The river is running high with flows near double throughout. Best chance to encounter large fish is through presenting streamer and large stonefly nymph patterns. Try Box Canyon and the top of the Chester backwaters with streamers. Best times to try these are during low light conditions. Try big stonefly nymphs in Box Canyon, from Vernon Bridge down to top of Chester back waters, or Warm River to Ashton. Don’t overlook the river in Bear Gulch and above Hatchery Ford for presenting both of these. These reaches have very little pressure and host a lot of big trout.
Fishing is picking up on most of these. Midge pupa suspended at taking depth gives best results just about everywhere. Just find the taking depth. This includes Chesterfield, Daniels, Hawkins, and Springfield reservoirs. Do not overlook that dragonfly nymphs move in good numbers this time of year. That’s one of the best reasons why woolly bugger types seem to work so well when fish slowly in shallow water now.
Ice is going off Hebgen Reservoir. Fishing on Clark Canyon Reservoir has been a bit slow.
Run off remains the culprit here. And it looks like that’ll be the case for a while. Fall River and Teton River, both open to catch & release fishing, drain high country and their increased flows mean slow fishing and impacts on the lower Henry’s Fork. There are a few exceptions. Warm River, also open to catch & release fishing, does not drain high country. It is a bit high and clear, but can be fished. Blackfoot River from the dam to the bridge just below is in fishing condition. Birch Creek diversion and in the family area are in excellent shape. Expect fast afternoon fishing when small (#14-#18, your choice) bead head nymphs and even small (#16-#20, midge & BWO patterns) dry flies are presented. PM water temperatures are in the high 50s in degrees Fahrenheit, just about ideal for aquatic insect and fish activity. Use your favorite light weight rod, and you will have a great time.
Flow out of Palisades Dam is 10000 cfs, close to what Bureau of Reclamation projected for the end of the month. Track of the flow gage just below the dam looks like a step function since 4/24. Expect it to look the same with further flow increases because of the early start to downstream growing season and warming weather. Water in the river is clear and cold (low 40s in Deg. Fahrenheit). If you fish it, try streamer patterns in slower waters and side channels. Try big nymph patterns, too. Present all these on sink tip lines and realize that better days are coming on this great river.
“Blown out” is the best way to describe the river below Mackay Dam. Flow is just under 1000 cfs. Bag the fishin’ here for the time being!
Here’s another piece of information that backs up that we are having an early spring. Ice is going off Henry’s Lake right now! Sorry: Henry’s Lake does not open to fishing until Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Ice is also going off nearby Hebgen Reservoir in Montana. It opens to fishing the third Saturday in May.
Fall River input has really increased, so forget fishing the river below Chester for a while. Want an update on the construction activities at the Ashton Dam and their impact on fishing the river below? Go to the Henry’s Fork Foundation web site. Nymphing, late in the day streamer fishing on the river between Vernon Bridge and Chester backwaters has been pretty good recently, but a lot of folks are fishing this reach both wading and boating. During wind free days fish are still responding to the BWO hatches.
Flow out of Mackay Dam is now a bit over 300 cfs with flow increasing to that level yesterday. That is about double what it was about a week ago, so wading is tougher and fish still adjusting to the increase. Best strategy is to wait for a visit late this week and hope another big increase does not happen between now and then.
Flows on the South Fork were down and now they are back up to 8,000 cfs. Once the flows settle down the nymphing will pick back up. I would also expect to see some great streamer action once the water warms up in the next few weeks.
We have info about the Lorenzo boat ramp. As of right now this boat ramp is not useful for many boats. If you are launching here it is best to unload your boat on the cement and push it into the water and walk it down to bottom of the walk way and tie it up. The current right in front of the ramp is extremely fast and dunking your trailer in the water and launching will be very hard. If you are running a power boat do not use this ramp.
For individuals taking out at Lorenzo this is a 1 boat ramp right now. If there is a drift boat on the ramp when you come in you will need to wait until they finish before you pull in. If you try to pull below a boat at the ramp already you will not be able to stop and you will miss the ramp. After that your on your way to Menan.
We suggest looking at the Lorenzo boat ramp before you decide to launch or take out here. If you have questions please call the shop.