South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 33)

South Fork 8-27-13

Flow out of Palisades Dam is going down at a slow rate so far.  But reservoir above is not far from 10% of capacity with inflow about half of outflow.  So the flow out of the dam is certain to go down more quickly soon as irrigation season winds down and storage season begins.  Jimmy floated from Cottonwood to Byington yesterday with good results pitching a chernobyl ant trailed with bead head.  A few mutant stones were around, and the partly cloudy conditions helped bring good action.


South Fork 8-26-13

The South Fork is still chugging along through the dog days of summer. The river is right around 9,000 cfs coming out of the dam and is still fishing pretty decent for those willing to work for their fish. Fishing early in the morning and then again late in the evening has been producing best. Try throwing mutant stone patterns against the banks early and add a dropper or switch to nymphing as the day progresses. Streamer fishing has been okay with the best fishing on overcast days or early in the morning. Towards the evening try fishing with caddis emergers. If you have any other questions please contact us at the shop!


South Fork 8-14-13

Flow out of Palisades Dam is now just under 9300 cfs. It will drop more soon. Nymphing is best fishing strategy. Try a two-fly rig: rubber legs with a bead head of choice dropper. Fish early; sunrise to 11AM. Fish late; 4PM to twilight.  Consider trying streamers around twilight.


South Fork 8-10-13

Flow out of Palisades Reservoir has been stable (about 9800 cfs) for at least a week, but water temp at the dam is 65 deg. F. That’s a bit high for best fishing and it shows during day time where riffle fishing could be better. Early in the day is best with mutant stones beginning to show and some PMD spinners showing up. During day time hours consider trying  side channels.   Many of these are not disturbed by boat traffic, and they are bordered by grass and other overhanging cover.  That makes for good hopper habitat, and even during bright daytime can offer some good fishing.


South Fork 7-31-13

Flow out of Palisades Dam dropped to 11000 yesterday.  Water temperature just below the dam is 65 deg. F.  That’s getting a bit high for the best fishing, especially because we can expect further decreases in flow.  Palisades Reservoir is down to 28% capacity. Early in the day fish chernobyl types because mutant stoneflies are coming on. By late morning go to rubber legs trailed by your favorite small nymph pattern.  During evenings a good caddis hatch is on-going,  making for the best dry fly fishing these days.


South Fork 7-23-13

Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped to 11800 cfs yesterday.  Water temperature at the dam is 64 Deg. F.   That’s warm enough for wet wading, but not good for much else.  The warmer temperature has slowed daytime fishing on the river below whether through using PMD life cycle, terrestrial patterns, or whatever . So “fish early, fish late”  applies once more. There is a real advantage to doing so in addition to better fishing: fewer anglers.  Expect more flow drops out of the dam coming as in-flow to the reservoir remains less than out-flow.


South Fork 7-19-13

The South Fork is still fishing well, but it is changing. Fish in the riffles have been a little tougher lately so make sure you switch up your fly patterns, especially the profile of your fly. People have been doing very well fishing emergers (PMD Hunchback emerger size 18 and Bubble Back PMD Emerger size 16,18 have been best) dropped behind a dry fly. Fishing the big bugs like the CFO Yellow Ant size 8 and Blomquist’s Pink Ant size 8 has been producing earlier in the morning. Terrestrials are starting to fish well and people have been having success fishing ants like the CFO Copper/Black ant size 12 & 14 and the Honey CDC water wasp size 14 either fished by themselves or dropped behind a bigger chernobyl type pattern.
Give us a call at the shop for up to the minute reports on how the South Fork is fishing.


7-11-13 South Fork

Well the big Salmon Flies are almost finished up on the upper South Fork near the dam, but the fishing has still be excellent with a golden stone. On both the upper and lower stretch John’s CFO Yellow ant size 8 and Berrett’s Golden Stone barred legs size 8 have worked along the banks as a golden stone imitation. The riffles have also been good with a Pink Comparadun size 20 and 18 as PMD’s  (Pale Morning Duns)and spinners along with Yellow Sally (Kyle’s Yellow Sally size 12) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. all throughout the South Fork. Also if you get an overcast day on the South Fork, I would try a streamer such as a Gallop Peanut Envy Olive size 2 or a Black Prince Bugger size 4 along the banks. Lastly, a Brown Rubber Leg size 6 and a Red Copper John size 16 can work as a nymph rig.



South Fork 7/3/13

The South fork is fishing very well right now. Bruce provided a lot of good information in his previous report, but I just wanted to add a little to it. Like Bruce said there are bugs coming off all over the place. The big salmonflies are on the upper river and have been fishing best earlier in the morning. Patterns like the CFO Pink ant size 8, Jakes Hot Cakes Salmon Fly size 6, and the Kingfisher Widowmaker in a size 4 would all be good bets. Golden Stones are hatching as well and flies like Berrett’s Golden Stone in sizes 8-12 and the CFO Yellow ant in size 8 have been producing. The PMD fishing in the riffles has been on fire all up and down the river. The fish haven’t been to picky yet, but if they are, its important to switch up your flies in until you figure out what the fish are taking. The pink comparaduns in size 16-18 have still been producing well but flies like the Quigley’s pink hackle stacker sizes 16-18, Harrop’s pink thorax dun sizes 16-18, and the CFO pink spinner size 18 would be good to have with you too. If the fish are being really finicky in the riffles try fishing a PMD hunchback emerger in a size 18 as a dropper, sometimes that really works. Yellow sallies are still coming off too so make sure you have a few of those on hand too like Kyles Yellow sally sizes 14-16 and the CFO Yellow Sally in 14-16. The fishing has been very good and will likely to continue to be good so get out there!


South Fork 7-2-13

For weeks now the South Fork has seen constant flows  (12800 cfs) coming out of Palisades Dam.   That kind of stability helps make for the great fishing we are seeing now. Water temps at the dam are around 58 deg F. but will begin rising as we head through July.  Right now big stoneflies are in the Swan Valley reach of the river (get to Huskey’s, Spring Creek, or Conant early if you want convenient parking!) .  Golden stones are coming out just below.  Yellows sallys are everywhere, and PMDs are emerging, so the river is doing what fly-fishers expect this time of year.  There are many fly patterns that work for all of these, and we stock every one of them.  None is particularly better than another given equal presentation.  The best question to ask while deciding to purchase at dry pattern is:  “Can I see this one on the broken surface that so much characterizes the South Fork? ”  Here’s another tip for fishing this great river. In areas of broken surface, and most of this river has such, it is best to use a stout leader to present flies. This is especially true if you fish from a boat.  Go to a 3X tippet in your favorite brand for presenting big stonefly patterns, especially from a boat. For PMD  emergers and duns use 4X, or even 3X.   In broken water the fish are a lot less leader shy than in the slower moving water that resembles that in the Harriman reach of the Henry’s Fork, or Bechler River.   The results of using this stronger leader will be more fish brought to the net.