South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 53)

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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South Fork 04-02-09

Flows on the South Fork have begun to rise. We have been told that they are bumping the flows between 5,000 and 7,000 by April 15. Fishing on the South Fork will be more difficult while the water is beng bumped everyday or two. You will have a lot of debree floating down the river as the water continues to rise. This will also  make the water dirty and off color. The good news is that the fish still have to eat. Concentrate on side channels and back eddys. Nymphing and Streamers will produce fish in these type of conditions. Rememebr to use bigger, and brighter flies with these water conditions.  After things calm down with increasing the flows it will only be a matter of 2 or 3 days defore the water is clear and the fishing will pick up tremdously. Stay tuned to the fishing report and be sure to call us if you have any questions or need and up to the minute report.

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South Fork 03-27-09

Fishing on the South Fork had been picking up. You best approach is to nymph until you see midges hatching. No reports of Blue Wing Olives yet.  Rubberlegs, and small bead head nymphs will produce fish. Put you strike indicator 6-8 feet above your first nymph.  Streamers have been working but remember to slow down that presentation. The Spring Creek boat ramp is NOT OPEN!!! There is still 3-4 feet of snow blocking the boat ramp and parking lot. Drift boats will need to float to Conant boat ramp. There is still 30 feet of the ramp at Pallisades Dam covered with snow. You can get a boat in at Huskies, Irwin, Conant, Wolf, and Byington. Cottonwood is still closed for wintering wildlife.

The Bureau of Reclemation has informed us that they will be raising the flows on the river to make room for spring runoff. Starting Sunday of Monday flows will be increased every few days until they reach 7,000 cfs. The plan is to reach 7,000cfs by mid April. This doesn’t mean that fishing on the South Fork out of the question. Usually a day or two after the increase the fishing will turn back on and start eating again.

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South Fork 03-20-09

There is no new information to share except for reports that there are some  Blue Wing Olives hatching on the lower river from Twin Bridges down to Menan. The water gets a chance to warm up by the time it gets down there which explains why we see them on the lower river and not as much closer to Palisades Dam.

One other feature of the lower river are some of the sloughs that are connected to the river. Some of them are worth rowing into and looking for trout feeding on midges. We use a number 12 or 14 beadhead midge Pupa suspended under an indicator.

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South Fork 03-16-2009

March CutthroatFishing Spectators

Today undoubtably has been the warmest day of the year for Eastern Idaho for 2009. For the next 3 weeks we should see midge hatches everyday and only brief periods during the day where your rod guides freeze!

The ramps at Palisades Dam and Huskey’s are now usable. The take at Spring Creek is still pretty messy so take out 2 miles below Spring Creek at Conant. I’m still having my best success wading so do keep in mind that with these low seasonal flows you really don’t need a boat. A boat will just get you away from the ramps and bridges.

I’ve mentioned before that March is becoming my favorite month of the year on the South Fork. Pack a thermous of soup and get out there at least once this month before the irrigation season brings us higher flows.

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South Fork 03-11-2009

02-11-09-south-fork-009On warmer days we have been seeing good hatches of midges in the afternoons with exception of yesterday when the high was 28 with wind gusts to 40mph! The weather will return to a more typical March by this weekend.

For the next 30 days  flows will be stable, low and clear. In addition to midges on the surface you will want to fish some streamers in the deeper pools. We like to use a fast sinking tip line or even a full sink when fishing streramers.  If its early in the day and no midges are hatching we’ll try a pair of tunsten zebra midges underneath a small foam indicator. Again we are looking for slow deep pools and we fish the midges up to 12 feet beneath the indicators.

At 1000 cfs the river is very wadeable so a boat really isn’t helpful. If you do decide to take a boat be aware of the ice on the ramps as you put in and take out. A set of chains or a long rope will come handy. As of yesterday the ramps at Palisades Dam , Husky and Spring Creek are still snowed shut. You can slide a boat in at the Irwin slide and take out Conant but again be prepared to chain or rope the boat out. The ramp at Cottonwood is closed until at least April 15th so the next place you can put in is at Wolf. (I would really advise against floating the canyon due to the slow current which would not leave any time to fish.) From Wolf  you can float to Byington and again really think about what you need to do to safely take your boat out. The  channel to Twin Bridges is dry and will be until later this year so the next take out is Loenzo. At Lorenzo you drive down the concrete ramp and onto a gravel bar so a 4 wheel drive is a necessity.

March is becoming my favorite time of year to fish the South Fork because of the low water, no crowds and your rod guides stop freezing up!

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South Fork 02/24

Fishing on the South Fork is really starting to pick up. Midges have started hatching on the river in the afternoon. Size 18 and smaller will get those fish to take on top. Nymphing still is the best technique to catch fish, the rubberleg has been the hot fly  If you want to strip streamers we suggest smaller streamers like a clouser minnow or a CFO lite bright clouser. You will want to slow down the presentation of your streamers. The water is still cold and the fish are very larthagic so slow things down. Floating is still not a good option right now. We suggest that you leave the boat at home and wade fish. If you need an up to date report please feel free to call us here at the shop.

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South Fork 02/18

Lots of people have been getting out in the warmer weather and fishing the South Fork. Rubberlegs, midges, and small nymphs have been the most effective. Still no word about any significant midge hatches yet. The trout are eating underwater insects and nymphing is the most effective way to catch fish right now.

You can get a boat in at Wolf and take out at Byington. If you decide to take out at Byington you will need a lot of rope, or chains on your tires to pull out of the ramp. The ramp is very icy and slick. Remember there is no snow maintance on the boat ramps during the winter. If you want to float remember that short floats will take the majority the day. Float during the warmest time of the day. Always be prepared for something to happen you don’t plan on. Bring extra clothes, and I would bring extra food and other essential gear. Common sense will go a long way on the river. This rule applies year round, but in the winter when accidents happen they can esscilate into an emergency very quickly. Have fun and be safe.

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