South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 61)

South Fork 08-12-09

late evening caddis hatchThe flow has dropped another 1,000 cfs to 8,100. The riffles continue to fish well with pale morning duns once the hatch starts each day. On the upper river the banks haven’t been fishing as well in the canyon and lower river below Heise but the riffle fishing has been consistent through out the entire river. Just remember to keep changing patterns and silhouettes of the mayflies when the fish start to get picky.

On the warmer evernings there have been good caddis hatches so if you stay out late keep that in mind. In addition to fishing a dry caddis pattern a simple and effective way to fish the evening is to swing wet flies in the riffles. We like a sandy mite, small renegade or soft hackle.

Finally with the last two drops in the river the launch at Twin bridges may be getting to low to float out to the main river. Last week we had to get out twice to walk the boat through shallow riffles. It is probably best to put in at the Heise bridge or at Byington if you are going down to Lorenzo.


South Fork 8-10-09

Flow out of Palisades Dam is down to 9200 cfs and therefore around 10200 cfs at Heise.  Now that the lower river has kicked in with great fishing you have a wonderful choice of places to enjoy the South Fork whether you prefer to fish from a boat or walk-in and wade.  Try  riffles for fish feeding  mid day or in the early PM on emerging PMDs, sallys, and caddisflies.  Slam hopper, other terrestrial patterns, or chernobyl types against banks or around overhead cover.   Do the same with slightly submerged super-x and super renegade patterns.  Try evenings when fish respond to caddis swarms or are more likely to respond to streamers presented close to banks and through transitions.   Somewhere along the river any of these techniques will work.  Now is the time of year when the South Fork offers it all.

Lost about 11 this morning on the South Fork about four miles above Heise: An 11.5-foot Dave Scadden Pontoon boat, white with blue bunting and holding fishing contents.  Could be anywhere downstream on the main river or side channels.  If found please call 208-227-0107.


South Fork 8-05-09

Flow out of Palisades Dam dropped another 1000 cfs to 10200 cfs last night.   Watch the riffle fishing pick up after soon.  There could be more flow reductions coming.  Meanwhile, the lower river is turning on while the upper river has had most of the attention.   For the lower river present chernobyl types and terrestrials towards banks as well as trying the riffles where PMDs are beginning to bring responses from trout.  Concentrate on emerger patterns.  Dry golden stone patterns still work throughout the river.   Streamers bring responses early in the day just about anywhere on the river.  We look for mutant stones to appear any day now.


South Fork 08-04-09

There was another drop last night of 1000 cfs which brings the flow down to 10,200. These last three drops should cause the wingless golden stones to crawl out which makes the chernobyl fishing better. The riffles continue to fish real well. The cold water and normal summer flows are making August fishing what we hoped for earlier in the year. Remember that the hatches don’t really get going until noon or later. Consider fishing a streamer or chernobyl from daylight until the sun hits the water.

A word of caution about the lower river. There are some very tricky hydraulics right under the Lorenzo Bridge before the takeout. The best passage is down the right channel that takes off above the Blue Heron Bed and Breakfast. Its a new channel and when you look down it doesn’t look real good but its seems to be the best choice at this flow.  If you do choose to take the left channel consider running under the bridge on river left on the left side of the furthest left cement bridge pylon. (That’s alot of lefts) You then have to pull immediately back across the river to the takeout. If you still are not sure about what you want to do get out and look.  We offer these suggestions based on what we see from our own experience but keep in mind as the river flows change each day you will see new situations form so take the appropriate actions to get through safely.


South Fork 8-03-09

Flow out of Palisades Dam remains at 11200 cfs.  It’s going in the right direction to help make fishing the riffles more interesting.  Right now slamming chernobyls, golden stone, and other sizeable floating patterns towards banks seem the best way to enjoy top water fishing.  Don’t forget that doing the same with slightly submerged super-x patterns also works.  This holds true up and down the river.   Any day now mutant stones will make an appearance to add to the fun of South fork top water fishing.


South Fork 8-01-09

riffle fishingThe flow dropped another 500 cfs to 11,200 the night before last. With each drop more gravel bars appear and the riffle fishing just gets better. The fish can real picky though so if you find your yourself in a situation where the fish comes up and bumps or swirls underneath your fly change the silhouette. If you are using a parachute pale morning dun switch to a  comparadun, thorax dun or no hackle.  If that doesn’t work move on to  a cripple dun pattern or emerger. Just keep changing until you find something that works. Its not uncommon to catch two or three fish on three different life cycle patterns in the same riffle

The fish are taking both chernobyls and hoppers better now. The best action seems to be in the morning and into the early afternoon. Some parts of the river suffer through a “dead zone” beginning around 3 pm especially on bright sunny days. Things get better again later in the evening.


South Fork 7-29-09

Flow out of Palisades Dam dropped another 500 cfs  to 11700 cfs last night.  This is going in the right direction to bring more gravel bars and islands into fishing range.  Fish are beginning to move into riffles, but they remain a bit picky.  So bring life cycle patterns for PMDs, sallys, caddis, even some small renegades (#14-16).   A further golden stone emergence is going on above Cottonwood and mutant stones should be moving soon.  Terrestrial patterns are also increasing in importance.  We’ve  had a few reports of success with hoppers, but the best is yet to come.


South Fork 7-27-09

Flow out of Palisades has dropped to 12200 cfs.  That’s not a huge drop, but it may begin mutant golden stones moving.  Meanwhile the upper river continues to be the best fishing the river offers.  No real response to hoppers just appearing, but  try PMD life cycle patterns, sallys, and look for a few golden stones.  Fishing in the evening? Be sure to bring streamers and caddis dries/emergers.   Any time you fish from a boat, be sure to have super-X patterns to sweep slightly submerged around overhead cover.

Lost on the South Fork: Four-piece Temple Fork  9′ for 4-wt rod in brown rod sock, w/o case. Call Dave Raisch 406-4593


South Fork 07-23-09

The following is a report from Parker Stenersen(age 11) who fished four days this week with his Dad and friends.

“On the upper South Fork it was slow in the morning using a pink CFO Ant, but  we used a streamer on the banks and in deep swirly water to catch fish in the morning.

In the mid day you will want to find a rifel(riffle) with a deep truff (trough). The flies that have been working are a pmd  dun and a pink spinner.  Just hang on a  rifel and if its  not good but go find another and just wait there until 7:30 pm and the start using a CFO or streamer until dark. ” Parker Stenersen

Parker’s experience is what we are seeing from the Dam down through the canyon. The water is still very cool for  this time of year so we are not seeing mayfly hatches until 1 pm or so.

The lower river (below Heise) is picking up finally with good action with Chernobyls on top or a Bennett’s Rubber leg nymph with a San Juan worm dropper under water.

Lost on South Fork 7/21: Cabela’s 7-piece fly rod with Pfleuger Trion 1956 Reel. Reward. Call Butch Williams 307-690-2706 or email [email protected]


South Fork 7-22-09

Flow out of Palisades Dam remains constant at 12700 cfs with 13600 cfs at Heise, both flows almost right on normal.  The upper river still offers the best fishing.   A few goldens still hang around, but the best top water fishing is near the riffles after early afternoon when PMDs begin to emerge from riffles.  Be sure to have beetle and ant patterns for fishing grassy banks, overhangs, rocks and such.  Hoppers are small and just getting started.  Look for them to be important not far off.

Lost: Just above Fall Creek Falls-one mountain drift boat oar last seen floating downstream. If found please call Mike Medvecz @ 608-347-9594 or email @ [email protected]

Lost: Two fly rods on I-15 between Idaho Falls and Pocatello. If found contact Mike McDevitt 208-481-1331

Lost: Near Highway 33 Harrop Bridge on Teton River Streamdance Metolius fly rod with Ross Flywater reel.  If found call Quinn Grover  208-351-3894.