South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 50)

South Fork 5-04-09

With flows out of Palisades Dam remaining just above 16000 cfs and increasing to 18000 cfs at Heise, we cannot say fishing is great here.  Some action from streamers is possible on side channels above the Swan Valley bridge, but not much else. Be sure to wade safely during these high water times which could remain until enough room is made in Palisades Reservoir to hold  expected runoff.   We will watch flows closely and report here any changes which improve fishing conditions.

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South Fork 5-1-09

The flows on the South Fork have leveled out at 16,700 cfs. It has been steady for the entire week. We do not recomend floating below the Byington boat Ramp to Lorenzo. There are two reasons why we are discouraging this. The water in the north channel going under Twinn Bridges is extremly dangerous! Lorenzo is still closed due to high water, and your next stop would be Menan. The fish are continuing to hold in there winter water. The water temperature is about 38 degrees, which is causing these fish to stay fairly lathargic. The water is starting to clear up and nymphing will be your best oppertunity to catch fish. A rubberleg with a beadhead dropper fished deep under an idicator. We will continue to keep you updated as conditions change. Feel free to call the shop for an up to the minute report.

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South Fork 4-27-09

Flow out of Palisades Dam is around 16000 cfs and has been stable at 16000-17000 cfs for about a week.  Water below the dam through Swan Valley is clear, high, and somewhat fishable.  Concentrate on the side channels and use streamers and nymphs on sink tip lines.  We cannot recommend fishing the river below Swan Valley as it is discolored with floating debris as well as dangerous. There will be better days on the South Fork, and as soon as they come around we will give you our best and up to date info on how to have fishing success there.

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South Fork 4-24-09

The biggest news on the South Fork is that the Lorenzo Boat ramp has been closed. Due to the high water, the overflow channel has 4 feet of water running through it.  You would not be able to get a truck through this overflow channel. The flows out of the Pallisades dam have steadied at 17,000 cfs. The side channels off of Fall Creek road in Swan Valley have fish in them and the water is clean. Use large nymphs and streamers to intice these fish to eat. Floating below Conant Boat ramp is not recomended due to the high flows. There is a lot of debris still floating down the river, and the water is off color. Focus your efforts on the upper section in Swan valley.

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South Fork 4/21/09

Flows on the South Fork have increased to 16,200 cfs.  Fish the big back eddys and side channels. Streamers and nymphing will produce fish. Don’t let the dirty water scare you from fishing. Head up to Swan Valley and the water will be cleaner. When the flows stay steady the river bounces back very quickly. It only takes a day or two to settle and the fishing is really good when this happens. You might only have a 3 day window with steady flows but day two and three should be good fishing. Call us at the shop if you need an up to date report, also feel free to check the current flows by clicking here.

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South Fork 4-15-09

The river is at 12,700 cfs. The flows on the river are continuing to increase. Fish slow pools and tailouts with nymphs for your best results.

The road to Cottonwood will not be open for at least another 2-3 weeks. The forest service will keep this road closed until the wintering wildlife has moved and the road is in drivable condition. We will keep you posted as soon as it opens.

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South Fork 4-13-09

Ramping up of flows out of Palisades Dam continues to make room for run-off expected because of our great March and early April snowfall.  Expect flows there to reach 10000 cfs by mid-April and 14000-17000 cfs by the first of May. This puts the “kibosh” on top water fishing here. But streamers and large nymphs presented on fast sinking sink tip lines will bring the best chances for success.  Remember that what happens on the South Fork impacts the mainstem Snake River below.  If you want a better chance for top water fishing, see our Henry’s Fork report.

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South Fork 4-11-09

The flows got raised today 1000 cfs to put the the flow at 7700 cfs.  We are not for sure what they flows will be raised to. We will keep you updated on the fishing conditions as they continue to change and the flows change. I fished today and was able to catch fish on rubberlegs, and red zebra midges today. Fish the upper section in Swan Valley for clear water. The further down river you go the more debri you will find floating down the river. As we get closer to spring time and runoff the conditions of the river will begin to change more frequently we will continue to keep you updated.

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South Fork 4-10-09

The flows on the South Fork have settled out to 6400 cfs. it has been steady for the last 4 days now. I would expect to see these flows stay steady for a couple weeks.  We will keep you updated when the flows begin to increasea again. As far as fishing goes nymphing will be your best option for catching fish. Streamers will also produce fish. Remember to slow down those streamer presentations.

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South Fork 04-08-09

The South Fork has stabalized at 6500 cfs.  According to the Bureau of Reclamation this should be the level through mid May and that time the flow will be increased significantly.  The water is clear from Palisades Dam through the canyon. Below Byington there is still some color and debris but it will clear in the next day or so. As the water is turned back into the Great Feeder Canal at Heise look for the water to drop in the Lorenzo section.

All boat ramps are now usable except for Cottonwood which won’t open until after April 15th. Some years Cottonwood doesn’t open until after the 15th do to fallen rocks and soft/muddy road surfaces.

The situation at Twin Bridges is the same as last Fall where there is enough water to launch a boat but the channel down to the ramp is still too low float.   Its a weird concept to think about but you’ll understand when you see it.  If you launch at Byinton you are going to Lorenzo.

The streamer fishing will be very good now through mid May as will the nymph fishing. We recommend using a 15 or 20 foot sink tip for streamers. A Bennetts Brown Rubber Leg Nymph with a glo bug or San Juan dropper is a good combo under a srike indicator.

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