South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 42)

South Fork 8-28-10

With the weather change we are going to have this coming week look for several changes on the South Fork. The Pale Morning Dun hatch is about over for the summer but the first good cold front of the year will bring out the Blue Wing Olive and Mahogany Dun Mayflies. Also through September the flow will begin to drop as the irrigation demand decreases. The water drops will cause the mutant golden stones to emerge which will make the chernobyl/golden stone patterns more effective.

The streamer fishing has been good early in the mornings (daylight until the sun hits the water) and then change to a chernobyl. The hopper fishing has been better in the lower canyon down to Menan with  smaller size 8 and 10 hoppers.


Hey guys, a pair of wading boots were found at Kelly Island on the 28th of August. Call Dustin at  201-5313 to identify.

Flows on the South Fork are-

Heise: 8,760

Irwin:8,350

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South Fork 8-25-10

With flows coming out of Palisades Dam just under 9000 cfs, the river is in ideal shape for fishing.  Fishing banks remains the most productive strategy.  Try hopper and chernobyl patterns trailed by a cinnamon ant (#14-#12), and place them close to grassy  banks, undercuts, and overhead cover.   If you want to fish riffles, late afternoon are best when caddis begin emerging.  If you do not get surface action, try soft hackled patterns in size 12-16 such as partridge and orange, partridge and green or badger and orange. Let them drift down a few inches to working fish. When your fly arrives in the area where fish are working, lift your rod tip to raise the fly toward the surface.   An evening PMD spinner fall can bring some action to riffles.

Many fly fishers have forgotten how effective a #12 or #14 renegade is on the South Fork.   Too bad: because fished as a dry fly or emerger it fly remains extremely effective up and down the river.   Try it in riffles or drop it against the same features you fish with hoppers or chernobyl types.  So for many folks it may be out of style, but for those few in the know it remains a stalwart pattern.  Maybe you should give a try especially if you believe that fish get use to seeing patterns that are presented over & over again!

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South Fork 8-21-10

Riffle fishing is slowing as we move past the peak of the PMD emergence. Riffles still offer action especially towards late afternoon when caddis become active. With flows out of Palisades Dam just above 9000 cfs and heading lower, there is now an excellent choice of walk-in locations (contact us for some great walk-in candidates).    The plus side of  all this is that with fishing being great during evenings, most boat traffic is gone from the river, so you  have a better chance of solitude at walk-in riffles.  If you prefer float fishing, pitching hopper, chernobyl types and other terrestrial patterns against well vegetated banks is productive.   A great strategy is to trail a cinnamon ant pattern behind your hopper or chernobyl pattern.  If you are floating the river during the evening, your competition will be next to nil, and this will be the time to try streamers along  banks and other features out of direct sunshine.  As twilight approached big trout will come into the shallows to chase baitfish, another reason for carrying streamers if you are a late in the day fly-fisher.  This piece of info will become more useful as we move into the upcoming autumn months.

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South Fork 8-16-10

With flow out of Palisades Dam at just under 9000 cfs, the river now has numerous walk-in fishing locations as well as being excellent for float fishing.  Get in touch with us to help choose best walk-in locations because for the rest of the season walk-in fishing will be a great alternative to float fishing.   What is going on “bugwise” on the South Fork?  Throughout the river emerging PMDs, sallys and caddis continue to make riffle fishing great, but with hoppers in good numbers, hitting the banks brings action similar to that during the recent big stonefly emergences.   A lot of folks are enjoying the South Fork’s great fishing these days, so be patient and considerate.   Remember: there enough trout for all to enjoy, but you want a little solitude on this wonderful river, get in touch with us—we know where & how you can find some there.

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South Fork 8-7-10

With flow out of Palisades Dam just under 10000 cfs, lots of things are happening. First, much more of the river is safer for walk-in wading. There are numerous wading locations along the road above Heise  to Black Canyon and the river road above Fall Creek. These are too numerous to discuss on a one-on-one basis here, so get in touch with us or come in to look at candidates that fit your schedule and preferences.  Please remember whether you walk in or fish from a boat use caution and common sense. We lost one person on the river a week ago, and that is one too many.  With respect to activity, riffle fishing is at its peak up and down the river. PMDs, caddis and sallys are all emerging making for day-long riffle fishing with their life cycle patterns. The other good news is that the hoppers are active along the river and growing in size.  This means that successful tactics used for the recent big stonefly hatches will work again.  If you are on the river late in the day or very early, be sure to have streamer patterns in that fly box. These times of day hold some of your best chances for meeting the biggest fish of the season through presenting streamers.

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South Fork 8-2-10

Sallies and PMDs on upper river riffles seems to be the best place for action.   Stimulators are catching fish close to banks. Use same strategy with chernobyl types. some hoppers are appearing on the lower river, so some great fishing with large dries is not far away.

Please be careful when boating on the river. We lost a very experienced South Fork fly-fisher Saturday when a boat tipped at the Lorenzo Bridge.  He was a fabulous fly tier, engaging personality,  and a generous contributor to our fly fishing culture.   He will be sorely missed.

Dave Raisch reports that he lost a Scott  S-4, 486 rod with Lamson Velocity reel in the South Fork in the Irwin area. If you find these Dave can be reached at 208-406-4593.

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South Fork 7/26

Fish have gotten picky in the riffles and the banks. Luckily that doesn’t mean the fishing is slow. In fact the fishing is really good. Fish Stonefly Patters really close to the bank. Close means inches from the bank not a couple feet. Chubby Chernobyls have been working really well. I like the Rootbeer and Pink color. Make sure your flies in the riffles are drag free. Emergers have been the most successful compared to adult mayflies. The Transitional Dun and the Film Critic have really worked well. Don’t get frustrated if your not slaying the fish, try to figure out why you have not been successful. The fish are eating but it requires some hard work. Take a step back and watch the fish work. For example; If you see them in the riffles moving around but not rising to dry flies put a dropper on. There have been a lot of people on the river these last weeks. Remember to use common courtesy and common sense. If you are camping remember to check up on the regulations for camping in the canyon. We have the brochure here at the shop.

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South Fork 7/22

The fishing is really good right now. Fish are eating Pale Morning Duns, Pink Alberts, and Stoneflies. The Canyon is fishing really good and the Salmon Flies are very active on the upper section in Swan Valley. Fish are eating the dry flies right on the bank, literally inches from the grass and bushes. Good numbers of fish have also been caught nymphing.

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South Fork 7-21-10

The flow has gone up 900 cfs to 13,400. It could bother the fish for a day or so but I don’t think it will impact the hatches. There are heavy hatches of Pale Morning Duns and Yellow Sallies on all stretches of the river from Palisades Dam downstream to Lorenzo. There are some big stones in the upper stretches. Golden stones are out in good numbers through the canyon.

The water is still  cold so the hatches don’t start until late morning. Before that  fishing nymphs or throwing streamers has been very productive.

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South Fork 07-15-10

The big stoneflies are in the upper canyon near Conant. The fishing is very good and should stay that way for quite awhile. Palisades Reservoir is still at 96% capacity which will keep the water cool for most of the Summer. Cool water means steady hatches of Pale Morning Duns long after the stones are gone.

While most anglers have switched to dries some of the bigger fish have been caught on a rubber leg/golden stone combination. This goes for all stretches of the river. If you start early (6 am) before the hatches start consider a big streamer on a sink tip line. River flow is 12,500 cfs and steady.

Hey guys over the weekend some guys lost some equipment on the South Fork.  A black Ross reel attached to a Sage Sp, along with a Winston Boron and green colored Galvan reel. If anyone has any information, please call us at the shop and we will return it to its owner. If you haven’t heard or seen anything, keep your eyes peeled for the before mentioned items.

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