keep on top of this South Fork run-off situation and report here how it looks for the river to come into good fishing condition.

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South Fork 6-6-17

Have a battleship you want to float? With flow out of Palisades Dam hovering around 20000 cfs, and a bit more at Heise, you might be able to do so on the South Fork! As of today about 36000 cfs is coming into Palisades Reservoir from the Grey’s, Salt, and Snake Rivers combined.  With the reservoir currently at about two-thirds of capacity, and more than normal snow remaining at higher elevations, high flows will remain for a while as room is made to contain resulting run-off. In fact, flow coming out of the reservoir could increase.   The high South Fork flows here are sending fly-fishers to the Henry’s Fork, making for perilous wading conditions, and certainly have resulted in ample water to create an anti-rainbow spawning flush this season.

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South Fork 6-3-17

The recent good fishing days with 9000 cfs coming out of Palisades Dam  (around 10000 cfs at Heise) are over for a while. Yesterday flow out of the dam was increased, then increased again early today to 17100 cfs, and is climbing. Flow out of the dam is likely to continue to climb. Here’s why. Palisades Reservoir is about 57% of capacity, filling quickly, and our weather is warming significantly. This means an increased snow melt rate in the high country making it necessary to provide more room in the reservoir for increased run-off.  Because of the increasing flow in the river, use extreme caution when wading.

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South Fork 5-30-17

Flow out of Palisades Res. is reduced to 9700 cfs as the reservoir is filling (nearly half full) for the agricultural season. Flow at Heise is a bit over 10000 cfs.  Flows are likely to increase later as  irrigation demands kick in.  Currently the lower flows make for good fishing, whether boating or wading, mainly by presenting nymphs. Try riffles and drop offs. For best responses try rubber legs trailed with small bead head nymph patterns, San Juan worms, and small bead head patterns by themselves. Use sink-tip or floating lines depending on depth of water to be fished.

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South Fork 5-20-17

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been reduced sequentially over the last several days. Currently it is 10400 cfs, and 11100 cfs at Heise. Palisades Reservoir is about 29% full but rising because the upcoming irrigation season will soon be demanding water. This demand will counter run-off coming in, so BuRec is doing a “balancing act”  by catching in-flow, lowering flood potential, and storing water necessary for irrigation.  With lower flows below Palisades Dam, look for the river, although somewhat discolored, to be safer, more easily approached, and fish easier to encounter.  Because waters remain cold, nymphing and presenting streamers will be the most effective means for hook-ups. Bead head nymphs, rubber legs, San Juan Worms, and streamer patterns of choice should be effective when fished through riffles and into runs, slower water, and below islands.

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South Fork 5-6-17

Flow out of Palisades Dam was raised to 17600 cfs yesterday (19800 cfs at Heise). This makes wading more perilous, but the length of high flows should result in an effective flush for sustaining cutthroat trout in the river.

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