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Old 04-17-2010, 11:08 AM
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Default Lower South Fork Report 4/16/2010

New water was explored by my fishing partner/guiding boss and I yesterday. We have been wanting to float the lower stretch of the South Fork for several years now. Stories of this awesome brown trout section has peaked our interest. Our over all impression of this stretch is awesome in spite of not hitting at it's peak condition.

This section has a reputation of being difficult and dangerous to float for the inexperienced oarsman. Between Greg and myself we have a combined 35yrs of floating experience so we were quite confident in our ability to handle what ever came our way.

Fortunately the water flow levels right now make floating this stretch relatively easy and safe. The lower water level reduces the river to one main channel that occasionally splits into a couple of smaller side channels. The river is also running slow right now giving rowers plenty of time to make the right choice on which channel offers the best route. It also allowed Greg and I to evaluate what the river would be like during periods of higher water and identify potential danger zones.

During normal summertime water levels and especially in runoff/high irrigation releases this stretch poses a higher risk to the inexperienced floater. The normal flow water marks are 4 to 5 feet above the current level with the high water mark being several feet above that. Under these higher water conditions this stretch of river will braid up into numerous side channels. There are many snags through out this section. Two such sections I have heard referred to as the Cottonwood Graveyards. In these areas the river shallows up and splits into multiple channels. All the trees washed down by high water come to rest here. Choosing the right path through this obstacle course will take an experienced oarsman. Also thrown into the mix are numerous irrigation diversions that should be avoided.

The difficulties in this stretch also offer great fishing potential. This stretch presents a lot of structure for the fish to use. From undercut banks, log jams, riffles and side channels. One is presented with awesome brown trout water during normal summertime flows! I will be floating this stretch more this season for sure.

Now to how our day on this stretch went on the 16th. We only boated about 6 fish total. We missed out on hooking up with about 4 times that many fish. Short takes on streamers and slow hook sets on dries were the cause of the missed fish.

The streamer action was sporadic throughout the day. The most active streamer color was Black. The takes were slow and at depth of a couple of feet mostly. If you hit this stretch on the right day the streamer action would be awesome. I'm looking forward to going back next week!

As for dry fly action there was a very good but short lived BWO hatch in the early afternoon. Greg boated a couple of Cutthroat and missed a couple more during this short hatch. As days go on and the water warms up I'm sure this hatch will get better. Maybe by next week the BWO's will be in full swing.

With only one main channel for most of this stretch and lack of a hatch it ended up being a rather short float. We put in at 10:30AM and took out at 5:00PM. Our put in would have been earlier but the one we planned on using was dry and would have required carrying the boat across a gravel bar to the river. We had to headed upstream to the next boat launch. During high water we will use the lower launch in order to avoid an irrigation draw that cuts more than half the river about 1.5 miles down from the upper launch.

Here are a couple of pics. None to write home about I'm afraid.

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Old 04-17-2010, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: Lower South Fork Report 4/16/2010

Davo: Great trip report on the South Fork! I had heard that section of the river can be dangerous at higher flows and only to be attempted by someone that is really experienced on that portion of the river. Looks like you and Greg had a good float despite the fish being a little off the bite.

Larry
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Old 04-17-2010, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Lower South Fork Report 4/16/2010

Larry

Thanks, it was a great trip in spite of not hitting a peak day. It was great to get a look at the river in that stretch. Definitely be floating this stretch a time or two more this year. When the water flow is at normal levels this will be an awesome stretch!!
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Old 04-29-2010, 10:57 PM
 
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Default Re: Lower South Fork Report 4/16/2010

Davo, nice report. I love that lower section. Do you have any pics of the Graveyard from your trip? I have some when the water was around 10,000 cfs, but i can't see how to attatch files to this post.
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:12 PM
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Default Re: Lower South Fork Report 4/16/2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackdog View Post
Davo, nice report. I love that lower section. Do you have any pics of the Graveyard from your trip? I have some when the water was around 10,000 cfs, but i can't see how to attatch files to this post.
Blackdog

At the current water level the graveyard is high and dry so I did not take pictures. As for uploading photos, first you have to upload them to you accounts photo gallery and then insert them in your posts. Once you have them in your gallery click on the picture you want in your post and scroll down till you see the url for the picture highlight and copy that url. then in your post click the icon box at the top that looks like a small picture of mountains. A box pops up and you paste the url for your phot there, this inserts your photo in the post. For security reasons you cannot upload photos directly from your computer to posts.

---------- Post added at 10:12 PM ---------- Previous post was at 10:08 PM ----------

Blackdog

Here is another thread on posting photos that can help
http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/fo...ure-nafff.html
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Old 04-30-2010, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: Lower South Fork Report 4/16/2010

Interesting report Davo....as for the fishing...not too bad for a progot a nice yellow cap my friend
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Old 04-30-2010, 03:34 PM
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Default Re: Lower South Fork Report 4/16/2010

JP

Thanks! As for the Hat, I got one even brighter than that one. Keep it down in Florida. They gave me a new Red one with my boat!! LOL.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Lower South Fork Report 4/16/2010

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackdog View Post
Davo, nice report. I love that lower section. Do you have any pics of the Graveyard from your trip? I have some when the water was around 10,000 cfs, but i can't see how to attatch files to this post.
Here are some graveyard shots from last weekend...
The entrance to the graveyard. Keep in mind this is very mild. If you've been there at 10,000, you know how ugly this can get. Just add a few thousand CFS and this could eat your lunch.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

We've gone through there at 14,000 before, never again.
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:03 PM
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Default Re: Lower South Fork Report 4/16/2010

Fysh: Yikees! That last shot looks real scary! Someone needs to go thru there with a case of dynamite and clear out all those dead cottonwoods.

Larry
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Old 04-30-2010, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: Lower South Fork Report 4/16/2010

Larry: Mrs. Fysh says you are meeting us there sometime this summer, would you like to go after the 'maters' are on? How many you want to take home with you?

---------- Post added at 08:10 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:07 PM ----------

One more.
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