South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 8)

South Fork 8-24-19


SF With Baldy 2 (640x480)

So far it has been a great year for fishing the South Fork, and indications are it will continue to be this way.   Much of this can be attributed to weather, water quality and management of flow out of Palisades Dam. That flow of quality water has been essentially constant for  much of the summer.  Riffles are plentiful and in an amount big enough to spread fishing out up and down the river.  PMDs and pink alberts continue to emerge in great numbers from them, so their life cycle patterns will bring interest from resident trout.  Terrestrial insects are adding to the great riffle fishing especially on the lower river.   Try your favorite, hopper, beetle and ant patterns.  Try double rigs such as a chernobyl variation or hopper pattern of your choice trailed with an ant or beetle pattern.


South Fork 8-20-19

03-26-13 South Fork Bald Eagle

The good fishing is holding up, but so are the number of boats. Riffles, runs, banks, side channels: pick your favorites. Bring PMD, pink albert, sally life cycle and terrestrial insect patterns. They are all productive these days.  If you are boating, have these along with chernobyl variations, rubber legs, and super renegades.  Mutant golden stoneflies should begin emerging in significant numbers soon.  There have been no significant changes in flow for several days making for  stability in river character.


South Fork 8-17-19

Flow out of Palisades Dam has risen slightly but will not impact the great fishing the river currently offers.  Planning to use the Spring Creek boat ramp?  Overflow parking is inconvenient, has safety considerations, and rest assured it will get crowded.   So the earlier your arrival, the better.


South Fork 8-13-19

Above Menan (640x480)

Not much of a change since our last report. Even flow out of Palisades Dam is about the same, and walk-in wade fishing conditions are near perfect. Riffles, banks, flats, and side channels are all producing action. Pink alberts, PMDs, caddis, and hoppers, beetles, and ants bring dry fly action by mid-day. Rubber legs, super renegades and hopper-borne nymph droppers provide day-long wet fly action.

With all the hype surrounding newly created patterns, one of total South Fork reliability is nearly forgotten, except in the minds of  long-time South Fork enthusiasts.   That would the renegade in sizes 12 and 14.  Add some to your fly box and present them dry in riffles, in front of well vegetated banks, and at tops and tails of runs whether in the main river or in side channels.  You will be certain about keeping some in that fly box the rest of the season on visiting the South Fork.


South Fork 8-10-19


Fall Cr. Falls (640x480)

Flow out of Palisades Dam is about 8500 cfs and reduces to around 4300 cfs at Lorenzo. Riffle fishing is holding up very well, and guides know it. That means you might receive company on your favorite riffle from around late morning to just before dinner time.  There will be less traffic and more caddis activity during late afternoon, and the further upstream you venture more of the guiding drift boats will be below you. Hoppers are coming on.


South Fork 8-3-19


South Fork 4

Since July 27th to today (8/3) the flow out of Palisades Dam has dropped from just over 11000 cfs to 8700 cfs.   This has not impacted fishing much. Consider the same conditions and strategy suggestions as in our last report except anywhere on the river hoppers are becoming more important to imitate. Drop in flow also helps make walk-in wade fishing a better option.


South Fork 7-30-19

SF With Baldy 2 (640x480)

Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped to 10100 cfs ( 10400 cfs at Heise) yesterday. Normal flow out of the dam today is 11000 cfs.  With PMD’s, pink alberts and some yellow sallys coming off in the riffles, the South Fork is just about at the top of its fly-fishing reputation.  Add to these growing hopper populations up & down the river and it will soon be tough to beat the fly-fishing the South Fork offers.


South Fork 7-27-19




Alex Asante

The river continues to live up to its mid-summer reputation with great riffle fishing thanks to PMD (use life cycle approach as described in recent South Fork fishing reports), PM caddis, and yellow sally activity.  Presenting such as a super renegade or chernobyl variation trailed with your favorite bead head nymph (in sizes 12-16) is effective when float fishing.  Hoppers are coming on, so whether wading or floating, it is time to have patterns of them in that fly box. A few big stoneflies are left in the river just below the dam.  Flow is about steady as can be at this date with only a slight reduction coming on July 22nd.  However, further flow decreases are coming.


South Fork 7-20-19

The South Fork is doing what it is famed for this time of year. Flows are consistent, (12300 cfs out of Palisades Dam and at Heise, whereas normal flow is 12900 cfs),  good hatches in the riffles, terrestrial insect importance coming, and a few big bugs still out  above Conant.


South Fork 7-16-19

Big bugs are up into Swan Valley meaning plenty of boats there, but PMD life cycle and sally patterns do best in riffles anywhere therefore offering some walk in wade fishing.  Before riffle fishing becomes active try rubber legs or even a “Duracel ” jig dropper under your favorite Chernobyl variation.  Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped a few 100 cfs’s. This small of a drop does not impact fishing.