South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

Contact us for up to the minute fishing reports and conditions.

South Fork

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

South Fork 3-22

The South Fork is fishing well. Flows are really low and floating long floats is not recommended. Floats that you would want to do is Dam to Huskies, Wolf to Byington, and Lorenzo to Menan. These stretches are very floatable for a day trip. Floats much over 5 miles is not recommended because it takes so long to with the low flows.

Fishing is basically nymphing with rubberlegs, bead head nymphs, Zebra Midges, Glo bugs, San Juan worms, and Trout Beads. If you get into a whitefish hole just move and find another deep slow moving hole with trout holding deep. Also later in the day you will find whitefish and Trout sipping midges on the surface. No Blue Wing Olives yet, I would expect them later in April. Call the shop if you have any more questions.


South Fork 3-9

Flows on the South Fork have dropped again to 1000 cfs at the Dam. With the decreased snow fall in the mountains this year the Bureau of Reclamation is trying to store as much water as they can. This will not directly effect the fishing this time of year. However remember that floating the river takes more time with the decreased flows. If you are going to float we recommend short 3 mile floats, these will take you the majority of the day. However we suggest you wade fish.

Dead drift nymphs 7-8 feet below an indicator. Use a #6 or #8  Rubber leg stonefly nymph, bead head nymphs size 16-18, also Glo bugs and San Juan worms. There has also been success with Super-X’s dead drifted below a indicator and being swung through deep pools. Midges are still hatching but are very inconsistent, look for fish eating them in the foam lines.


South Fork 3-5

We have many customers calling and coming to talk to us about fishing on the South Fork today. While fishing on the South Fork is good right now, floating the river is not your best option. Right now the flows are lower than they have been all winter. Flows out of the Dam are around 1200 cfs. This means that a 3 mile float is going to take you all day to float. Snow removal is not maintained on the boat ramps during the winter. All of the Swan Valley boat ramps are snowed in and not accessible with a truck and trailer. The only boat ramps that are open on the river is Wolf and Byington. Byington however is iced over and requires chains, and 4×4 drive to get your truck out of the ramp.

With the flows being this low walk in access is very good. We suggest Heise Bridge, Wolf Flats, Kelley Island, Spring Creek Bridge, and Fall Creek. Access to the Canyon road is closed above Wolf Flats but the fishing is accesable along this road up to that point. From the road closure you can walk in but no vehicles are allowed to protect wintering wildlife. Catching fish has been productive with Rubberleg Nymphs , Beadhead nymphs and midges on top. There has been some productivity on Streamers but you must present them extremely slow because the fish are not that active. Concentrate your fishing during the warmest part of the day and you should find some success during this spell of warm weather. For any more information or questions call us here at the shop.


South Fork 2-27

South Fork is starting to pick up. This warmer weather is providing some good days on the river.  March is one of Jimmy’s favorite time of the year to fish the South Fork. Nymphing is really the ticket for catching fish right now. Streamers are working but you need to slow down your presentation to almost a dead drift. The Midges are hatching but it’s not consistent and fish are not always up feeding on them. A brown rubberleg, with a black zebra midge, or a size 16-18 pheasant tail is working really well.

Picking you day is still the key for catching fish. Take advantage of this warm weather and have some fun out there.


South Fork 2-17-10

We are consistently getting good reports from the South Fork. The fishing is starting to pick up with the increase of the warmer weather. Dry Fly Midges have been hatching but it has been inconsistent.  Nymphing is still the best approach to catching fish day in and day out. Rubberlegs and Zebra Midges. I know that it sounds redundant and repetitive but it works! Fish are also being caught on small pheasant tails and bead head nymphs. If you see fish rising and can not seem to catch them try swinging a Pulsating Midge through them. (they are available at the shop)


South Fork 2-03

We wanted to give you a heads up on the flow situation for the South Fork. Flows at the dam have dropped to 1600 cfs. With decreased amount of snow fall the Bureau of Reclamation wants to make sure there is enough water in the spring to fill the reservoir.  This will not effect the fishing on the South Fork. Fishing has been good on the warm days. Nymphing has been the most productive. The key is fishing during the warm part of the day and hitting it on a day when the temperature is over 32 degrees.


South Fork 12-21-09

We have had good reports of fish eating midges on the surface on the warmer days. Today and tomorrow will be nice enough to go fishing but the weather is reporting some cooler temperatures by the end of the week. During this time of year the weather is a huge indicator on how the fishing will be. Don’t wait for a good fishing report on our website to go fishing, instead listen for a good weather report. If you wait for us to report good fishing in the winter you chance might be gone. Reports of Rubberlegs and small beadhead nymphs have been successful this last week with the warm weather. Come talk to us and we will direct you to some good holes if you plan on going out.


South Fork 11-27-09

The South Fork remains open to year round fishing, so we will have occasional reports on how it is fishing.  Right now flows out of Palisades Dam have been stable for weeks at 1800 cfs.  Rely on streamers, small nymphs, rubber legs patterns and dry/emerger midge patterns for best chances of success.  When we hear of actions that impact South Fork fishing, we will pass them on here.


South Fork 11-23-09

We are still hearing reports of fish rising on midges.  Nymphing is still producing a good number of fish. Rubberlegs and bead head nymphs are a great setup.  As we continue to get deeper into the winter months don’t wait for a fishing report to go fishing. Find a good day during the week when the weather is going to be above freezing and go fishing. If you wait for a report you might miss the window of good weather and fishing for the next week or two. For any questions please call us and we will be happy to help you find a good spot to cast a fly.


South Fork 11-18-09

!!!!!!This is our official Winter Report!!!!!

As winter approaches fly fishing will become fairly slow. Slow enough that we will not be updating the fishing report as often as we do in the spring, summer and fall. We will continue to keep you updated on any changes in the river or good fishing that might happen during the winter. We want to continue to be your best source for information on fishing in our local area. The reason we don’t update the fishing report as much in the winter is because the conditions do not change. With that said successful fly fishing in the winter time is very obtainable. Many people enjoy winter fishing and find it to be very rewarding. Here are a few things that will help you be successful while fishing this winter.

Pick the right day. You will want to pick a day that will be warm. I like to use the rule of 32. If it is above 32 degrees its warm enough to fish. If the high doesn’t reach 32, fishing might not be the best option. There are exceptions to this rule but in general it is a good one to follow.

Leave the Boat at Home. Most of the boat ramps do not get plowed in the winter so it is really hard to launch your boat. The flows are very low in the winter and 3 miles will take all day to float. The fishing in the winter is only good for a few hours during the warmest part of the day. Wade fishing is very easy in the winter, focus finding fish to catch during those few hours when the fish are active. Fish pod up in the winter in the slow deep holes and the tail outs of riffles. Pounding the bank from the boat is not an effective way to catch fish in the winter.

Be Prepared! Things that go wrong on a typical summer day of fishing can be dangerous. Those same risks can be multiplied very quickly in the winter months. Hypothermia is something you would watch out for in the summer and expect in the winter! Especially if you fall while wading and take a swim. Never travel too far from the car unless you are prepared with an extra set of dry clothes, and the ability to make a fire. Its a good idea to fish with a partner, and never ever think it is safe to walk out on river ice. Once the sun goes down the temperature drops dramatically so be prepared and know when it’s time to call it a day.

Flies. Typically you will be nymph fishing in the winter. Size 8-12 rubberlegs with a beadhead nymph dropper in a size 14-20 will produce the most fish. Streamers will work but need to be presented really, really slow.

Fish become very lethargic in the winter and do not move fast. This is how the conserve energy in the winter time. However they still need to eat everyday. Winter fishing can be some of the most memorable fishing you will experience. Very small crowds on the river and lots of opportunities to see wintering wildlife. Most of the time you will be the only one on the river so be smart, because chances are no will show up to rescue you. If you have any questions on spots to fish, or winter fishing techniques call or stop in at the shop and we will be happy to assist you.