South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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South Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / South Fork (Page 65)

South Fork 05-26-09

Water conditions on the South fork are much better than we expected to see at this time of year. The flow from the Palisades  Dam is 12,700 with a slight greenish tint. Water temp is in the mid 40’s. We have had our best luck on streamers fished on type IV full sinking lines or long 20 foot  type 4 or 6 sink tips. The fish have been holding on the slower banks and pools. Our best technique is casting the fly straight at the bank from a boat and making a downstream mend. Let the fly sink and begin to swim (or drag) downstream. As the fly swings out begin stripping the sinking line back in.  Some of the takes have actually been on the swing out before you begin striping the fly. Some takes have also been as you pull the fly from the river to recast.

Our best patterns have been:

#4 Clouser Minnows in a chartruese/white color combo,

Belly Ache Minnow in size 4,

Prince-of-a buggers (Brown) in size 4.

Galloup”s Sex Dungeon in size 2 (Olive or Black)

Stenersen’s Olive or Gray String Leech in size #6

Olive, Black or white Conehead Zuddlers in size4

We have also had good luck on a Bennett’s Rubber Leg with either a glo bug or San Juan Worm dropper. We using these flies on a floating line with and indictor.

One note about the lower river below Byington. The river has changed dramatically. Many of the channels we floated last year are dry and new ones have been cut. The same goes for tree and brush piles. Some have moved or have additions to them while other are completely gone. Please be carefull when you leave the main river to enter a side channel.  If you are not quite sure about what might be ahead give yourself plenty of room and time to stop and  look.


South Fork 5-25-09

Flows are just about normal from Palisades Dam to Heise. The river in Swan Valley remains the best fishing, but we are seeing improvements in fishing success from there on down through the canyon. Big nymphs (Rubber legs variations seem to be the patterns of choice) and streamers presented deep are most effective. Fishing from a boat brings the best results.  No dry flies yet, but the days that make the South Fork so famous are not far away.   We will report progress towards those days right here.


South Fork 5-18-09

Flow out of Palisades Dam will remain fairly steady at around 12000-13000 cfs for the near future.  Fishing in the upper Swan Valley section of the river has been fairly good for those presenting rubber leg patterns, beadhead nymphs, and streamers on sink tip lines.  Side channels produce the best action.  Try those around Fall Creek Campground.  Below where run-off from tribs accumulates the river is colder and fishing slows.  With warming weather look for runoff to continue here for a while.  We’ll post more info on fishing the South Fork before Memorial Day weekend.


South Fork 5-15-09

Flows on the South Fork have been dropped down to 12,700 cfs. Water coming out of the Palisades dam right now is a little off color. Nymphing large rubberlegs and glo bugs will produce the best oppertunity to hook up with fish. Presenting streamers will also produce fish. Look for the fish to be holding in slow water and in back eddy’s. Floating below Twin Bridges is still extrmely dangerous, if you float the lower river we advise that you use extreme caution. Pull over and walk side channels before you float down them. At anytime if you have a question or can not see around a corner get out of your boat and take a look. It’s better to be safe than sorry. And when I say sorry I mean sinking your boat, loose all your gear, and possible risk your life! As the weather warms up and people start getting out more please be safe and use common sense on the river. Courtesy can go a long way.


South Fork 5-14-09

Flow out of  Palisades has been ramped down to 12800 cfs and probably will stay around there for a while to balance with expected run-off inflow and fill the reservoir.  A flush to help manage cutthroat and rainbow downstream is possible late this month.  For now fishing the river channels in Swan Valley with large nymphs and streamers will be the best way to find action.   Run-off from tributaries below Swan Valley discolors the river making fishing success difficult.


South Fork 5-10-09

The South Fork flow remains at 16,700 cfs from the Palisades Dam. The water is a little off color from the tributaries and the high flows of the river. We advise that you do not float below the Byington boat ramp. The water is very high and off color. Madison County has widened the South Channel that leads to the Twin Bridges boat ramp making this boat ramp usable. Once again we do not advise floating this lower section of the river because of the flows. As they continue to pull more water off at the Great Feeder canal the flows  below Byington will drop to an acceptable level for floating.

Big nymphs fished deep will be your best sucess for catching fish. The water is still cold so look for those fish to be holding in deep slow water. Rubberlegs followed by a bead head dropper will work. Streamers presented slowly in those deep holes will also produce fish.


South Fork 5-04-09

With flows out of Palisades Dam remaining just above 16000 cfs and increasing to 18000 cfs at Heise, we cannot say fishing is great here.  Some action from streamers is possible on side channels above the Swan Valley bridge, but not much else. Be sure to wade safely during these high water times which could remain until enough room is made in Palisades Reservoir to hold  expected runoff.   We will watch flows closely and report here any changes which improve fishing conditions.


South Fork 5-1-09

The flows on the South Fork have leveled out at 16,700 cfs. It has been steady for the entire week. We do not recomend floating below the Byington boat Ramp to Lorenzo. There are two reasons why we are discouraging this. The water in the north channel going under Twinn Bridges is extremly dangerous! Lorenzo is still closed due to high water, and your next stop would be Menan. The fish are continuing to hold in there winter water. The water temperature is about 38 degrees, which is causing these fish to stay fairly lathargic. The water is starting to clear up and nymphing will be your best oppertunity to catch fish. A rubberleg with a beadhead dropper fished deep under an idicator. We will continue to keep you updated as conditions change. Feel free to call the shop for an up to the minute report.


South Fork 4-27-09

Flow out of Palisades Dam is around 16000 cfs and has been stable at 16000-17000 cfs for about a week.  Water below the dam through Swan Valley is clear, high, and somewhat fishable.  Concentrate on the side channels and use streamers and nymphs on sink tip lines.  We cannot recommend fishing the river below Swan Valley as it is discolored with floating debris as well as dangerous. There will be better days on the South Fork, and as soon as they come around we will give you our best and up to date info on how to have fishing success there.


South Fork 4-24-09

The biggest news on the South Fork is that the Lorenzo Boat ramp has been closed. Due to the high water, the overflow channel has 4 feet of water running through it.  You would not be able to get a truck through this overflow channel. The flows out of the Pallisades dam have steadied at 17,000 cfs. The side channels off of Fall Creek road in Swan Valley have fish in them and the water is clean. Use large nymphs and streamers to intice these fish to eat. Floating below Conant Boat ramp is not recomended due to the high flows. There is a lot of debris still floating down the river, and the water is off color. Focus your efforts on the upper section in Swan valley.