South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Henry’s Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Henry’s Fork

Henry’s Fork 7-2-18

03-26-13 South Fork Bald Eagle

Brown Drakes (evenings) and flavs (afternoons) have begun emerging in the Last Chance-Harriman stretch of the river. I drove by the Last Chance Rest Stop  about 6:30 PM yesterday. Saw only one fly-fisher trying the river just downstream (???).  Maybe most of those were below in the Wood Road 16 area judging  from the the campers, etc. seen way downstream on passing over the Osborne Bridge.

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Henry’s Fork 6-27-2018

As the fishing and bug hatches are starting to improve on the South Fork, and the arrival of stoneflies on the Madison, we are finally starting to see a little relief in the pressure being put on the Henry’s Fork. The fishing has been good with some Green Drake and Flav hatches during the day, and some decent Caddis fishing with gray drake spinners in the evening. These fish have been seeing a lot of pressure, so keep in mind that the most obvious bugs aren’t always going to work. If you couple the pressure with the mass of bugs hatching, you can at times get a pretty frustrating concoction.  Take some time to study the water and the way fish are feeding before selecting a fly. You are going to see multiple sizes and colors of mayfly and Caddis, but I have been able to find fish on a size 16 Caddis trailed by a sz. 16-14 Flav Spinner or the PMD Emerger (pictured) during the day. In the evening there have still been some pretty good action on Gray Drake spinners trailed by other small spinners and emergers with fish really starting to feed well around 6-7 pm (MST). Other bugs that have worked well that we have in the shop would include the JS CFO spinner sz. 14-16 in pink and yellow, Last Chance Flav and PMD cripples, Green Drake Thorax Duns, and McClellan’s Grey Drake Spinner. It’s getting to be time that you start using a few ant and beetle patterns for real tricky fish. Sometimes when I am having a hard time catching the bigger fish, I will tie on an ant or beetle, and you will see those fish come 5 feet out of their feeding lane just to take a poorly presented terrestrial pattern, which I do often. The most persistent angler will be the highest rewarded, so put in a good effort, and bring plenty of bugs. Big fish are feeding on little dries, and this can be one of the funnest times to be on the Fork. (((((BRING BUG SPRAY))))) Maybe even some mosquito patterns!)

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Henry’s Fork 6-23-18

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Widespread rain, wind, and variable flows out of Island Park Reservoir and unseasonably cool weather slowed the green drake emergence along the Harriman State Park reach of the river.  With seasonably warm weather predicted to move in by Monday, look for this event to get into full swing. A few golden stone adults remain in Box Canyon and the Coffee Pot area, and PM caddis activity seems good up and down the river.  The grey drake emergence on the crowded lower river has been good. Look for crowding to ease on the lower river as flows in the nearby South Fork approach normal for the season and the stonefly emergence begins.

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Henry’s Fork 6-19-18

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Green Drake hatch is going on in a good manner at the Harriman State Park reach of the river. Looks like the weather is going to improve soon to a more comfortable condition, so consider getting out to enjoy this great event before it diminishes.

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Henry’s Fork 6-5-18

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The overall springtime hatch is ongoing and moving up the river. With good weather predicted for several days ahead, it is time to put together fly box contents for this time of year. The big stoneflies are pretty much out of the lower river except for the goldens. So for those adult goldens here and the upper river, patterns we suggest are Rollin golden and CFO golden olive in size 8-10. For the big stoneflies now in the Box and Coffeepot, try CFO Big Hair and improved or traditional sofa pillow in sizes 4-6.  For the afternoon caddis hatch anywhere on the river, the Henry’s Fork caddis, X-caddis, and Lawson’s EZ caddis, all in size 14-18 are good bets.  For isoperla stoneflies patterns anywhere on the river try CFO-X and yellow stimulator, both in size 12-16.

Any day now the drakes, followed by flavs, will begin working their way emerging up the river. For green drakes, try the D&D cripple, Harrop’s spinner, and Williams flex wing, all in size 10. For the gray drakes, try McLellan’s gray in size 10.  For  flavs consider the biot spinner, CDC emerger and cripple, all in size 14.  Be sure to include the partridge and olive soft hackle which is as good an emerger pattern for both mayflies and caddisflies as any created. Nymph patterns, you ask? Bead head prince and pheasant tail in size 12-16 and rubber legs in size 6-10.

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Henry’s Fork 6-2-18

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Big stoneflies are flying in Box Canyon and fish and anglers are responding whether wading or boating.  In a few days these big bugs will be doing the same around Coffeepot where fishing conditions will be less crowded. Hatch on the lower river is diminishing, but golden stone are coming on. Give currently filled up or filling up fish several days, and they will be looking for those big bugs again.  For now, afternoon caddis activity is taking over for best dry fly fishing.

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Henry’s Fork 5-26-18

 

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Flow out of Island Park Dam was nearly doubled Wednesday. That action along with a big rainstorm the same evening has slowed fishing temporarily in the Box Canyon-Last Chance section of the river. The same could be the case for the river in the Riverside area where the big bugs will likely show very soon.   This rise in flow is unlikely to impact fishing in the lower river where giant and golden stone fly adult patterns rule the roost with respect to being effective all the way from the slide below lower Mesa Falls to Chester. Here’s an update: as of Memorial Day the big stoneflies are beginning to fly in lower Box Canyon.

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Henry’s Fork 5-19-18

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From Cardiac Canyon  downstream to Chester backwaters and a bit later in Box Canyon big stonefly nymphs are moving toward banks or already there. Soon there will be enough of them flying over the river to drop eggs, and drifting that trout will respond with rises to the surface to take them.  We have a number of patterns that are excellent imitations for these insects as well as the tackle to present them.  Patterns include such as Chernobyl, CFO, and stimulator variations to old stand-by sofa pillows and Bird’s Stones. Because of conditions on the South Fork, expect crowds wherever you try your luck on the river during this event.

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Henry’s Fork 5-14-18

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To minimize crowding here avoid fishing on weekends, particularly Fridays, Saturdays, and Sunday afternoons.  Because the South Fork is still high for the season and not yet fishing up to par, many enthusiasts are going to the Henry’s Fork to not only wade-fish but to fish from boats. This is the case mainly from Warm River to Chester where flow is about normal for this time of year. Monday or Tuesday are likely the best days for experiencing reduced crowding along this part of the river.   No reports yet of significant big stonefly activity, but streamer patterns produce under low light conditions and large rubber leg and stonefly nymph patterns will produce when drifted deep through runs. For sure, giant stonefly nymphs are beginning to move meaning some are breaking free and drifting. For good top water fishing look for trout responding to PM caddis activity, to BWO activity, and diminishing march brown activity.

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Henry’s Fork 5-9-18

 

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Biggest concern here is Fall River inflow and impact on fishing the river below Chester Dam.  Currently Fall River flow below Yellowstone diversion is about 50% higher than normal and sure to increase. With warming weather much more snow on YNP’s Madison and Pitchstone Plateaus will melt and come down through Fall River Basin streams and into the river.  This means an abundance of cold, discolored water coming into the Henry’s Fork just above Chester Dam, and this activity could continue through June.  Let’s see how this shakes out after a winter of abundant  snowfall.

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