South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 56)

South Fork 6/1

The fishing on the South Fork just continues to get better and better. Nymph fishing is still the major technique for catching fish. However with the right conditions (crappy weather or overcast) Streamer fishing has been really good as well. The flows are at 8900 cfs. All boat ramps are open with the exception of Twin Bridges. Jimmy floated that section on Sunday. If you decide to launch at Twin be prepared to push your boat to the North channel.


South Fork 5/27

Just wanted to give you guys a quick short update. Twin Bridges is not accessible to drifters taking out at that Boat ramp. You can launch but not take out. There is no water in the channel above the Boat ramp.


South Fork 5/26

The flows on the South Fork have dropped to 10,500 cfs. I talked to the Bureau of Reclamation and they informed me that the river will be dropping down to about 9,ooo cfs during this next week to meet the demands for irrigation. They also informed me that that there is enough room in Palisades and Jackson to accommodate the runoff. However flows will increase on the South Fork as the demand for irrigation increases as we move into summer. As the weather changes to warmer temperatures that’s when you should expect the irrigation demand will increase and flows will rise.

Don’t pay to much attention to the flows when they rise or drop when these changes are around 500 cfs. I fished yesterday and the river dropped 500 cfs and the fishing was great. Small changes will not effect the fish that much. When we have large changes above 1,000 cfs that’s when you will want to wait a day or two for things to settle down.

Fish are being caught on nymphs, rubberlegs and beadhead nymphs. Streamers have also been working well. Blue Wing Olives have been hatching in small numbers.


South Fork 5/24

Flows have dropped to 11,200 cfs. We expect these flows to level out anytime. The water is a green color but still has a lot of clarity to it. Nymphing and streamer fishing is you best bet for catching fish. I would fish a stonefly nymph with a bright beadhead dropper. San Juan worms would be another option for indicator fishing on the South Fork. The water temp is still pretty cold so slow down the strip on your presentation for streamers.

We have called the Forest Service and I have been informed that the road to Cottonwood has been opened. With that said I only got to talk to the secretary at the Forest Service office. If you are traveling up to Cottonwood and you find a sign stating the road is closed do not go to cottonwood.

Remember Conant and Byington boat ramps will be closed this week and will reopen Sat. the 29th.


South Fork 5/20

Flows on the South Fork have remained steady at 14000cfs. The river is looking really good and the water clarity is really good for May. Nymphing is going to be the ticket to catching fish on the river right now. Until water temps warm up we will not see any dry fly action until late June at the earliest. Streamer fishing is also a good option for catching fish this time of year.

Safety note please check side channels before you float them. The river has changed since the flush and to make sure the channel is safe we recommend walking it before you float it. This is really important on the lower river below Byington. We have also been told that you can float Byington to Twin Bridges right now with the higher flows on the river. There was no work done on the channel this year and we do not know how long it will be open. We will keep you updated on any changes at this particular boat ramp.

Remember that Conant and Byington will be closed from Monday May 24th to Friday May 28th. Use Wolf and Spring Creek Boat ramps instead.

Recommended Flies


  • Pat’s Rubberleg Stonefly
  • Jimmy Leg Stonefly
  • Sunkist PMD Nymph
  • San Juan Worm


  • Sex Dungeon
  • Peanut Envy
  • Bellyache Minnow
  • Clousers
  • Double bunnys

South Fork 5/17

This past weekend was the big flush and the flows have begun to drop and will continue to drop until the river is at irrigation flows. I expect the river to drop another 2,000cfs and level out by Thursday. I was up in Swan Valley this morning and yesterday and the river up there looks really good! Right now today the flows is at 16,500 cfs. You can fish from the Dam to Conant boat Ramp. The water has good visibility but it gets pretty soupy  and dirty by the time you get to the Wolf boat ramp so we suggest fishing the upper section through Swan Valley. Nymphs and Streamers will be the ticket until water temps warm up towards the end of June and we get some more bug activity. After the flush we will have some new obstacles so make sure to walk side channels.


South Fork 5-14-10

The flush is on with flows out of Palisades Dam up to 18000 cfs.  Flow at Heise is about the same.   So it may be best to try elsewhere this weekend!    As the flows lower to around 12000-14-000 cfs, likely next week, the South Fork will be back to what we all like this time of year.


South Fork 5/13

Flows have been increased to 14500crfs. I talked to the Bureau of Reclamation today and they have decided to do the flush this weekend while they are making room in Palisades Reservoir for flood control. It is expected that flows will drop to normal summer time irrigation flows by Wed. next week. Although this is the plan things can change depending on weather and precipitation. We will keep you updated as things change with the flow situation.

We also have an update on the boat ramps for the South Fork. The BLM will be closing Conant and Byington Boat Ramps for the week of May 24-28. No vehicles will be allowed to enter the parking area and ramps will be closed. If you have questions on the boat ramp closures please contact Monica Zimmerman  208-524-7543


South Fork 5/12

I just got the water report form the Bureau of Reclamation today and it has some information that needs to be passed to you our customers in regards to flows on the South Fork

Here are the key points from the Letter.

  • There will be large increases on the flows of the South Fork for the week 5/11-5/13. Approximately 8,000 cfs will be released to make room in Palisades for flood control.
  • Flows at Irwin were increased 1,000cfs on Monday evening, and an additional 2,000cfs on Tuesday night for a total around 9400cfs. On Wed, which is tonight the increase may be as high as 5,000cfs.

So if you are planning on fishing tomorrow the river is going to be blown out! If you are planning on fishing this weekend you will have plenty of water to fish and all of the boat ramps will be accessible except Cottonwood because the road is closed. If the flows do not increase after tonight the fishing should be back to normal in a few days. Nymphing rubberlegs and bead head nymphs will be your best bet. Streamers should fish fairly good on the lower river where the water is warmer.

Stay tuned to the fishing report and we will keep you updated on the flows of the river. We are expecting the flush next weekend but we don’t know for sure. It very well might happen on Memorial Day weekend like it has in the past. For any up to the minute advice, suggestions call the shop or email us.

By the way we got about 140% above average precipitation in April this year which has been really good to make up for the lack of snowfall this past winter. And the cold weather has held run off water int he mountains and slowed irrigation demands. What does this mean to us as fisherman? In August we should have cold water and more water in the system,which translates to healthier fish and more insect hatches! So the next time you wake up in the morning cursing the crappy cold weather, just remind yourself it’s helping the PMD hatches in the heat of August!


South Fork 5/8

Flows on the South Fork have continued to increase due to irrigation demand from Farmers. This hasn’t been effecting the fishing to much because we haven’t seen major run off water yet and the weather has been cold. So the increases have been small and it hasn’t blown out the river. Currently the river is flowing at 4700cfs, it was raised yesterday morning.

We have some updated news on the Freshet Flush that we typically see every spring when we have the water. They are going to do the flush the 3rd week in May, it will be a flush that will have increasing flows for the entire week. We have been told that if the weather stays cool the flush will be in the upper teens. I would expect around 18,000cfs at the peak. If the weather warms up and the run off come quickly expect the flows on the flush to increase over 20,000cfs. After the flush the flows will drop down to normal irrigation flows which is about 12,000 to 14,000cfs. This flush is really important for the Cutthroats because it triggers them to head up to the tributaries to spawn, also it is good for the Cottonwood trees. All of the water that is flushed will be caught in American Falls Reservoir and none of it will go to waste.

People have been finding success fishing nymphs under an indicator. No word of Caddis on the surface but I have heard of some Skwalla’s flying around the river this last week. Streamers have also been fishing well on the lower river. We just got refilled on Rubberlegs and we got a bunch of new bead head nymphs. The rubberlegs are out and ready to purchase and we should have the beadhead nymphs ready by tomorrow at the latest.