South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 44)

South Fork 3/21

Flows have been moving around lately however I don’t feel like they have been moving so much it is affecting the fishing. Right now flows are at 6,000cfs. Due to construction on a bridge by the dam these flows should remain steady for the time being. Most boat ramps are open right now however make sure you can get in out before you float. These flows are good levels for float fishing, however I would still concentrate on specific water where the fish are holding. Eddies, deep holes and slow pools.

Good midge hatches on the water right now. Fish a pulsating midge to rising fish and a Zebra Midge to fish holding under the surface. Clouser minnows have been effective when presented really slow with not much movement. Pat’s Rubberleg in a size 8 have been also producing good numbers of fish below the surface.


South Fork 3-13-12

The flows have been increasing during the past week and are up to 5050 cfs at Irwin and 6000 at Heise.  There is some muddy low elevation run off draining into the river from Antelope Flat  which gives the river a nice green color (good for streamer fishing) by the time it reaches Heise.  Flow out of Palisades Dam will be below 6000 cfs through April because of bridge construction going on just below the dam.  The bridge is being constructed to decrease traffic flow across the dam.   In May flow out of the dam may be up 12000 to 15000 cfs depending on weather and runoff conditions.  By June flows could increase to around 20000, again depending on weather and run-off rates.

We are seeing good hatches of midges and have been using Harrop Fluttering Midges and Kingrey”s Lowrider Midges on top. Under the surface we have been using effectively Bennett’s rubber legs, zebra midge nymphs, and golden stone nymphs.  Of the streamer patterns that we’ve tried olive or tan sculpzillas seem best especially when presented on thirty foot sink tip or full sink lines.


South Fork 2/27

Fishing conditions on the South Fork has not changed much since our last post. On the warm days the fish have been active. Nymphing egg patterns, rubberlegs and beadhead nymphs are your best options for catching fish. Day to day fishing seems to be hit and miss. Some days its really good and others it can be really slow. I would just shoot for those overcast days above 32 degrees. We have not seen or been informed of huge midge hatches yet. However there is defiantly some midge action going on. Look for small rises in the slow moving water when midges are hatching.


South Fork 2/13

This has been a strange winter. Not much snow in the valley which has been good for access to the River. Nymph fishing has been the most effective technique for catching fish right now. The water is hovering around 37/38 degrees which means its really cold! Streamers dead drifted with very little movement presented right in front of a fish might produce a strike. Midges have not been hatching in great numbers, however on the warmer days i have heard a few reports of selective fish eating on the surface. I think its fairly well known by now but if you plan to float take chains so you can get out at the boat ramps. Most of the boat ramps are usable but chains will prevent you from getting stuck. be safe out there its still winter, be prepared and have fun.


South Fork 2/2

its has been an interesting Winter on the South Fork. Flows have remained steady at 3,000 cfs and some of the boat ramps are still open. I would come prepared with chains for your tires just in case the boat ramp is icy and you need the extra grip. Spring Creek, Conant, Wolf and Byington should all be accessible with floating. Although I do recommend just wade fishing this time of year if you want to float you have that option.

Fishing has been fairly good for winter fishing. Most of the fish being caught have been under the surface on nymphs. San Juan worms and egg patterns have been effective as well. On warm days you can find some Midges hatching, however I haven’t heard of them hatching in big numbers. Streamer fishing is also an option but remember to slow down that presentation and fish deep slow water. We have a large selection of flies proven for winter fishing come on in and we can get you fixed up for some winter fishing.


South Fork 12/15

Flows have dropped to 3,000 cfs. The river is in really good shape and fishing should be good this winter. Flows are a little high for being able to get around wade fishing like you might have experienced in the past few years. However there are plenty of spots to wade fish and the river is extremely accessible through wade fishing.

Picking the right day is crucial this time of year for finding success and keeping your sanity in regards to guides freezing up. Watch weather reports pick cloudy and warm days that reach temperatures above freezing. Also keep in mind that fishing during the warmest part of the day will be the most effective. Midges will hatch  on the surface but finding fish eating on the surface will be hit and miss. Nymphing with smaller rubberlegs and tungsten bead head nymphs will allow you to get down and in front of the fish’s face. The fish are not that picky when it comes to nymphs most small bead heads will work. Zebra Midges, pheasant tails and lighting bugs are very effective. Streamer fishing also takes a big slow down this time of year. I prefer to swing them with a small twitch or a extremely slow retrieve.

As I have mentioned before floating the river will become hard to do as we continue to get more snow and the boat ramps will not be maintained in regards to snow removal. However we have not had much snow yet this winter so the majority of the ramps are still open. The road to Cottonwood boat ramp is supposed to be closed as of Dec. 1st. and will reopen in May sometime. If you do float, short floats will take all day with the decreased flows on the river.

As always feel free to come visit or call the shop and we can answer any questions and try to help you catch some fish this winter.


South Fork 12/1

Flows have remained steady at 3,500 cfs. This is the lowest we should see the flows for the majority of the winter. Right now they seem to be matching outflow with the inflow of the reservoir. We can’t see any reason  for that to change any time soon.

Fishing has continued to hold steady and people are catching fish on dry flies. Midges have been hatching in decent numbers on the warmer days. I like to tie on a parachute Adams as an indicator dry fly and tie the midge behind it. Often times you will find the fish also eating your larger indicator fly. Nymphing is also working very well. Rubberlegs in a size 6 or 8. Tie a dropper about 24 inches below your rubberleg. Any bead head should do I prefer zebra midges and Blue wing olive nymphs this time of year. With the flows at this level there is plenty of wading access on the river as well. You can still float the river right now but as we continue to get more snow through the winter; the boat ramps will become snowed in and unusable.


South Fork 11-26-2011

Tim’s advice given in the 11-15-2011 report for the South Fork still holds good. Perhaps the most comfortable fishing now is pitching streamers because  constant casting helps keep you warm.  Tim is right: wading to sweet spots is less demanding in cold weather than all the messin’ around with getting  that boat in and out of the water, being out on the river with wind, and the risk of a storm coming in and having to get off the river, collecting everything, and getting it back on the road to home.  So consider wading to those great locations while being dressed accordingly.  It’s also a good idea to check with the USFS or BLM to learn road conditions on the lesser traveled roads along the river.


South Fork 11/15

Flows have remained steady at 3,700 cfs. I don’t see this changing for awhile. Lots of wading access to the river this time of year with the low flows. Once the snow starts flying the boat ramps will out be of commission, and its probably a good idea to just leave the boat at home and wade to the sweet spots. Fish those holes and spots during the warmest part of the day for the best action. Look for fish feeding in the foam lines, back eddies, and the slow moving water in tail outs of riffles. Midges are still hatching and fish can be caught on the surface. Nymphing is really catching lots of fish and so is the streamer.  Streamer fishing will slow down as the weather continues to get colder.


South Fork 11/11

Flows have been reduced to 3,700 cfs out of the Dam. I imagine this will be the last drop we see for the winter. Fishing has been really good on the river. Lots of Midges being taken on the surface and below the surface. Fish have been keying in on the Midges in the foam lines in the shade. Rubberlegs and Zebra midges have been working as a good nymphing strategy. I have heard from a few people that in the fall all I tell people to fish with is zebra midges and rubberlegs when it comes to nymphing. Yesterday one of those customers called me while on the river and said “I understand why you always say to use rubberlegs and midges this time of year….It works!”

Streamers have also been producing nice fish. Stick with it through the day, change colors until you start to get some action. You should find better streamer success towards the end of the day vs. early in the morning.