South Fork Lodge Fishing Report

May 22, 2020 Report

South Fork Lodge Fishing Report

Kevin's Fishing Report

We have several updates for our 2020 season. Non-resident daily and seasonal out-of-state ID fishing licenses are now on sale. We are pending additional information on how to purchase them. Please call (208) 483-2112, ext. 30 for more information.DRAWING: Anyone booking a fishing trip taken between now and June 20th will be entered into a drawing for a Sage X 5wt 10’ rod and Hardy Ultralight reel combo. The more trips you book the more chances you will have!

The fly shop is open 8 AM-3 PM daily with a limit of four people in the shop at any time. No cash sales. Gloves and wipes available at the front door. Please wear a mask or buff. Social distancing standards will still need to be maintained.

We have some updated booking and cancellation policies which are outlined below:

Book with Confidence Cancellation Policy for Bookings with Lodging Accommodations: For all bookings occurring in the 2020 season, reservations including a lodging component may be cancelled up to 14 days prior to the arrival date with $100 cancellation fee. Alternatively, the full deposit (including cancellation fee) can be applied to a future 2020 re-booking or the credit amount is valid for 12 months following the initially booked start date.

Book with Confidence Cancellation Policy for Guided Day Trips: Guided fishing trips will be resume once Stay at Home orders are lifted. Day trip fishing reservations can be held with $100 deposit per boat. We will respect any quarantine orders for out of state anglers and holds on non-resident fishing license sales. A guided day trip can be canceled up to one week prior to the trip with a refund of the full deposit. If you cancel within one week of the trip, the $100 deposit will be forfeited.

Restaurant & Bar Policy: The Lodge is expected to re-open June 20th for the 2020 season. The Riverside Bar and Grill will be restricted to in house guests only. For room or F&B inquiries please call (208) 483-2112 ext. 10

Please practice social distancing while at the ramps and on the water. Please don’t ruin it for the rest of us!

There’s been a LOT of traffic on the South Fork in the past few weeks. All public fishing access sites are open. There’s been quite a mix of fishing, camping and mushroom foraging going on. The reports I’ve received were mixed with most fish being picked up on nymphs. The flows dropped to just under 12,000cfs and the water temp is ~45F. For the most part the tributaries are starting to clear up and the river clarity is very good. All methods of fishing will produce and finding the right water holding fish is the goal.

There are plenty of Blue Wing Olive adults around and even a Mother’s Day caddis or two. For dries try BWOs like Brook’s Sprout, Sparkle Duns, Keller’s Rocky Mtn Mint’s and Tailwater Humpy’s- #16-20s. Other olive, red, grey or black bodied dries like Adams are good choices too as well as Griffith Gnats and other Midge patterns. Helpful hint, spring BWOs tend to be larger and decrease in size as spring moves into summer and the sunnier the day, the smaller the midges tend to be….Bug life progression on the South Fork tends to be Midges first in the winter/spring, then BWO’s; Green Drakes and Caddis into late spring with Salmon flies, Yellow Sallies, Golden Stoneflies and PMDs in early summer- all driven by water temps. For more information, please call the Fly shop.

Spring is always a good time for the rubber leg type flies. With salmon fly nymphs in the water column now, try a large #2-6 rusty orange or brown Pat’s rubber legs and a dropper fly like a green or black zebra midge, green Psycho May or tungsten bead nymphs with “hot spots” like the Brillon’s Orange Crush, Lucent Pheasant Tails in purple or pink, the Duracell or even a San Juan/Wiggle Worm or egg.

Once again, I managed a pretty good day with streamers last weekend using mostly flies with a bit of flash in them like flashy Kreelex, the Circus Peanut in White/Silver, the go-to Goldie and Rusty Trombone. Work through your colors and vary your retrieve until you find what works. (The strip strike is key but still a challenge for me…yikes!) If you can, it’s a good time to move up to a 6 or 7wt rod and sink tip or full sinking line.

South Fork Outfitter’s Public Shuttles are run by a non-South Fork Lodge/Outfitters private company- South Fork Shuttle Service. To book a shuttle or for any issues related to shuttles please call South Fork Shuttle Service directly (208) 709 6750. Note: all vehicles left unattended at the Slide (Irwin North) and Irwin South access are being ticketed. South Fork Shuttle Service won’t run shuttles there but Julie’s Shuttle Service (208) 483-2903 might- give them a call.

What’s New in the Fly Shop:

We have updates for our 2020 season. Non-resident daily and seasonal Idaho fishing licenses are on sale. Please call (208) 483-2112 ext. 30 for more information. Anyone booking a fishing trip taken between now and June 20th will be entered into a drawing for a Sage X 5wt 10’ rod and Hardy Ultralight reel combo. The more trips you book the more chances you’ll have! The fly shop is open from 8 AM – 3 PM daily with a limit of four people in the shop at any time. No cash sales. Gloves and wipes available at the front door. Please wear a mask or buff. We will be accepting vendor deliveries during this time. We also have a few heavily discounted items listed on Ebay at SouthForkOutfitters_2020. Check us out.

2020 Idaho Fishing License and Invasive Species stickers can be purchased on-line on the Idaho Fish and Game or Idaho Dept of Parks and Recreation site.

Please practice social distancing while at the ramps and on the water. Don’t ruin it for the rest of us!

South Fork Outfitters is a permittee on the Caribou-Targhee National Forest.


River Forecast
Water Flows: ~11,800cfs as of 5/21
Water Temp: ~45F
The Rivercast app is my favorite tool to track water flows on the South Fork and on other favorite rivers.

Weather Forecast
The week of May 25th shows temps in high 50F’s to mid 70F’s

The River Side Bar and Grill in Swan Valley will be closed to the public for the foreseeable future. We will restrict service to house guests in the dining room and bar. Please call (208) 483-2112 ext. 10 for Room inquiries

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