South Fork Reservoir

South Fork Reservoir was built in 1988 with recreation specifically in mind. It lies entirely on public land managed by Nevada Division of State Parks.

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Type of water
Lake or Reservoir
Fishing Report

The dock is out of the water and the main boat ramp is closed for the season. Those with small craft may launch at the gravel boat ramp at the north end of Jet Ski Beach between campsites 49 and 50. The water has cleared of algae and aquatic vegetation is quickly dying with the colder water temperatures. A bit of skim ice has formed at the backs of coves but the main body of water is free of ice with just a bit of ice at the south end. Water temperatures range from around 36 to 41 degrees depending where you are on the lake. Trout fishing has been fair to good depending upon the day and time of day. Anglers report catching trout between 15 and 20 inches when they are biting using pink PowerBait. Shore anglers are reporting success on Jet Ski Beach one day and slow fishing in the same spot the next. Fly fishermen report that fishing for trout had been good using an intermediate sinking line with buggers or leeches. Black or red snow cones with white beads and contrasting red or black wire ribbing, fished under an indicator are also working, but the active presentations of stripping buggers and leeches seem to catch more fish than those relying on still tactics with an indicator. Flashback pheasant tail nymphs, red copper Johns, hares ears and scud patterns may also produce fish. The use of an indicator seems to work best when the wind picks up a bit. Spin fishermen have had good luck from shore using rainbow trout colored rooster tails, small spoons and minnow imitations. Boaters who are able to launch should do well trolling these same patterns as well as flashers tipped with worms.


Stocking Updates

Stocked Species Inches Date Stocked Year to Date
6480Rainbow Trout9.2 04-22-20226480
13080Rainbow Trout9.104-25-202219560
6000Rainbow Trout9.404-25-202225560
7380Rainbow Trout8.804-26-202232940
3015Rainbow Trout9.104-28-202235955
2168Rainbow Trout9.7 04-29-202238123
3400Rainbow Trout8.4 05-09-202241523
7500Channel Catfish5 05-10-20227500
6916Rainbow Trout8.810-17-202248439
6900Rainbow Trout910-18-202255339
7392Rainbow Trout8.910-19-202262731
3344Rainbow Trout9.410-19-202266075

Pertinent Information

South Fork Reservoir comprises 1,640 surface acres and has a maximum depth of 67 feet at full capacity. It stores excess flow from the South Fork Humboldt River and is operated to release only the amount of water that flows in. The reservoir contains rainbow, brown, and bowcutt (rainbow x cutthroat hybrid) trout along with smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, wipers (striped bass x white bass hybrid), and channel catfish. Harvested rainbow trout average about 16 inches and bowcutt trout are usually greater than 19 inches. Black bass reach up to 21 inches and wipers range from 6 to 12 pounds. Most bait such as nightcrawlers, salmon eggs, and Power Bait are best for trout, along with small spinner, spoons, and tied-flies. The typical small- and largemouth bass fishing lures such as rubber worms, crankbaits, spinner baits, and topwater work great; however, the abundance of natural feed can make angling success at times tough. Catfish are caught using the typical baits such as chicken livers, nightcrawlers, and large shrimp. Spring through early summer is the most productive time for anglers catching trout; however, fish the early morning hours in summer. Ice fishing during the colder months has also produced good results. The best bass fishing occurs in late spring. The entire perimeter of the reservoir is fishable with numerous access sites, but float tubing is very popular. South Fork State Park has a campground facility along with a few primitive camping spaces around the reservoir. Two improved, concrete boat ramps are located within the park on both sides of the reservoir.