Fishing has been good on the South Fork. All sections seem to be fishing well. The Salmon Fly hatch has now moved through the entire river and fish can still be caught on Salmon Fly patterns from the Dam down through the canyon. Golden stones have been effective when fished tight against the bank. The CFO Flamer Ant, Simulators and chubby Chernobyls have been working well for patterns. Bead head nymph as droppers will pick up those fish weary to rise to dry fly. Run the dropper 18 inches to 3 feet below the dry. No consistency on PMD hatches, but we should start seeing those hatches any day now. Keep checking back as we try to keep this report updated.
Conditions on the South Fork this year are those that have made it famed or fishing. Water flows have not only been ideal for float fishing, but also nearly constant. Insect activity has been nearly as expected, and weather, if a bit on the hot & dry side, good. As a result visitations are up, not just through guiding operations but from visiting anglers prefering to go on their own experience. Want to get away from much of the crowds? Begin fishing about 6PM and stay on the water to dusk. Riffle fishing will still be great with caddis taking over and there is the possibility of a spinner fall. Try throwing a streamer when the light is leaving the river. Recently fishing slowed on the lower river because water has been shut down from the Big Feeder meaning increased flows in the river below. Given a few days the river will stabilize and good fishing will return.
No significant change here since our 7/12 report. Follow our fishing suggestions within it. We are so fortunate that flows out of Palisades Dam have remained constant at an almost ideal level for fishing for so long. This cannot last forever during this so far hot and dry growing season. Sometime in the future there will be an flow increase that will effect fishing. We will keep our eye on the South Fork gauge just below the dam to warn when this happens.
One other thought; please consider courtesy when using boat launch facilities. If you see a “crunch” coming, maybe have some more of whatever refreshment and tell another story. Hey; we are fly-fishers! Each of us has a backlog of stories. Who cares about believabilty whnit is all in fun!
The dry fly fishing has been very good and we don’t see any reason that the conditions will change. There are great hatches daily of Pale Morning Duns, yellow sallies, golden stones and the big Salmon flies are well into the Swan Valley area. At some point in the day you should some good action on the big stones as far down as Wolf. The most consistent dry action though will come from the smaller sallies, goldens and PMD’s. The flow from Palisades Dam is 13,400 cfs and the water temp is 54 degrees.
If you get a early am start consider using streamers(Clousers, J.J. Specials, Lite Brite Buggers)and big nymphs(rubbers legs, mega prince nymphs with a small nymph dropper) before the dry fly fishing starts. It takes until late morning for the riffles to turn on. We have been having the best luck fishing the different stages of Pale Morning Duns. If the fish start to refuse your dun imitations try a cripple, captive dun, emerger or mayfly nymph as a dropper.
Top water fishing here is improving considerably. Bring PMD and sally life cycle patterns for trying the riffles. Cycle from nymphs to emergers and cripples to duns as the day progresses. Fish will switch their interest through this cycle as the day progresses, so be ready to change your patterns. This kind of fishing should last for weeks to come as long as water levels, now close to ideal, stay where they are now. If they do, you will experience the fishing for which South Fork is famed. Overall nymph fishing is very good. Some big bugs remain in the canyon and periodically produce good fishing, and evening caddis activity brings responses from fish all along the river. The time to be on this best of rivers is just beginning.
Yesterday was the day! Things finally turned on in regards to dry fly fishing on the river. We had great reports of fish up and eating the Salmon Fly and Yellow Sallies. We did have some weather yesterday and some rain which is always really good for fishing especially during the summer time. This is great news because we have been waiting for the dry fly bite to start. It’s only going to get better from here on out. SO get out there catch some fish and come share your stories with us in the shop.
Flows have stayed steady and the Salmon Flies are in the Canyon. Good Yellow Sally and PMD hatches during the afternoon.
The South Fork has Salmon flies hatching in really good numbers, the Yellow Sallies, Green Drakes and PMD’s have been hatching as well. So why are the fish really hesitant to rise and we haven’t had off the charts dry fly fishing? That’s a good question most of us figure its because of the large amount of food throughout the water column there is not a large need for the trout to eat dries off the surface. The good news is this will change and the nymphing is fantastic! Lots of fish are being caught under the surface right now. We suggest throwing a Chenobyl Ant with nymph droppers. Some of our Salmon Fly patterns are big enough to float a Rubberleg and that is a great combination! This way you will catch the fish eager to eat a dry fly and all the other ones eating nymphs. The fish are super healthy this year and they are fighting hard. The banks and the riffles are fishing good. Call the shop for up to the minute reports.
Well it’s July and we have Salmon Flies on the South Fork! My prediction is always July 4th at Twin Bridges but they came just a little early this year. You can also find a good hatch of Yellow Sallies, and Green Drakes hatching in the Canyon and down past Heise Bridge. As of this past weekend fish were rising to Salmon Flies and Yellow Sallies but nymphing has still been the most effective remedy for hooking fish. I would fish a salmon dry fly with a zebra midge dropper or a #14 PMD Redemption Nymph. Focus your efforts on the riffles and the slow banks. Good luck and have fun! Call the shop for an up to the minute report.
Flows have stayed steady at 13,600cfs these flows have been steady for the past 5 days.
Stream flow on the South Fork is stable with 13,600 cfs coming out of Palisades Dam, and 14,900 cfs at Heise. Nymph fishing in the morning with a Brown Rubber Leg ( size 8 ) and a Bead Head Crystal Pheasant Tail Nymph dropper( size 16) has been the most productive till about 12 o’clock. From about 12 o’clock, riffles have been good with a CFO Yellow Sally ( size 16 and 14 ), and Olive Hares Ear Parachute (size 12) . There is a good emergence of salmon and golden adult stones along the bank near Heise, but fish still haven’t been eating them yet but that should change any day. Along with yellow sallies in the riffles there will be good hatches of pale morning duns and some green drakes.