No change in flow here, currently flow is a bit higher than the average for this time of year, so reduced flows are coming up as irrigation season winds down. Stick to what we suggest in the 8/25/18 report for the South Fork. Mutant golden stones have moved into the lower canyon, but hopper fishing there seems more effective.
Flow out of Palisades Dam has been reduced to a bit over 9000 cfs ( 9200 cfs at Heise, 4370 cfs at Lorenzo). More safe walk in-wade locations are now available, and look for more to become available as flow will continue to drop as irrigation season winds down. Riffle fishing has slowed a bit. Try #14-16 adams and purple haze in these. With the dropping flow mutant golden stones now coming out on the lower river (see flow at Lorenzo), especially below the big feeder, should be coming out soon from the river above. Terrestrial patterns will be effective anywhere there is vegetated banks along the river.
Most fly fishing aspects are holding steady. Flow out of Palisades Dam has not changed significantly in several days. Riffle fishing remains great with pink alberts providing much action. River flow must drop to expose more substrate before significant mutant or midnight golden stones emerge in numbers that will attract fish. During mid-day boat traffic can be thick, so consider an evening float in such as Huskey’s to Spring Creek, or Spring Creek to Conant, etc.
Flow out of Palisades Dam has been constant at 11100 cfs for several days. Pink alberts are making a strong showing in riffles. Fishing success there requires changing flies frequently as the fish are ” closed lipped” about which life cycle form they are keying on at a given time. Best terrestrial insect pattern fishing seems to be on the lower river. Look for “midnight golden stones” to emerge in numbers important for trout attention only after flow out of the dam is reduced enough to expose a lot more substrate.
Flow out of Palisades Dam has been stable for several days at around 11400 cfs. Riffle fishing provides good times with PMDs and pink alberts providing the action for those folks presenting life cycle patterns of each. Remembering that boat traffic is down early in the day, nymphing the riffles is a great approach whether you fish from a boat or wade. The same applies to evenings when most boats are gone and caddis life cycle patterns and well-placed streamers bring action. Grasshoppers are numerous, so vegetated banks can be targeted with patterns for these.
Flow out of Palisades Dam was raised from just under 10000 cfs to 11300 cfs on Thursday. Likely this action is from irrigation demands. Nevertheless, riffle fishing remains great. Use PMD life cycle patterns ( includes soft hackle patterns as emergers), and be on the lookout for pink alberts attracting attention from fish. Try grasshopper patterns of your choice next to well vegetated banks. Never forget the PM caddis emergence and that streamer patterns presented around out-of-the-sun cover early and late in the day attract biggest fish.
Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped to 9750 cfs earlier today and dry fly fishing in the riffles (it’s about time!) has improved much. Presenting PMD life cycle patterns will be effective for riffle fishing. Here are a few we can suggest: Thorax dun, Williams CDC PMD, PMD captive dun, all in size 16, any emerger pattern in size 16, CDC or rusty spinner both in size 16. Also try a #14-16 partridge and olive soft hackle as an emerger. For sallys try stimulators and CFO-X, both in sizes 14-16. Elk Hair or X caddis, both in sizes 14 & 16 will work well for fish responding to the afternoon caddis activity. Grasshoppers, beetles and ants are becoming numerous, so fishing well vegetated banks is also becoming productive.
Those small changes in flow out of Palisades Dam made recently have no impact on fishing. But the water coming out of the reservoir remains a bit colder than normal for the time of year. That could be part of the reason for nymph fishing in the riffles currently being more successful that dry fly fishing. The warmest weeks of summer are here and will be present until mid August, so look for dry fly fishing in the riffles to improve soon. This is also the time of year when courtesy is important. Certainly the river is crowded. Embarking and disembarking boats can require courtesy and patience to minimize problems. There are plenty of riffles and gravel bars to visit (see the above pic taken when flow at Lorenzo is about 5500 cfs) , so if one of these you like is occupied you surely can find a vacant one downstream.
Flow has been stable for days at around 12000 cfs from Heise upstream. Two nymph rigs (almost any pattern with or without a bead) still working best in riffles. Most of the big stoneflies have gone, but goldens are still around on the upper river. Caddis, sallies, and PMDs are aquatic insects of note with respect to activity, and any day fish will be keying on their adults as well as on nymphs/emergers. Certainly grasshopper populations are building but it will be in the future before fish take big notice.