South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 9)

South Fork 10-1-15

Flow out Palisades Dam has been about stable for several days at around 7400 cfs. This is about 3000 cfs higher than normal for the present, but low enough to offer some wading. Flow will soon come down as Palisades Reservoir is just under 30% of capacity with storage season just around the corner.  With uncertain weather continuing, look for good BWO activity and trout responses and the same for mahogany duns. Although Henry’s Fork browns are on the move in the lower river, it is early for the same to be significant in the colder South Fork, but having streamer patterns in that fly box is a good idea.

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South Fork 9-18-15

The good BWO and mahogany dun hatches continue making for good fishing. Having a stable river sure helps.  But because the reservoir is at 33% capacity and dropping, expect flow reductions coming in the near future. When they happen, we will post such information here, because these will impact fishing.

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South Fork 9-15-15

River flow has been stable for several days: just a tad below 9000 cfs out of Palisades Dam and just under 9900 cfs at Heise. You could not ask for better weather for good BWO and Mahogany dun emergences than what we have today and coming up for the next few days.  The  prevailing low light conditions also means better conditions for trying streamer patterns. So whether you wade or fish from a boat, now is a great time to try the South Fork.

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South Fork 9-8-15

As a result of flow out of Palisades Dam being raised to just over 9000 cfs, mutant golden stonefly hatch and resulting action to them by trout has slowed a bit. The best of this activity can be found now on the lower river.  Activity from fish feeding in riffles has slowed a bit, but fishing these can be productive. Try parachute or traditional Adams, purple haze, renegade, or cinnamon ants, all in size 16. Fish still respond to drifting hopper patterns, evening caddis emergences, and streamers fished around pods of baitfish.  Under low light conditions presenting streamers can result in larger trout encounters.

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South Fork 9-5-15

Some mutant golden stones are emerging but numbers are diminishing. Still they make for some good early in the day dry fly fishing.  The river has been stable with respect to flow and water temperature for several days, and we have had enough cloudy weather to begin the BWO and mahogany dun emergences. So day time now features fish responding to these events (especially during cloudy weather) along the river as well to terrestrial insect patterns during day time and to caddis emergences during evenings. Do not forget to try streamer patterns that time of day!

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South Fork 9-1-15

Water flow and temperature conditions have been constant for several days now, and fishing success seems to be good anywhere on the river.  Choosing time of day is more important than where to fish on the river.  Afternoons into evenings lately have been best times to fish for a couple of reasons. First the evening caddis emergence still attracts fish throughout the river. Second terrestrial insects are more active during the PM hours. A strategy we hear that is working well is to trail a black ant pattern about eighteen inches to two feet behind your favorite hopper pattern. Once again, choose patterns for both that you believe are visible to your eyes, and  consider that fish may refuse that larger, more visible hopper pattern for the smaller less visible ant pattern. Reasons for declining riffle fishing success include slightly warmer water coming from the reservoir (warmer water means les dissolved oxygen), and that PMD and albert hatches have peaked for the year. The next big mayfly hatches, BWO and mahogany duns are a few weeks away.

Be aware that the upcoming three-day weekend is a “last hurrah” for a lot of enthusiasts. Thus expect a lot of traffic at boat launches and around popular fishing locations on the river. Patience will help, and so will considering the above comments about targeting evenings for being a good choice of when to fish.

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South Fork 8-29-15

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been around 9500 cfs for several days now. That is about 1000 cfs than the mean flow for this time of year. Water temperature is up to 63 degrees F. and gets a bit higher on going downstream.  Expect flow out of the dam to decrease as the reservoir is only half full. Water storage will begin in preparation for next year’s irrigation season. Riffle fishing is off its peak, but presenting terrestrial patterns toward well vegetated banks results in some good fishing.  So does waiting until evening when caddisflies become active. Trail an ant pattern behind your hopper pattern, and action will result. Remember that with cooling weather and less daylight the mahogany dun and BWO emergences are not far away.

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Still Waters 8-29-15

Water is warm everywhere, but with decreasing hours of sun light cooler waters are coming and will help bring action.  Chesterfield Reservoir water is low and warm with extensive weed growth. The same goes for Treasureton Res. where a few big trout and bass have been caught, Springfield and Twenty-Four Mile Reservoirs are also low and mossy enough to interfere with fishing deep. On both places  adult damselfly patterns can be effective when presented over channels between weed beds.

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South Fork 8-19-15

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been raised about 800 cfs in the last day.  Water temp there is 62 deg. F.  Water temp at Lorenzo is 60 in the same degrees. Water there is less influenced by what comes out of Palisades Dam, so loses heat by radiation more quickly. Mutant golden stone emergence is the big attraction now. Look for them emerging  early AMs from slower water, near drop-offs, and heading toward vegetated banks. Fish know they are moving, so use your favorite nymph patterns for action. Riffle fishing has slowed a bit, but is still productive with mainly pink alberts emerging. Slamming banks with hopper and chernobyl types is also productive. Try two fly rigs like a chernobyl type trailed by a hopper or ant.  Responses by fish to late afternoon caddisfly activity continues to be good.

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South Fork 8-12-15

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been going down in a gentle manner (now at 8500 cfs).  This means that riffle fishing, although diminishing a bit, is still good. These drops in flow should also help bring on mutant golden stoneflies and open up a few more wading locations.  Hopper populations are up, so dropping patterns for them close to vegetated banks anywhere along the river is going to be effective.  The evening caddisfly emergence is a great way to find action, but also try skittering an adult cranefly pattern this time of day.

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