South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 34)

South Fork 7-31-13

Flow out of Palisades Dam dropped to 11000 yesterday.  Water temperature just below the dam is 65 deg. F.  That’s getting a bit high for the best fishing, especially because we can expect further decreases in flow.  Palisades Reservoir is down to 28% capacity. Early in the day fish chernobyl types because mutant stoneflies are coming on. By late morning go to rubber legs trailed by your favorite small nymph pattern.  During evenings a good caddis hatch is on-going,  making for the best dry fly fishing these days.


South Fork 7-23-13

Flow out of Palisades Dam was dropped to 11800 cfs yesterday.  Water temperature at the dam is 64 Deg. F.   That’s warm enough for wet wading, but not good for much else.  The warmer temperature has slowed daytime fishing on the river below whether through using PMD life cycle, terrestrial patterns, or whatever . So “fish early, fish late”  applies once more. There is a real advantage to doing so in addition to better fishing: fewer anglers.  Expect more flow drops out of the dam coming as in-flow to the reservoir remains less than out-flow.


South Fork 7-19-13

The South Fork is still fishing well, but it is changing. Fish in the riffles have been a little tougher lately so make sure you switch up your fly patterns, especially the profile of your fly. People have been doing very well fishing emergers (PMD Hunchback emerger size 18 and Bubble Back PMD Emerger size 16,18 have been best) dropped behind a dry fly. Fishing the big bugs like the CFO Yellow Ant size 8 and Blomquist’s Pink Ant size 8 has been producing earlier in the morning. Terrestrials are starting to fish well and people have been having success fishing ants like the CFO Copper/Black ant size 12 & 14 and the Honey CDC water wasp size 14 either fished by themselves or dropped behind a bigger chernobyl type pattern.
Give us a call at the shop for up to the minute reports on how the South Fork is fishing.


7-11-13 South Fork

Well the big Salmon Flies are almost finished up on the upper South Fork near the dam, but the fishing has still be excellent with a golden stone. On both the upper and lower stretch John’s CFO Yellow ant size 8 and Berrett’s Golden Stone barred legs size 8 have worked along the banks as a golden stone imitation. The riffles have also been good with a Pink Comparadun size 20 and 18 as PMD’s  (Pale Morning Duns)and spinners along with Yellow Sally (Kyle’s Yellow Sally size 12) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. all throughout the South Fork. Also if you get an overcast day on the South Fork, I would try a streamer such as a Gallop Peanut Envy Olive size 2 or a Black Prince Bugger size 4 along the banks. Lastly, a Brown Rubber Leg size 6 and a Red Copper John size 16 can work as a nymph rig.



South Fork 7/3/13

The South fork is fishing very well right now. Bruce provided a lot of good information in his previous report, but I just wanted to add a little to it. Like Bruce said there are bugs coming off all over the place. The big salmonflies are on the upper river and have been fishing best earlier in the morning. Patterns like the CFO Pink ant size 8, Jakes Hot Cakes Salmon Fly size 6, and the Kingfisher Widowmaker in a size 4 would all be good bets. Golden Stones are hatching as well and flies like Berrett’s Golden Stone in sizes 8-12 and the CFO Yellow ant in size 8 have been producing. The PMD fishing in the riffles has been on fire all up and down the river. The fish haven’t been to picky yet, but if they are, its important to switch up your flies in until you figure out what the fish are taking. The pink comparaduns in size 16-18 have still been producing well but flies like the Quigley’s pink hackle stacker sizes 16-18, Harrop’s pink thorax dun sizes 16-18, and the CFO pink spinner size 18 would be good to have with you too. If the fish are being really finicky in the riffles try fishing a PMD hunchback emerger in a size 18 as a dropper, sometimes that really works. Yellow sallies are still coming off too so make sure you have a few of those on hand too like Kyles Yellow sally sizes 14-16 and the CFO Yellow Sally in 14-16. The fishing has been very good and will likely to continue to be good so get out there!


South Fork 7-2-13

For weeks now the South Fork has seen constant flows  (12800 cfs) coming out of Palisades Dam.   That kind of stability helps make for the great fishing we are seeing now. Water temps at the dam are around 58 deg F. but will begin rising as we head through July.  Right now big stoneflies are in the Swan Valley reach of the river (get to Huskey’s, Spring Creek, or Conant early if you want convenient parking!) .  Golden stones are coming out just below.  Yellows sallys are everywhere, and PMDs are emerging, so the river is doing what fly-fishers expect this time of year.  There are many fly patterns that work for all of these, and we stock every one of them.  None is particularly better than another given equal presentation.  The best question to ask while deciding to purchase at dry pattern is:  “Can I see this one on the broken surface that so much characterizes the South Fork? ”  Here’s another tip for fishing this great river. In areas of broken surface, and most of this river has such, it is best to use a stout leader to present flies. This is especially true if you fish from a boat.  Go to a 3X tippet in your favorite brand for presenting big stonefly patterns, especially from a boat. For PMD  emergers and duns use 4X, or even 3X.   In broken water the fish are a lot less leader shy than in the slower moving water that resembles that in the Harriman reach of the Henry’s Fork, or Bechler River.   The results of using this stronger leader will be more fish brought to the net.




South Fork 6/29/13

The South Fork is fishing great right now! There are all sorts of bugs out and the fish seem to be looking up for all of them. Fish are being caught on the banks with adult salmonfly and golden stone patterns. The CFO Flamer ant and Pink ant #8, Jakes Hot Cake Salmonfly #6, and Berrett’s Golden stone in sz’s 8-12 have all been producing well. Fishing earlier in the morning has been better for throwing the big bugs. Later in the morning and throughout the day,the PMD’s have been coming off thick in the riffles and people have been having luck throwing flies like the Pink Comparadun in a #16-18, PMD hunchback emerger in #16-18, and the CFO pink spinner in #18. The whole river is fishing really good and last we heard the big bugs were up around Conant. We will continue to update our reports throughout the salmonfly hatch as we hear more information on where the bugs are at. Stop in at the shop on your way up to pick up what ever you need and get the most up to date information!


6-25-13 South Fork

Note: This post is in addition to an earlier post by Bruce so be sure to read his report also.  Due to the low water level and warmer water temperatures in Palisades Reservoir the hatches are progressing fast so we thought an additional report was in order-Jimmy

The big bugs are here! The Salmon flies are the way up to Dry Creek in the Canyon. Use a Kingfisher Widow Maker size 4 and a CFO Flammer ant size 8  to imitate a Salmon fly  and should be very productive in catching trout along the banks and any log jams. Along with the Salmon flies are Green drakes and PMDs in the riffles and using A Olive Hare’s Ear Parachute size 12 (Green Drake) and a Pink Comparadun size 16 (PMD)  can allow a great riffle fishing on the South Fork.

From the Palisades dam down to Conant should have big bugs hatching any day. Nymph fishing up there has been excellent with a Brown Rubber Leg size 6 or 8 and a Red Copper John size 16. A few PMDs have been hatching up there also and if you see any fish rising I would use CFO Pink Albert spinner size 18. Lastly if all else fails on the upper stretch I would use Beadhead Crystal Pheasant tail size 14.



South Fork 6-25-13

Big stoneflies are hatching  in good numbers on the river at least as far as Burns Creek.  Golden stoneflies and yellow sallys are coming out, too.  So it is time to enjoy this great event in a  year when low water may have impact on fishing later in the summer.  Flow out Of Palisades Dam remains at 12800 cfs, the same as it has been since mid-June.  Flows will likely drop later this summer.


South Fork 6-21-13

There are a good number of adult stones out below Lorenzo so the hatch will now start moving upstream over the next two weeks eventually reaching Palisades Dam. Look for the other insects that will begin hatching this time of year which include golden stones, yellow sallies, and  some pale morning duns. The green drakes are still out through the canyon and lower river from late morning through late afternoon.

The nymph and streamer fishing continues produce fish in the upper river but the news for now is the water has warmed up about 10 days earlier than normal and we will see the dry fly fishing really improve over the next couple of days in the lower river.