Humboldt River, South Fork

The South Fork Humboldt River originates on the west side of the Ruby Mountains in Elko County. With the completion of South Fork Dam in 1988, the South Fork Humboldt River was divided into upper and lower reaches. Improved upstream habitat management and subsequent water releases from the reservoir have improved downstream water quality and has enhanced game fish production.

Type of water
Fishing Report

Flows on the South Fork of the Humboldt have dropped as the snow pack recedes. As of June 24, the South Fork of the Humboldt was flowing at 75 cfs which is well below the median of 340 cfs for this time of year. Anglers can expect fair fishing above the reservoir with the best fishing being below the dam. Below the dam red copper Johns and wine or black/wine leech patterns have been catching fish. With the warmer weather, Mayflies are starting to hatch and anglers can start using emergers and dries. We are still a few weeks away from hopper season.


Pertinent Information

Upstream from the dam, the river runs 7 miles to State Route 228, and below the dam, the river is fishable for approximately 12 miles to Hunter Banks Diversion Dam. Water discharge ranges from 5 to 15 cubic feet per second (cfs) in the fall, and from 600 to 1,100 cfs in the spring. Bowcutt trout (rainbow x cutthroat hybrid), rainbow trout, brown trout, smallmouth bass, and channel catfish are the likely game fish present, which originally had come from the reservoir. Both rainbow and brown trout are known to spawn in the river above and below the reservoir, with rainbow trout typically ranging from 14 to 22 inches. In general, though, the best times of year to fish are from March through June and September through December. There is camping at South Fork State Park.