South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 65)

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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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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