South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 55)

South Fork 6/10

Flows on the South Fork have been increased to 17,000 cfs. Flows have been increased to make room in the resevoir fo rthe increase of runoff water that has started to come into the system. As of right now the flows have not gone up this morning. I will keep an eye on the flows today to see see what happens. If they do not raise them the fishing will pick back up this afternoon and through the weekend. This level is not to high to fish and fish will be eating. The most important thing is the flows level out for a day or two.

I talked to a guide last night who had a trip yesterday and he mentioned that fishing was surprisingly good. Nymphing was the name of the game. He mentioned they had success on big rubberlegs, and san juan worms.


South Fork 6/8

Flows on the South Fork have been bumped up to 14,00 cfs. They are making room for all the runoff that is coming down into the system because of the rain we got high in the mountains. 14,000 cfs is completely typical for this time of year and the fishing will be back on once the flows stabilize after a day or two.

Nymphing and Streamer fishing is the best tactic for catching fish on the South Fork at the moment. I like to fish a rubber leg stonefly nymph with a bead head dropper. I put my stonefly nymph about 6-7 feet from my indicator and my dropper 18-24 inches below the stonely. Fish riffles, banks and seam water. Good luck and be safe out there. Call the shop for any questions you might have.


South Fork 6-7-10

In order to make room in Palisades Reservoir for run off the South Fork was increased today from 7,900 to 11,000 cfs. There will be another increase tomorrow of an additional 3,000 for a total of 14,000 cfs. Needless to say the Henry’s Fork above the mouth of Fall River would be a good option until the weekend. It would also be a good opportunity to try one of the many still waters in Eastern Idaho.   By the weekend things will have settled down on the South Fork and we will be able to start fishing streamers and nymphs again.


South Fork 6-5-10

The South Fork has been impacted just about the least by all our rains. Fishing has been great. Flow out of Palisades at just below 8000 cfs ( 9700 cfs @ Heise) means a very accessible river whether you float or walk-in/wade.  Tribs are putting in some discolored water which is overwhelmed by the clear flow out of Palisades Dam.  Afternoons give downstream waters a chance to warm making PMs best fishing time.   Streamers (See our 5-20-10 South Fork fishing report for specific patterns), San Juan worms, rubberlegs and your favorite nymph patterns, with or without beads, are also great choices.  With warming waters look for action in riffles when BWOs and caddis emerge.

A reminder: If you decide to launch at Twin Bridges be prepared to push your boat to the North channel.

Check out our “Today at Jimmy’s” page for details on Boot Allen’s visit to the shop next Saturday, June 12th.  Boots will be here to sign copies of his recently released book “Snake River Angling: Through the Eyes of an Angler”.


South Fork 6/1

The fishing on the South Fork just continues to get better and better. Nymph fishing is still the major technique for catching fish. However with the right conditions (crappy weather or overcast) Streamer fishing has been really good as well. The flows are at 8900 cfs. All boat ramps are open with the exception of Twin Bridges. Jimmy floated that section on Sunday. If you decide to launch at Twin be prepared to push your boat to the North channel.


South Fork 5/27

Just wanted to give you guys a quick short update. Twin Bridges is not accessible to drifters taking out at that Boat ramp. You can launch but not take out. There is no water in the channel above the Boat ramp.


South Fork 5/26

The flows on the South Fork have dropped to 10,500 cfs. I talked to the Bureau of Reclamation and they informed me that the river will be dropping down to about 9,ooo cfs during this next week to meet the demands for irrigation. They also informed me that that there is enough room in Palisades and Jackson to accommodate the runoff. However flows will increase on the South Fork as the demand for irrigation increases as we move into summer. As the weather changes to warmer temperatures that’s when you should expect the irrigation demand will increase and flows will rise.

Don’t pay to much attention to the flows when they rise or drop when these changes are around 500 cfs. I fished yesterday and the river dropped 500 cfs and the fishing was great. Small changes will not effect the fish that much. When we have large changes above 1,000 cfs that’s when you will want to wait a day or two for things to settle down.

Fish are being caught on nymphs, rubberlegs and beadhead nymphs. Streamers have also been working well. Blue Wing Olives have been hatching in small numbers.


South Fork 5/24

Flows have dropped to 11,200 cfs. We expect these flows to level out anytime. The water is a green color but still has a lot of clarity to it. Nymphing and streamer fishing is you best bet for catching fish. I would fish a stonefly nymph with a bright beadhead dropper. San Juan worms would be another option for indicator fishing on the South Fork. The water temp is still pretty cold so slow down the strip on your presentation for streamers.

We have called the Forest Service and I have been informed that the road to Cottonwood has been opened. With that said I only got to talk to the secretary at the Forest Service office. If you are traveling up to Cottonwood and you find a sign stating the road is closed do not go to cottonwood.

Remember Conant and Byington boat ramps will be closed this week and will reopen Sat. the 29th.


South Fork 5/20

Flows on the South Fork have remained steady at 14000cfs. The river is looking really good and the water clarity is really good for May. Nymphing is going to be the ticket to catching fish on the river right now. Until water temps warm up we will not see any dry fly action until late June at the earliest. Streamer fishing is also a good option for catching fish this time of year.

Safety note please check side channels before you float them. The river has changed since the flush and to make sure the channel is safe we recommend walking it before you float it. This is really important on the lower river below Byington. We have also been told that you can float Byington to Twin Bridges right now with the higher flows on the river. There was no work done on the channel this year and we do not know how long it will be open. We will keep you updated on any changes at this particular boat ramp.

Remember that Conant and Byington will be closed from Monday May 24th to Friday May 28th. Use Wolf and Spring Creek Boat ramps instead.

Recommended Flies


  • Pat’s Rubberleg Stonefly
  • Jimmy Leg Stonefly
  • Sunkist PMD Nymph
  • San Juan Worm


  • Sex Dungeon
  • Peanut Envy
  • Bellyache Minnow
  • Clousers
  • Double bunnys

South Fork 5/17

This past weekend was the big flush and the flows have begun to drop and will continue to drop until the river is at irrigation flows. I expect the river to drop another 2,000cfs and level out by Thursday. I was up in Swan Valley this morning and yesterday and the river up there looks really good! Right now today the flows is at 16,500 cfs. You can fish from the Dam to Conant boat Ramp. The water has good visibility but it gets pretty soupy  and dirty by the time you get to the Wolf boat ramp so we suggest fishing the upper section through Swan Valley. Nymphs and Streamers will be the ticket until water temps warm up towards the end of June and we get some more bug activity. After the flush we will have some new obstacles so make sure to walk side channels.