We are in the time of year when South Fork-Palisades Reservoir tributaries can be destinations.Those going into the reservoir from the south, McCoy and Bear Creek, still hold a few large run-up fish. A well maintained road runs the length of McCoy Creek, a good trail (motorized only for trail bikes) leaves the parking-corral area and runs for miles up Bear Creek. A good non-motorized trail runs for miles up Big Elk Creek (entering from the north) which around mid August features an afternoon western green drake emergence. These streams host only cutthroat trout. Terrestrial, traditional attractor, golden stone, yellow sally, and caddis patterns work best with PMD life cycle patterns the best in mayflies for each creek. Descriptions of campgrounds on these can be seen on the Caribou-Targhee N. F. web site.
Streams coming into the South Fork below Palisades Dam include Burns, Palisades, Pine, and Rainey Creek. Pine Creek is paralleled by State Highway 31 and therefore heavily fished for cutthroat trout. Palisades Creek is the only one with a campground, has a non-motorized trail paralleling for miles, and below Lower Palisades Lake hosts cutthroat and cutt-bow hybrid trout. Rainey Creek, paralleled by a gravel road hosts a diminished population of cutthroat trout, but offers good fishing in its upper reach. Burns Creek is reached from the 12-mile gravelled River Road upstream from Heise. A motorized trail parallels it for miles with the best fishing for cutthroat trout being in its upper reach. The same fly selection given for streams running into Palisades Reservoir apply to these streams.