South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Henry’s Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Henry’s Fork (Page 15)

Henry’s Fork 9-6-16

With respect to the lower river, the best thing is happening.  That is the weather cooling down which means sooner or later BWOs and mahogany duns will be emerging. On the river in the Last Chance-Riverside portion it’s still the same: morning trico spinners and terrestrial insect activity by late morning into afternoon hours are the best times to find action.


Henry’s Fork 9-3-16

Not a lot of change since our last report.  From Last Chance to Riverside early AM trico spinner patterns AM bring action.  Then as the day progresses presenting terrestrial patterns, especially those of the honey ant takes over for the same. We need more cool weather for fish activity to pick up on the river below Ashton Dam.


Henry’s Fork 8-23-16

For the Last Chance to Riverside section of river AM trico and mid day terrestrial activity offer the bet chances for action.  It is the time of year when presenting honey ant patterns is particularly effective. At sunset and after, consider drifting that hair mouse pattern through locations known to host very large trout. Two-nymph rigs using small bead head patterns seem to offer best action in Box Canyon. From Cardiac Canyon down to Ashton Reservoir presenting terrestrial insect and caddis life cycle patterns are effective late in the day. Presenting streamer patterns late in the day anywhere in this water could get you into a fish of the year.


Henry’s Fork 8-13-16

From Ashton Dam upstream to the bottom of Box Canyon whether you are wading or float fishing, presenting terrestrial insect patterns is effective especially during afternoon hours. Fishing trico dun & spinner patterns early in the day is another way to action, but a bit tougher on the eyes than presenting hopper patterns.


Henry’s Fork 8-9-16

It’s time to concentrate on presenting terrestrial insect patterns on the river from Last Chance down to Riverside. Ant (honey), beetle, cricket, hopper, and even deer or horsefly imitations should be in your fly box. Horse and deer flies will be the major airborne pests these days. So when they land on you, swat ’em as usual then pitch the remains into the river. Go on fishing, but if you hear a solitary take downstream, it is likely a trout taking that deer or horsefly you just dispatched.  A purist may accuse you of “chumming,” but you now have a great clue as to what the trout will take!


Henry’s Fork 7-30-16

The outflow from Island Park Dam has cleared resulting in much better fishing in the river below  down to Riverside Campground. The reason for this rather sudden clear-up seems obscure, but a good analysis for its presence and of the previous suspended residue within can be seen on the 7/22/16 Henry’s Fork Anglers fishing report. Mike Lawson wrote it. This guy’s life time of Henry’s Fork experience more than matches that of ALL HF enthusiasts that walk into his business. When he writes/speaks on the Henry’s Fork, it is time to read/listen.

If I were going to fish the river below the dam and Box Canyon, I would concentrate a variety of terrestrial patterns on board. With respect to mayflies, flavs and PMDs are decreasing in the Last Chance-Harriman reach, but speckled duns are coming on. I’d do the same with respect to terrestrial patterns in the Cardiac Canyon reach, but also have large stonefly nymph patterns on  board and hope for some overcast weather (even a passing thundershower (we sure need moisture anyway)) which makes for the best time to present them.


Henry’s Fork 7-26-16

If you are concerned about slower fishing this season on the river from Box Canyon to Riverside Campground, read and consider the “River Is Changing, We’re On It” article on the Henry’s Fork Foundation web site home page.

Flow out of Henry’s Lake has been raised to 100 cfs and Henry’s Lake Outlet section was stocked with rainbows in early July. With low flows out of the lake early in the year, not as many as usual trout escaped to the outlet. However, trout stocked earlier this month and any from the lake will tend to stay in the outlet until flows drop, then they will migrate to the river below.  Good fishing can happen for folks presenting terrestrial patterns here. Concentrate these presentations where the river flows though willow thickets at the top and bottom of the Flat Ranch Preserve, and be sure to check in (and out) at the Ranch Visitor Center to help in the Nature Conservancy’s efforts to maintain the property.  Only “fly in the ointment” is the travel delays because of construction on US Highway 20 to the south.


Henry’s Fork 7-19-16

If you plan to fish the Henry’s Fork above Island Park Reservoir, Henry’s Lake, the Madison River, or Yellowstone Park via the West Entrance, be aware of the U. S. Highway 20 road construction from about Pond’s Lodge to Island Park Village (at the south side of Henry’s Lake Flat).  The result is travel delays up to one hour. Expect these delays to continue into September.   Only practical alternative is to take Interstate 15 to Monida, Montana then the South Valley Road across the Centennial Valley and over Red Rock Pass then around Henry’s Lake to Highway 20 above the construction.  So plan accordingly. Meanwhile, enjoy trout responding to the remaining PM flavs, AM rusty spinners, and growing terrestrial insect population from Last Chance on downstream or nymphing in Box Canyon.


Henry’s Fork 7-16-16

Higher water releases from Island Park Reservoir draw down resulted in turbid water flowing through the Last Chance-Harriman reach on downstream a ways. This impacted fishing success for a few days, but should decrease with any decrease in flows. Some afternoon flavs remain, but rusty spinner patterns bring the most interest during evening hours. Fishing on the river below Ashton Dam remains slow with best times to do so being early in the day.  But below the dam and above the reservoir to Warm River terrestrial insects are becoming more important in dry fly fishing.


Henry’s Fork 7-2-16

Emerging PMDs and their spinner falls are providing action on the upper river and brown drakes are still emerging during evenings on the river from Wood Rd 16  up to the Osborne Bridge. Select locations within can become somewhat crowded. Flavs are coming on, too. Nymphing is the best way for action in Box Canyon. The lower river, mainly below Ashton Dam, is warming to the point that choosing another location to fish is worth considering. With summer coming on and accompanying low water, looks like mid-day fishing may not pick up until September. That means fruitful lower river fishing visits will take place during early morning and evening hours.