South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 34)

South Fork 6/17

Things have changed once again on the South Fork as far as flows are concerned. Due to the higher than expected amount of runoff the BLM has decided to increase the flows coming out the Dam to keep a larger buffer in the reservoir to catch water. The run off has come down faster than they expected this week. I am actually happy to see them do this because it would really suck to have water at 15,000 cfs in the middle of July with hatches and good fishing than have the river bumped over 20,000 cfs cause the lake is full and they need to match outflow with in flow.

The upper river is actually fishing with Rubberlegs and San Juan Worms. Look for fish in the usual places like gravel bars, slow banks, and banks with structure. As the water temps warm up the fish will also move into the holes below the gravel bars and the nymphing will really get good. Don’t let the color of the water discourage you from fishing the South Fork. These fish have to eat. Larger brighter flies will help when it come to catching fish in these water conditions. Try a white zonker below a strike indicator, glo bugs and rubberlegs will be the ticket as well.

South Fork 6/14

Flows have leveled out a 15,000 cfs. We have now been told that the flows will stay at this level so they can fill the reservoir. Expect 1,000-2,000 cfs higher than normal flows for the summer time. This means instead of flows around 12-14,000 cfs in July they will be 14-16,000 cfs. As far as water clarity goes the water will be somewhat dirty for awhile because dirty water is dumping into the reservoir, you also have the tributaries dumping in muddy water as well. I suspect the water clarity will be fishable by the time Stoneflies start hatching.

Fishing right now will be mostly nymphs and streamers. Big rubberlegs and bead head nymphs. Big streamers stripped from the bank will produce fish on the right days.

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South Fork 6/11

Flows have been reduced to 15,000cfs but don’t let this drop fool you. Flows will go back up, this drop is to give flood relief to Shelley and Blackfoot while the Henry’s Fork is flowing high. I don’t know when the flows will go back up on the South Fork but I would expect it to happen any time. If you are going to fish concentrate on the upper sections and we don’t not recommend fishing below Byington at this time.

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South Fork 6/8

There are many opinions right now about water flows on the South Fork. I called the Bureau of Reclamation to find out the real story. Flows on the South Fork will be dropped a few thousand CFS but you will not see flows below 19,000 cfs until after the runoff. Flows are being decreased to give a little relief to the flooding in Blackfoot and Shelley. Due to the forecast of rain, the demand for irrigation water is not high and that keeps water in the river systems. Flows on the South Fork will most likely increase once this push of runoff water from the Henry’s Fork comes through.

I asked about projections for July. No one can predict the weather but the Bureau of Reclamation was fairly confident that the river would be fishable with higher than normal flows around July 1st . They are now talking about the fact that Palisades Reservoir is still empty and they need to make plans to fill it. Higher than normal flows consist of flows between 15,000 to 18,000 cfs for July. As long as those flows stay consistent the river will be fishing well. So far this is good news we have lost some fishing in June but honestly we haven’t had good fishing in June for the last 3 seasons. We will have awesome fishing in July and August and into the fall season. Cold water is always good for insect hatches and fish.

Fishing right now is not recommended flows are extremely high and the water is muddy.

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South Fork 5/23

Flows on the South Fork have been raised to 21,000 cfs out of the Dam. The river at Lorenzo looks like chocolate milk. Not much going on here to report. We don’t really suggest floating the river.

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South Fork

Flows have remained steady at 18,000 cfs. The water is dirty and blown out, if you really want to fish I suggest the upper section in Swan Valley. Throw large heavy nymphs and fish them deep under an indicator. You pretty much are going to have to get right in front of the fish’s face, however it is possible to catch fish. I expect the South Fork to be off color and ripping high for at least 3 weeks. As conditions change we will keep you updated.

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South Fork 5/9

Flows got bumped back up to 18,000cfs over the weekend with the rain we have been receiving in the high mountains runoff has started. There is a lot of water up there and it all needs to come down. I would not expect to have ideal fishing conditions on the South Fork for awhile. All the tributaries are dumping in lots of muddy water into the river and there is a lot of debris breaking loose. When things start to slow down San Juan worms and rubberlegs will be the ticket.

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South Fork 5/4

Flows have begun to drop on the South Fork, this morning they are at 14000 cfs. However I would not get your hopes up thinking its all over, because it is not. I expect flows to get back up to at least 20,000cfs before July. The reservoir is now down to 12% and they simply need to shut down the outflow of the reservoir before it is emptied. Fishing is still going to be all about nymphs. Stonefly nymphs in a size 8 with a San Juan worm, or a glo bug. You can use a pheasant tail or a big prince nymph, fly choice is not as crucial as getting them on the bottom. Look for slower moving water and deep pools the fish will be concentrated in these areas.

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