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.
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.
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.
Not much has changed in relation to flows on the South Fork. They have remained steady at 18,000 cfs. The upper section of the the river should be in great condition for nymph fishing with good water clarity. Fish deep, at lease 10′ feet from your indicator and use heavy flies to get tot he bottom. We are still urging people not float below Byington because of the high flows. There is no water being taken from the river at the great feeder canal so all this water is being pushed down to American Falls.
Doesn’t look like conditions are going to get better on the South Fork for awhile. We will keep you updated if anything changes.
Flows on the South Fork keep going up…Kinda like gas prices huh?
The latest flow reports the South Fork at 16,200 cfs at Irwin. There is no water being diverted at the Great Feeder Canal which means about 16,900 cfs is being pushed through the lower river right now. Typically in the summer time the great feeder canal is pulling close to half of the flows from the river, but right now the great feeder canal is closed. This means that there is about 2 times as much water flowing to Lorenzo than we are typically used to seeing. Next too all the down trees and brush piles in the river the passage under the North Bridge of Twin Bridges is very dangerous. We recommend not floating this section.
If you want to fish the South Fork, there are good floats through the canyon and the upper section. The most effective fishing is done with nymphs under indicators. The water is still pretty cold and the fish are not moving to streamers unless it is presented really, really slow. Rubberlegs, glo bugs, san juan worms, and an assortments of beadhead nymphs have been working well.
Flows continue to increase on the South Fork. Flows have been increased to 13,000 cfs as of this morning. This is not the spring flush, the high water is because we need to make room for all the snow that continues to accumulate in the mountains. From the water report that we received last week from the Bureau of Reclamation there is enough snow in to drain the entire Snake river system and fill it back up again and still have more water than is needed. That basically means we have lots of water this year, which is a good thing for fishing this summer. Unfortunately it is not a good thing if you are wanting to go fishing in the next few weeks. As flows increase so will the amount of debris in the water and the color will continue to be muddy. If the flows settle for a day or two the river will settle down and you could catch fish.We will continue to updated on the flows as we receive information.
With these high flows nymphing is the best approach for catching fish. Look for them in slow moving water. Check the past reports for nymphs that have been effective.
Flows on the South Fork got bumped to 11,400 cfs. Unfortunately we don’t have any specific information on when or how much the flows will increase. This is something that we should expect to see over the next few months because of the large amount of snow in the mountains and the decent carryover from last year. This is not runoff water being moved, these flows are increased to make room for runoff whenever that will happen. With the increase of flows it will discolor the river for about 1 to 2 days and the water should be back to its normal clarity and fishing will pick up. We will keep you updated on the flows and as they change.
I hear different stories about the fishing on the South Fork. Some guys are doing really well and others are getting skunked. After hearing different fishing reports from reputable sources I have come to the conclusion the fishing depends still on choosing the right day and finding the fish. These fish are not spread out along the bank yet. They are still holding in very slow water and will eat flies when presented correctly. Streamers have been working but they also must be presented extremely slow. Not much has changed for flies to throw at the fish. Nymphing is the name of the game. The midge action is still an option but you will have more success fishing under an indicator. I would be fishing at least 8 feet to my first fly below the indicator. Once again look for slow water on the inside banks.