Warm weather, sunny skies, cold water, does it get much better? Flip flop season is my favorite and as temperatures move into the 90’s the river is the place to be. The flow out of Palisades Dam is up this week to meet irrigation demand and sits at a perfect 12,500 cfs. We’ve had a few questions about water clarity and the color being a bit “off”. Interestingly, the Henry’s Fork is having the same issue. Dr. Rob Van Kirk in his daily water supply email regarding the Henry’s Fork attributes the turbidity to all the sediment that got moved around in the rain we received in May as well as slower growth of aquatic plants that filter out the water. “The two most obvious factors are the effects of heavy rain in May and June and lower macrophyte growth.” Can we extrapolate the same for the South Fork? I don’t know but the water is still a bit off color and Dr. Van Kirk’s explanation makes sense to me.
Fishing this week has been very good. Nymphs are still out producing dry flies and I don’t think it’s a stretch to attribute some of this to the water color we’ve already discussed. Good dry fly fishing can be found but it’s spotty. Some times of day are good, some banks are good, some riffles are good…and vice versa. Currently, the Salmon Flies are stalled out in the Canyon with only a few adults spotted on the upper river. We also have Sallies and PMD’s hatching. If you’ve read my past reports you know I’m a fan of having multiple rods rigged and ready. Ideally, I would rig a 6-weight, 5-weight, and 4-weight. The 6-weight will be your morning rod rigged with your favorite Salmon Fly Nymph trailed with either a Little Yellow Sally dropper or PMD. The 5-weight should be rigged with a big foam Salmon Fly trailed by your favorite dropper, if you see Salmon Flies flying or on the water it’s time to grab this rod. The 4 weight should have two dry flies, one Sally and one PMD, this is your riffle and foam line set up. This should keep you set up all day and with any luck, you’ll get to use the dry fly rigs the most.
Have a great weekend and we hope you catch a big one! If you need any flies, tippet, or other tackle our Swan Valley fly shop is open daily and conveniently located next to the new grocery store.
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