South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Henry’s Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Henry’s Fork (Page 2)

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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Henry’s Fork 4-10-18

Fishing success along the river from Warm River to Chester Dam has been about normal for this time of year.   Flows here are a somewhat high.  BWOs, and March browns have been providing top water action for those enthusiasts presenting emerger and dun patterns along with midge life cycle patterns. Big rubber leg and stone fly nymph patterns drifted through runs and into upstream portions of holes and pockets will produce with chances for more interest from larger fish.  The same goes for streamer patterns presented under low light conditions.

Be ready to see more anglers, whether wading or boating, present anywhere along the Henry’s Fork because of the South Fork’s high water situation.

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Henry’s Fork

This is the time of year where we are starting to see the bug activity picking up on the Henry’s Fork. Around mid-day there has been the long awaited emergence of Blue Winged Olives, and the midge hatches continue to be pretty steady. Fishing midges and BWO in the slower water has been pretty productive, so  try using BWO and midge clusters in sizes 16 and 18, and single midge patterns in sizes 18 and 20. I will fish a sparsely tied BWO size 16, or a well dressed BWO in 18. I usually fish 2 flies 2 feet apart on 4 and 5x Rio Suppleflex tippet, on a 9 – 12 foot Rio Powerflex 4x leader.

As for the nymph angler, running a Pat’s Rubberlegs trailed 18″ off the back with a size 14 Pheasant Tail or chartreuse Glo Bug, have been producing good numbers of fish. We are starting to see plenty of beds dug by spawning rainbows, so like every year, please watch your step if you see areas of dug, clean gravel. There are plenty of fish that are pushed in to a little faster water right now, and they are feeding well on nymphs, so don’t just focus on the deep water. I have caught some nice fish in only a foot or two of riffle water, and there seems to be a good amount of them sitting right off the drop offs of fast water in 2-4 foot deep buckets. The slow pools are kind of tricky to nymph, but running a little lighter setups while slowly bouncing the bottom will produce some nice size fish. I know it sounds like fish are all over the river, and they are, but if you focus your efforts on drop offs and slow pools, you will find fish.

Streamer fishing can produce some nice fish right now. Try fishing a slower retrieve with a pause, or a fly on the swing to produce some feisty fish. I usually swing or dead drift sculpin patterns, and strip some larger articulated patterns, usually in the Galloup variety. Color is going to be a day to day, or hour to hour thing, so bring a good selection of streamers to fish. I can usually get fish to eat olive or brown sculpin patterns on every trip, so you should at the very least have those in your box..

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Henry’s Fork 11-21-17

 

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With respect to BWO and midge activity, conditions on the lower river are much the same as those on the South Fork. Upcoming weather and fewer daylight hours means more overhead cover.  So with mild but unsettled weather coming up, now is a good time to give the lower river a try. Presenting small flies will be the name of the game for top water fishing.  Presenting soft hackle patterns just under the surface during BWO activity can be particularly rewarding, and presenting streamers will be the best way to encounter larger fish anywhere on the river.  BWO and midge hatches will slow on the river in Island Park, although presenting streamers remains effective in such as Box Canyon and The Tubs area.  Winter conditions prevail on the river in Island Park, so venturing to the river there means taking precautions for such as well as being aware of any upcoming hazardous travel conditions.

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Henry’s Fork 10-28-17

 

Brown trout are moving on the lower river.  So anywhere from Warm River on down, presenting streamers is the name of the game for encountering them.  Patterns featuring shades of yellow, chartreuse, or orange seem to be particularly attractive to browns in a migrating mode. There are no brown trout in Box Canyon and “the Tubs”, but presenting streamers to big resident rainbows  works as well as doing the same for browns on the lower river.    Pitching streamers is not your game? The Henry’s Fork obliges by offering BWO activity in most locations on the lower river and many on the river above.  Afternoons having overcast skies (even with rain or snow) and minimal wind ( if that is possible!) as predicted for later next week are the best time of day and conditions for the densest BWO activity and responses from trout.

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