South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 49)

South Fork 3/25

We have some important news to share with you about the South Fork. Flows will be increased to 10,00 cfs for the next week. These flows will remain steady until they decide to dump more water. I do not expect to see flows drop again until next fall, this is why:

  • We have about 120% snowpack in the hills.
  • It is still March and winter is not left us yet.
  • Who knows what kind of rain we will get this spring(May & June)

So what does this mean for fishing? They’re 2 things that we should consider. First, wait for the water flows level out, the fishing will pick back up. Second, is the water is still cold (38 degrees) So the fish are not going to move out of the original holding water they have been in all winter. However, there is 5 times the amount of water in the system, so basically the barrel just got bigger.  So you need to think about how to target the fish. Continue to look for fish in slow moving water, eddy’s and flats. Plan on fishing deeper and that is most likely your best bet for reaching the fish.  With the cold water temps the fish will not move a great deal to eat your fly, you will need to get your fly to the fish. This is what I suggest: Strike Indicator to your 1st fly should at least be 10′ than drop your 2nd fly 24″ from there. I would fish heavy flies, like tungsten bead heads, and weighted stonefly nymphs. Streamers will pick up when the water warms a little. If you have any questions call the shop or stop by the shop.

South Fork 3/11

Just a quick update on floating the river. Huskies boat ramp to Conant on the upper river in Swan Valley, and Wolf to Byington is open for floating. These floats will take you the majority of the day because the water levels are still at 2200cfs. I still suggest wade fishing this time of year giving you the ability to move to many different parts of the river and not deal with a shuttle and a boat. If you do decide to take the boat Julies Shuttle service will run your rig. Nymphing is the name of the game. Very little midge action right now, and no Blue Wing Olive action yet. Glo bugs have been working as well.

South Fork 3/8

Lots of people have been getting out when the weather has been warming up. Nymphing seems to be the most effective way to catch fish. Lots of whitefish have been caught and seem to keep everyone entertained. I was told by a customer yesterday that he had a whitefish jump like a Rainbow trout….That had to be exciting! The trout are there as well you just need to find them. Think outside the box and look for them in water that is shallow and slow, or try really deep holes and make sure you get to the bottom. Remember the water is crystal clear right now so the can see you. Try being stealthy. Midges are hatching every once in awhile. They seem to hatch better on days when its warm and there is cloud cover. As always you can call the shop or stop by for a updated fishing report. Its supposed to be nice this weekend, if you experiencing some Cabin Fever this could be a good time to get out.


South Fork 2/15

The weather has been warm for the past few days and the fishing has picked up considerably on the river. Mostly nymph fishing, but some dry fly action with midges. There is not really any opportunity to float the river right now due to the boat ramps being snowed in. However with the flows holding at 2200 cfs there are lots of access points for wade fishing.


South Fork 1/20

Just wanted to give you all an update of the flow situation for the South Fork. Flows have been increased to 1900 cfs. to make room in the reservoir. Midges have been hatching on the warmer days. Still not a lot of options for floating at this point. Call or stop by the shop for advice and up to the minute info.


South Fork 12/8

Word on the street is Midges have been hatching in good numbers on the river. Fish are up and eating them as well. I was up in Swan Valley a few days ago searching for the Family Christmas Tree noticed fish rising in the river. Unfortunately all I had in the truck was a shotgun and a saw. With this warmer weather the fish will be more active. Look for them in the slow moving water and the deep holes along the foam lines.


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.


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.


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.


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.