South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 38)

South Fork 12/2

Well the time has come and I have to except the fact that it is winter and we probably will not see temps above 50 degrees till spring. So its time for our annual winter fishing report:

Winter fishing is always a good time to be on the river and have a great chance at hooking some really nice fish.he river is hardly busy and one can find solitude very easily this time of year. However there are a few things that will help you be a little more successful and safe on your winter outings.

Choose the right day, you will want to fish on days when the temperature is going to be above freezing, or somewhat close to it. There is only a few hours  during the day that the temperature peaks, this is the time when you want to be casting a fly. Usually it is between 1-3pm. Sunny days don’t necessarily mean it will be warm, cloud cover can keep the temperature above freezing and allow midges to hatch.

Leave you boat at home. You don’t have enough time to launch and float. Also none of the boat ramps get plowed in the winter so most of them are closed. There is plenty of water to fish while wading. The fish concentrate in deep holes with slow moving water in the winter time, its much easier to just walk in to fish.

Nymphs, like a rubberleg and a zebra midge, Dry Fly Midges, and small streamers presented with very very slow movement will give you the best opportunity to catch fish. Trout beads and other glo bug imitations under an indicator work as well.

Fish with a friend and always be prepared for the worst situation. I always have extra clothes with me in case I fall in, and always let someone know where you will be fishing and when you plan to return. Winter time water temps will give you hypothermia in a matter of minute. Having the ability to get wet clothes off your body and put dry clothes on will save your life. Extra food, blankets and other basic survival needs are smart in case you get stuck for a few hours or the evening.

We will post updated fishing reports throughout the winter when we think it might be a good time to get out or if there is going to be a major change int he weather. unfortunately the techniques and flies to use don’t change the entire winter, so you will not see fishing reports as often as you would during the Spring, Summer and Fall. As always you can call the shop and we will fill you in on any questions you have.

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South Fork 11/15

We just received word that the Boat ramp at Twin Bridges is closed to boat use. The BLM and the Idaho Fish and Game have put up a gate to keep anyone from launching at this boat ramp. This gate will remain on the ramp until the water level goes back up in the spring. This does not mean the area is closed to fishing or access by foot, they are simply trying to keep the general public from driving on the river bottom, or boats getting stuck on gravel bars. For more information you can contact the BLM here in town.

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South Fork 11/13

Fishing on the South Fork has consistently been good. The trick is finding fish schooled up in a hole. There are a few Blue Wing Olive Duns out but the majority of them have since passed with the change in weather this week. Midging is the best dry fly action right now. The streamer fishing is really good and will continue that way as long as the water temps stay warm for this time of year, and that is above 40 degrees. 44-48 degrees is ideal. Flows are at there winter time level and should not change, this allows lots of spots for wade fishing and drifting is not necessary this time of year.

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South Fork 11/4

Flows have dropped on the South Fork to 1100cfs. This will be the winter flow for the river. Unless something drastically changes we do not expect the flows to drop anymore. All sections of the river are accessible by boat, however we suggest that you choose to float short 3 to 5 mile sections of the river. This distance at these low flows will take all day. We also suggest this is a great time to just leave the boat at home and wade fish the river. There are many spots to wade fish and with fall and winter fishing conditions it is much easier to find a few holes of fish and work them, compared to floating all day continually looking for fish on the banks.

The streamer fishing is doing well, Blue Wing Olives are still hatching thanks to the warm weather. Good numbers of fish are also being caught nymhping, and yes it is that time of year for glo bugs.

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South Fork 11/1

Flows dropped Sat. to 2500 cfs. This really opens up the possibilities of wade fishing on the river. Nymphing, streamers below the surface. Blue Wing Olives, and Midges on top. Look for fish to be concentrated into one area or hole. Back eddies, foam lines on slow moving banks are great spots for fish to stack up. The weather is going to stay warm this week so get out there and catch some fish.

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South Fork 10/27

Flows have remained steady on the South Fork at 3200 cfs. All sections are still accessible at this time. However with the decrease in water flowing through the system many of the side channels and braids do not have water in them. Check them out before you float so you don’t get stranded. Remember that short floats will take the majority of the day to float. The Streamer fishing has really picked up on the river, especially on cloudy days. There are still good Blue Wing Olive Hatches and the midges have really started popping. Nymphing has also been producing fish a stonefly nymph with a beadhead is a simple way to catch fish this time of year.

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South Fork 10-24-10

Too bad we all can’t fish like Tim in the company of the IDF&G shocking crew!   But they are sampling the fish population to get info for maintaining the great South Fork fishing we enjoy so much.   Right now flow out of Palisades Dam is around 3200 cfs with flow at Heise around 3400 cfs.  Walk in-wade fishing is at its best this time of year with so many accessible spots up and down the river.    We can help you find some of the best–so c’mon in and talk to us. With some stormy weather coming up look for BWO activity to provide some great action during the next week.   Thanks to lower flows your choice of riffles is never ending.   Streamer fishing is now at its peak and definitely the way to encounter those big browns.  Use streamers in darker colors and others in lighter colors (yellow or chartreuse seem very effective in attracting browns) and a sink tip line.  Choose low light conditions, and with stormy conditions even daytime can be a good time for streamers.

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South Fork 10/20

Had the best day of fishing yesterday in my life! We caught around 500 fish. I used a great fly called the Electric Copper Bob, Fish can’t help but swim to this fly.  My arms are sore from catching fish. Every fish was measured and recorded that we caught, thanks to Brett High for such a great day!

Disclaimer: Due to the amount of phone calls we have received about the Electric Copper Bob, I need to inform you that this fly is best fished with a generator and 1/2″ Round Steel Cable for tippet. Its also a good idea to go with the Idaho Fish and Game so you don’t end up in jail.

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South Fork 10/18

Flows have dropped to 4,000cfs. Fishing remains the same as last week. Check our earlier reports for in depth fishing. A whole lot of Blue Wings and Nymphing. Waiting for some colder weather to turn on the streamer fishing.

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South Fork 10/15

Flows have been dropped to 4400 cfs. yesterday and have remained steady as this morning while I am writing the report. As far as the fishing goes not much has changed here. Nymphing on the bright days but if you feel like dry fly fishing throw a Parachute Adams on the bank and you will get trout to eat. It really boils down to what you expect out of the day. If you are good with a few fish, fish dries, but if you want to have the best opportunity to catch a lot of fish nymph on theses bright days. Blue Wing olive and Streamer activity will be better on the overcast days, strip streamers during the mornings and evenings on the bright days. With the decrease in water levels wade fishing is becoming more accessible.

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