South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 44)

South Fork 2/2

its has been an interesting Winter on the South Fork. Flows have remained steady at 3,000 cfs and some of the boat ramps are still open. I would come prepared with chains for your tires just in case the boat ramp is icy and you need the extra grip. Spring Creek, Conant, Wolf and Byington should all be accessible with floating. Although I do recommend just wade fishing this time of year if you want to float you have that option.

Fishing has been fairly good for winter fishing. Most of the fish being caught have been under the surface on nymphs. San Juan worms and egg patterns have been effective as well. On warm days you can find some Midges hatching, however I haven’t heard of them hatching in big numbers. Streamer fishing is also an option but remember to slow down that presentation and fish deep slow water. We have a large selection of flies proven for winter fishing come on in and we can get you fixed up for some winter fishing.


South Fork 12/15

Flows have dropped to 3,000 cfs. The river is in really good shape and fishing should be good this winter. Flows are a little high for being able to get around wade fishing like you might have experienced in the past few years. However there are plenty of spots to wade fish and the river is extremely accessible through wade fishing.

Picking the right day is crucial this time of year for finding success and keeping your sanity in regards to guides freezing up. Watch weather reports pick cloudy and warm days that reach temperatures above freezing. Also keep in mind that fishing during the warmest part of the day will be the most effective. Midges will hatch  on the surface but finding fish eating on the surface will be hit and miss. Nymphing with smaller rubberlegs and tungsten bead head nymphs will allow you to get down and in front of the fish’s face. The fish are not that picky when it comes to nymphs most small bead heads will work. Zebra Midges, pheasant tails and lighting bugs are very effective. Streamer fishing also takes a big slow down this time of year. I prefer to swing them with a small twitch or a extremely slow retrieve.

As I have mentioned before floating the river will become hard to do as we continue to get more snow and the boat ramps will not be maintained in regards to snow removal. However we have not had much snow yet this winter so the majority of the ramps are still open. The road to Cottonwood boat ramp is supposed to be closed as of Dec. 1st. and will reopen in May sometime. If you do float, short floats will take all day with the decreased flows on the river.

As always feel free to come visit or call the shop and we can answer any questions and try to help you catch some fish this winter.


South Fork 12/1

Flows have remained steady at 3,500 cfs. This is the lowest we should see the flows for the majority of the winter. Right now they seem to be matching outflow with the inflow of the reservoir. We can’t see any reason  for that to change any time soon.

Fishing has continued to hold steady and people are catching fish on dry flies. Midges have been hatching in decent numbers on the warmer days. I like to tie on a parachute Adams as an indicator dry fly and tie the midge behind it. Often times you will find the fish also eating your larger indicator fly. Nymphing is also working very well. Rubberlegs in a size 6 or 8. Tie a dropper about 24 inches below your rubberleg. Any bead head should do I prefer zebra midges and Blue wing olive nymphs this time of year. With the flows at this level there is plenty of wading access on the river as well. You can still float the river right now but as we continue to get more snow through the winter; the boat ramps will become snowed in and unusable.


South Fork 11-26-2011

Tim’s advice given in the 11-15-2011 report for the South Fork still holds good. Perhaps the most comfortable fishing now is pitching streamers because  constant casting helps keep you warm.  Tim is right: wading to sweet spots is less demanding in cold weather than all the messin’ around with getting  that boat in and out of the water, being out on the river with wind, and the risk of a storm coming in and having to get off the river, collecting everything, and getting it back on the road to home.  So consider wading to those great locations while being dressed accordingly.  It’s also a good idea to check with the USFS or BLM to learn road conditions on the lesser traveled roads along the river.


South Fork 11/15

Flows have remained steady at 3,700 cfs. I don’t see this changing for awhile. Lots of wading access to the river this time of year with the low flows. Once the snow starts flying the boat ramps will out be of commission, and its probably a good idea to just leave the boat at home and wade to the sweet spots. Fish those holes and spots during the warmest part of the day for the best action. Look for fish feeding in the foam lines, back eddies, and the slow moving water in tail outs of riffles. Midges are still hatching and fish can be caught on the surface. Nymphing is really catching lots of fish and so is the streamer.  Streamer fishing will slow down as the weather continues to get colder.


South Fork 11/11

Flows have been reduced to 3,700 cfs out of the Dam. I imagine this will be the last drop we see for the winter. Fishing has been really good on the river. Lots of Midges being taken on the surface and below the surface. Fish have been keying in on the Midges in the foam lines in the shade. Rubberlegs and Zebra midges have been working as a good nymphing strategy. I have heard from a few people that in the fall all I tell people to fish with is zebra midges and rubberlegs when it comes to nymphing. Yesterday one of those customers called me while on the river and said “I understand why you always say to use rubberlegs and midges this time of year….It works!”

Streamers have also been producing nice fish. Stick with it through the day, change colors until you start to get some action. You should find better streamer success towards the end of the day vs. early in the morning.


South Fork 11/3

Flows have stayed steady at 4,000cfs. Water temps will be dropping as we continue to get this cold cold weather in the mornings. Blue Wing Olive hatches are most likely finished with but Midges will still continue to hatch. Look for fish feeding on them in the foam lines, eddies, and the calm flats.

Nymphing is probably the best action you will find for catching fish. Streamer fishing will also produce some fish as well. Optimal days are when its overcast and snowing above freezing temps when it comes to streamers. As the water temps drop slow down your presentation with streamers.


South Fork 10/31

Flows were decreased to 4,000cfs on the 26th of October. The streamer fishing is really beginning to pick up on the river. Still have some good Blue Wing Olive hatches going on but Midges have begun to take over for the predominant dry fly on the surface. Nymphing is always producing fish and in good numbers. Try fishing a Zebra Midge and a Bead Head Pheasant tail with a split shot 3 feet above the two flies. Its beginning to become that time of year when streamers and nymphing is the best techniques for getting fish. With flows dropping this low lots of wading access is available and feel free to leave your boat at home.


South Fork 10/26

Flows on the South Fork are remaining at 4,500 cfs Fishing is still holding strong on the river. Fish are rising to Blue Wing Olives and Midges. Nymphing has been successful with rubberlegs, tungsten Zebra Midges, and Blue Wing Olive nymphs. The streamer fishing has been really good as well. Streamer fishing is more effective in the mornings, evenings and on cloudy days. No brown trout spawning activity yet, if you do happen to see a Brown trout redd please avoid stepping in it. The fishing on the South Fork should remain steady as long as the weather continues to stay nice. When we get those cloudy rainy days its worth suffering through the weather to chase those big fish that seem to get active in those conditions. Look for fish in the soft water and the foam lines sipping dry flies.


South Fork 10/19

Flows on the South Fork have remained steady on the river at 4,500cfs. Fishing has really been good this month. There are good Blue Wing Olive hatches, some October Caddis and a few PMD’s still fly around. The streamer fishing has picked up as well. On the bright sunny days you will not have as much success as on the overcast day but don’t let that discourage you from going. Fish late into the evening or brave the chilly mornings. Nymphing is also really good. Any assortment of bead head nymphs and rubberlegs seem to be the ticket for catching fish below an indicator.