South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Copper Johns Tag

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Posts tagged "Copper Johns"

South Fork 7/5

Flows on the South Fork have been bumped up to 17,00cfs out of Irwin. Flows into the reservoir have been fluctuating up and down with the warm weather. Its going to be about 6 days before the reservoir is full, so I talked to the Bureau of Reclamation today and they told me that the Flows out of Palisades will be increased to 19,000 cfs. Will the flows be increased more? Who knows, I hope not, but most likely it will happen. I wish I could give you better news for the flows on the river but I don’t have any to share.

Fishing on the river is all nymphing. I have had reports of Salmon Flies, golden stones and Yellow Sallies on the lower section of the South Fork. However these reports have not had any luck catching fish on the dry fly. Nymphing is producing the most amount of fish on the fly. With the water being increased you will want to fish deeper with your nymphing rig. I would have at least 10 feet between the indicator and your first fly. Also be sure to fish with some weight so you can get those flies down to the bottom quickly.

South Fork 6/23

I was driving through Hoback and Swan Valley last night so I got to put an eyeball on the river. The Snake river above the reservoir is muddy. The lake is starting to settle out and there is about 2-3 feet of visibility at the Dam. The South Fork looks somewhat clear coming out of the Dam with possibly a 12-18 inches of visibility, until Palisades Creek. At the Spring Creek Bridge the water is off color but you could fish with a large stonefly nymph, bright streamers and glo bugs. It appears that the runoff in starting to back off and the water from the tributaries should be clearing off in the next week or two. Once the tributaries clear up the river will become a aqua green color it will have a few feet of visibility and will start fishing really well. Dirty water will actually produce more fish on the fly with the water this color. Very similar to an overcast day, the fish will feel more protected which means they will eat more aggressively.

If I was going fishing today on the South Fork I would set up a nymph rod with a big bright streamer/leech type of pattern and a rubberleg as a dropper. I would also have a streamer rod set up with a sink tip and a big meaty fly. I would fish the upper section, Dam to Spring Creek.

South Fork 6/17

Things have changed once again on the South Fork as far as flows are concerned. Due to the higher than expected amount of runoff the BLM has decided to increase the flows coming out the Dam to keep a larger buffer in the reservoir to catch water. The run off has come down faster than they expected this week. I am actually happy to see them do this because it would really suck to have water at 15,000 cfs in the middle of July with hatches and good fishing than have the river bumped over 20,000 cfs cause the lake is full and they need to match outflow with in flow.

The upper river is actually fishing with Rubberlegs and San Juan Worms. Look for fish in the usual places like gravel bars, slow banks, and banks with structure. As the water temps warm up the fish will also move into the holes below the gravel bars and the nymphing will really get good. Don’t let the color of the water discourage you from fishing the South Fork. These fish have to eat. Larger brighter flies will help when it come to catching fish in these water conditions. Try a white zonker below a strike indicator, glo bugs and rubberlegs will be the ticket as well.