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 9-16-17

As is happening on the South Fork, BWOs and mahogany duns are showing up and down the river whether in the Last Chance-Harriman section or the lower river.  The best fishing on the lower river at present seems to be in the Warm River to Ashton section where streamer fishing is bringing responses from large brown trout as a result of the unsettled weather conditions.  Rely on terrestrial insect patterns being effective during sunny days anywhere on the river.  Look for streamer fishing to be increasingly effective almost everywhere on the river as we advance into the fall season.

Flow out of Henry’s Lake has been essentially cut in half as storage begins. Thus fish in the Flat Ranch reach move downstream into the Henry’s Fork proper. This will make streamer fishing very effective in “The Tubs” area, especially early and late in the day.  Some of the largest Henry’s Fork whitefish populate this part of the river. If you are looking to supply fish for the smoker, midge and BWO life cycle patterns really interest these salmonids residing here in good numbers.

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Henry’s Fork 9-9-17

As with the South Fork, significant BWO and mahogany dun hatches on the lower river will happen later in this month.  During daytime visits here presenting terrestrial insect patterns is the best way to attract fish.  While fishing from a boat, trail that hopper pattern with a favorite bead head nymph. And as with evening visits to the South Fork, observe shallow waters for bait fish concentrations.  Such a presence is a clue that streamer patterns will attract larger fish moving in around sunset to forage on these. The Last Chance-Harriman section of the river features AM trico and speckled dun spinner falls, while daytime success is best met through presenting terrestrial insect patterns.   While fishing  during late evenings, consider drifting a hair mouse pattern along vegetated banks. You may not interest many fish, but the one(s) you do will surely be very large. On doing so, you can get away with using a heavier tippet making it a bit easier to play that big fish entering the now copious weed beds present in the river.  It is the time of year when good fishing in the Henry’s Lake Outlet section begins to fade.  Even though flow out of Henry’s Lake remains a bit above 100 cfs, warm water temperatures are present. This means larger fish will begin migrating downstream to cooler water in the Henry’s Fork just below Big Springs.  Many fly-fishers overlook the river between the Big Springs-Henry’s Lake Outlet confluence and below because of the numbers of recreational boaters. An evening visit to this stretch of water avoids conflicts with these folks and increases your chances that a well-placed streamer will bring up a very large resident trout.

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Henry’s Fork 8-26-17

The lower river fishes best during daytime hours when two-nymph rigs are used, especially below Ashton Dam where the river is warmer than above. Not much dry fly action there during daytime unless you present hopper patterns close to the well vegetated banks. Best dry fly action is during evening caddis activity.  Other than AM spinner falls the best fishing on the upper river is found by presenting such terrestrial patterns as ants, beetles and hoppers.

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Henry’s Fork 8-19-17

No real change here since out last report. One event worth noting is the significant flying ant appearance along parts of the upper river.   So add patterns for these to your terrestrial patterns in that fly box if you fish during daytime.  Otherwise approach is the same: AM spinner fall patterns, terrestrial insect patterns during day time, then caddis life cycle patterns during evenings.

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Henry’s Fork 8-12-17

For the lower river “fish early, fish late ” applies and likely will until the end of summer, especially downstream of the Ashton Dam.  Early spinner falls (some PMDs and increasing tricos) and late day caddis activity are the best events for having action.  Presenting terrestrial insect patterns provides the best chance for action during day time (also effective early evenings), whether wading or presenting back toward the banks from a boat.   Trail those patterns with a small bead head nymph of choice.  Similar strategy applies to the river at Last Chance-Harriman section, but take into account the increasing presence of flying ants.  Flow out of Henry’s Lake is holding up (100 cfs) in the Flat Ranch section with trico spinner falls, speckled dun activity and terrestrial insect presence the bases for action.  However with warming water coming in from the lake above, look for fishing action to slow a bit as we move through August.

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Henry’s Fork 7-28-17

Up and down the river the same theme applies. Fish early and late in the day for best action. PMDs are into smaller sub-species and flavs are diminishing. Terrestrial insect patterns are almost required for good action on the lower river, and these are coming on strong on the river from Cardiac Canyon upstream.  Rusty spinner patterns  in sizes 16 on down are good choices for AM fishing everywhere.  Caddis life cycle patterns seem to be good choices everywhere for evening fishing and especially in Box and Cardiac Canyons. It is getting to the time of the season when keeping track of the flow out of Henry’s Lake is important because as that flow drops (currently good at about 98 cfs) and warms fish in the Flat Ranch section will begin migrating downstream from the river to the Big Springs outlet-Mack’s Inn water.

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Henry’s Fork 7-22-17

Best time to visit lower river is early and late in day, and terrestrial insects are coming on to being important in trout diets.  Look for this advice to remain until fall season.  On the upper river mayfly hatches have moved off the early season peak and terrestrial insects are building.  So it is the time to begin transitioning those fly box contents. Also it is the time of the season when crowds diminish a bit.

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Henry’s Fork 7-8-17

Here is a strategy constant for nearly the entire river; Our warm weather means that best fishing is in morning and late afternoon hours. This coincides with PM caddis activity and AM spinner falls. If you fish during mid day and see surface activity dwindling, switch to nymph patterns presented deep because waters are coolest there and thus hold higher dissolved oxygen concentrations. Flavs are still around as well as a few golden stones.  Green drakes are pretty much gone for this year but some brown drakes with responses from trout can be seen during evenings. For sure, the current heat spell will help bring on terrestrial insects, so begin stocking up on ant, beetle, cranefly, and hopper patterns.

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Henry’s Fork 6/29/2017

Hello anglers,

As most of you know, the Henry’s Fork is the main game around. Though the crowds have been thicker than normal, the fishing remains pretty good. There are plenty of willing fish sitting in the riffles eating a whole variety of insects from caddis, pmd’s, flav’s, yellow sally’s, and some left over green and grey drake emergence, grey’s being the more prolific of the two. The flav’s have been a pretty good meal ticket at times, so my tips for success would be to fish a size 16 caddis, trailed by a pmd emerger or flav about 2 feet apart, and make sure to be on the river by 9 or 10 a.m. at the latest. 2 feet might sound like a lot, but keeping your 2 bugs further apart makes for a better presentation, and reduces pile ups. I generally fish a leader of over 10 feet this time a year, because of angling pressure and clear water, which can make for some tougher fishing. That being said, I still fish these fish on a 4x leader, because they are strong fish, and a good presentation is worth more than tippet size. Fishing into the evenings this time of year is one of my favorite things to do because fish seem to be a little less hesitant to take a dry. So if you can’t make it out early, dont worry, there are still plenty of fish to catch in the evening as well.

In between riffles I would make sure to fish a golden stone fly in a size 6 or 8 to the banks on a 2 x leader, but mostly through the buckets and riffles in the middle of the river. You can add a nymph dropper for increased chances of success, or tag one of the aforementioned bugs behind it, dry. Most of the golden stones are going to be found from the Ora bridge, down to the backwaters at Chester dam. The bugs are plentiful right now, so you should be able to have decent success.

For patterns to fish, come in and see us, and we would be more than happy to give you some local recommendations.

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Henry’s Fork 6-17-17

Any where you fish on the river expect plenty of company.  The main reason is the South Fork not being in good fishing condition.  That drives more anglers to this river.

It is drake time on the Henry’s Fork from the Henry’s Lake Outlet section on down to the confluence with the South Fork. True PMDs, midges, and caddis are present and some golden stoneflies remain to attract trout.  But for the next few weeks any fly-fishers on the river cannot go wrong if they switch to emerger, dun, or spinner patterns where appropriate for each of these drakes. The trick for the best measure of success is knowing how, when, and where to do so. Just a few days ago, Mike Lawson offered an excellent Green, Gray and Brown drake summary for the river.  It’s on the June 13th Henry’s Fork Anglers fishing report. Go to his blog at the end of the Harriman Park report to read Mike’s thoughts on the characteristics of each drake species, where and when to expect them, and fly pattern recommendations. The information within is sure to increase your chances for successful fishing during the Henry’s Fork drake season.

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