South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 61)

South Fork 8-28-09

The flow dropped last night about 800 cfs down to 8400 cfs. Continue to look for good hatches of Pale Morning Duns during the day. With the bright days we are having I don’t think we’ll see the Blue Wing Olives out like we saw this past weekend in the rain.The blue wings will be more consistent later when the weather really cools off. They’ll be joined be mahogany duns.

The warmer weather should keep the evening caddis hatch going. Its starts around 7 pm. When it gets too dark to see your dry fly swing a caddis pupa, sandy mite or small renegade through the riffles.


South Fork 8-26-09

Flow out of Palisades Dam has been stable (around 9400 cfs there, around 10000 cfs at Heise) for five days. Riffles are producing as PMDs, slate cream duns, caddis and a few sallys are active. Great fishing with chernobyls and hoppers against banks, evening streamers, small nymphs, two fly rigs (chernobyl and beetle, chernobyl with small bead head, rubber legs with a tungsten bead San Juan worm), and even rubberlegs make for a great working variety.  Pick the one you like and have a great time.


South Fork 8-24-09

Flow out of Palisades Dam is up to a bit over 9000 cfs because of pre-harvest irrigation demands.  In no way has this small and temporary increase hurt fishing.  Yesterday’s rainy weather made for a great day on the river.  As if to preview things to come this September,  BWOs and a few mahogany duns were coming out in riffles already featuring PMD, slate cream dun, and caddis activity.   This along with the currently great hopper and chernobyl fishing makes for some of the best top water fishing in the region.


Mikey’s Big South Fork Cutt

Word has gotten out about the superb dry fly fishing making the canyon and Swan Valley reaches a bit crowded  with boat traffic.   To get away from much of this traffic consider floating the lower river from the Lorenzo access on U. S. Highway 20 to the Menan access. True, it makes for a relatively short float compared to the canyon, but riffles, side channels, and spring holes are in plenty and will tempt you to stop and fish.  The fare is brown trout with occasional cutts and bows, all of which are currently active on the surface.


South Fork 8-20-09

Because of hot weather irrigation requests, the flow out of Palisades Dam has been raised to about 8900 cfs.  This poses no problem for fishing.   Riffles up and down the river are now great places to enjoy rising trout. Try PMD and slate cream dun life cycle patterns during daytime, and caddisfly life cycle during evenings.  If you fish during evenings, be sure to have streamer patterns in your fly box.   If you prefer fishing banks; hopper, beetle, ant, and chernobyl patterns are producing very well throughout the river.


South Fork 8-17-09

The increase in flow out of Palisades Dam by 500 cfs has no negative impact on fish activity.  Right now the combination of good light penetration and water temperature is making for some of the best riffle fishing in years all up & down the river.   Look for this to remain the same for quite a while unless a big flow increase out of Palisades Dam happens.   During daytime on the riffles emerging PMDs and slate cream dun mayflies  provide action.   Evening PMD spinner falls and caddisfly flights are great events in which to find action.   Placing  terrestrial and chernobyl patterns around overhead cover (grassy banks, overhanging logs & rocks, undercuts, etc.) is also effective, and when we begin to cool in a few weeks, do the same with streamers.  For now be sure to have streamers when you fish during early and late hours.  Nymphing with big patterns such as rubberlegs also produces.  No big numbers of mutant stoneflies yet, but hopper patterns will do just fine for the big dry fly enthusiast.  In short, the South Fork is at the top of its game with a variety of  productive strategies.   Now is the time to really enjoy this great and beautiful river.  If you need information on how to do so, get in touch with us.


South Fork 8-14-09

Flows out of Palisades Dam are down to 7700 cfs and 8500 cfs at Heise. This is a dream come true for those fly-fishers waiting to enjoy fishing riffles.  Lower water means deeper penetration of light into riffles.  This is just the ticket along with good water temperature to get aquatic insects emerging in bigger numbers from riffles.  The lower flows are also a gift to those who prefer walk-in wade fishing.  More riffles are approachable, and safer wading is at hand.  Flows out of Palisades Dam will drop further as the irrigation season winds down.  So expect even more choices for walk-in wade fishing.  For float fishers flows at the present levels allow safe passage throughout the river.  True, a few places will become tougher to navigate (like the lost option of taking out at Twin Bridges), but with the wide variety of  strategies, eager trout everywhere along the river and effective flies, the river is at its best right now.   Get in touch with us or stop by to see which strategy and what fly selection fits best on the section of river you are considering to visit.

LOST AT WARM RIVER SPRING: Hand made 9-foot fly rod with G. Loomis reel, all in red case.  If found call John Davis 208-5552-0817.

LOST ON THE SOUTH FORK ABOVE WOLF: Two Sage rods in a double case when a boat dumped. If found, please call Jimmy’s  208-524-7160


South Fork 08-12-09

late evening caddis hatchThe flow has dropped another 1,000 cfs to 8,100. The riffles continue to fish well with pale morning duns once the hatch starts each day. On the upper river the banks haven’t been fishing as well in the canyon and lower river below Heise but the riffle fishing has been consistent through out the entire river. Just remember to keep changing patterns and silhouettes of the mayflies when the fish start to get picky.

On the warmer evernings there have been good caddis hatches so if you stay out late keep that in mind. In addition to fishing a dry caddis pattern a simple and effective way to fish the evening is to swing wet flies in the riffles. We like a sandy mite, small renegade or soft hackle.

Finally with the last two drops in the river the launch at Twin bridges may be getting to low to float out to the main river. Last week we had to get out twice to walk the boat through shallow riffles. It is probably best to put in at the Heise bridge or at Byington if you are going down to Lorenzo.


South Fork 8-10-09

Flow out of Palisades Dam is down to 9200 cfs and therefore around 10200 cfs at Heise.  Now that the lower river has kicked in with great fishing you have a wonderful choice of places to enjoy the South Fork whether you prefer to fish from a boat or walk-in and wade.  Try  riffles for fish feeding  mid day or in the early PM on emerging PMDs, sallys, and caddisflies.  Slam hopper, other terrestrial patterns, or chernobyl types against banks or around overhead cover.   Do the same with slightly submerged super-x and super renegade patterns.  Try evenings when fish respond to caddis swarms or are more likely to respond to streamers presented close to banks and through transitions.   Somewhere along the river any of these techniques will work.  Now is the time of year when the South Fork offers it all.

Lost about 11 this morning on the South Fork about four miles above Heise: An 11.5-foot Dave Scadden Pontoon boat, white with blue bunting and holding fishing contents.  Could be anywhere downstream on the main river or side channels.  If found please call 208-227-0107.


South Fork 8-05-09

Flow out of Palisades Dam dropped another 1000 cfs to 10200 cfs last night.   Watch the riffle fishing pick up after soon.  There could be more flow reductions coming.  Meanwhile, the lower river is turning on while the upper river has had most of the attention.   For the lower river present chernobyl types and terrestrials towards banks as well as trying the riffles where PMDs are beginning to bring responses from trout.  Concentrate on emerger patterns.  Dry golden stone patterns still work throughout the river.   Streamers bring responses early in the day just about anywhere on the river.  We look for mutant stones to appear any day now.


South Fork 08-04-09

There was another drop last night of 1000 cfs which brings the flow down to 10,200. These last three drops should cause the wingless golden stones to crawl out which makes the chernobyl fishing better. The riffles continue to fish real well. The cold water and normal summer flows are making August fishing what we hoped for earlier in the year. Remember that the hatches don’t really get going until noon or later. Consider fishing a streamer or chernobyl from daylight until the sun hits the water.

A word of caution about the lower river. There are some very tricky hydraulics right under the Lorenzo Bridge before the takeout. The best passage is down the right channel that takes off above the Blue Heron Bed and Breakfast. Its a new channel and when you look down it doesn’t look real good but its seems to be the best choice at this flow.  If you do choose to take the left channel consider running under the bridge on river left on the left side of the furthest left cement bridge pylon. (That’s alot of lefts) You then have to pull immediately back across the river to the takeout. If you still are not sure about what you want to do get out and look.  We offer these suggestions based on what we see from our own experience but keep in mind as the river flows change each day you will see new situations form so take the appropriate actions to get through safely.