South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Henry’s Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Henry’s Fork (Page 20)

Henry’s Fork 5-26-12

On this opening day of general fishing season the most asked question is “Where’s the bug (giant stonefly) hatch on the Henry’s Fork?”  Right now the bugs are hunkered down waiting for a warm-up so they can do their thing. Yes, its cold where they have come out from just above Chester backwaters to Riverside Campground.  Fish are aware of their presence. So regardless of weather they will be taking offerings. The trick is finding where fish are responding best to them. Right now that would somewhere in Cardiac Canyon. So boating from Riverside Campground to Hatchery Ford, from the Lower Mesa Falls slide to Warm River and even from Warm River to Ashton are the best choices to encounter fish taking giant stonefly patterns on the surface.  It’s a bit early for fishing dry stonefly patterns in Box Canyon, but when it warms up that will change. Other than stoneflies  presenting streamer patterns along cover out of direct sunlight, especially evenings is the best way to encounter large fish. This really applies to the river from Ashton Dam to the Chester Dam. Our current weather is “BWO weather”, so don’t overlook that life cycle patterns for these can be effective.

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Henry’s Fork 5/18

So much talk about the Henry’s Fork right now. It is definitely the place to be if you want to chase some dry flies. The stonefly emergence is happening right now on the lower river. From Warm River down to Chester you will find those big boys on the bank hatching and flying around. I haven’t heard any solid news of flies above the Warm River, however I expect them to start happening soon. Big stonefly nymphs have been catching fish as well, don’t rule out this fly when the dry fly action slows down. Don’t hesitate to put a stonefly nymph below a big dry salmon fly. We have a great selection of Salmon flies that will float a weighted nymph. Caddis have also been working well on the surface.

The water quality below the Ashton dam has been fairly good. I would not rule out floating from Vernon to Chester you will find some really good fishing here and fewer crowds of people who have been scared off by the construction of the Ashton Dam.

Henry’s Fork 5/16

Salmon flies are starting to hatch on the Warm River to Ashton Stretch. This is the beginning of the hatch the Salmon flies are not out in huge numbers but they are there and trout are eating dries and nymphs. You also have a good showing of caddis out and hatching. I expect the Vernon to Chester stretch to start soon and we will update the report as soon as we know.

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Henry’s Fork 5-15-12

Sightings of large stoneflies flying last weekend in the Warm River to Ashton reach are greatly exaggerated.  High-flying birds may have been mistaken for these, or maybe a few bugs were coming over from Warm River.  For sure the big stonefly nymphs are moving in Warm River to Ashton, in Cardiac Canyon, and the river below Ashton Dam.  No doubt a few adults have formed by now.  But fish are likely full of nymphs, so wait a while before they begin keying on the adults which will surely increase in number.   Best chances for top water fishing success in these parts of the river are from caddis and March browns.  Speaking of the Ashton Dam, draw-down began on May 11th.  That means the river below will be off-color now through opening day and beyond. We’ll keep you posted about the effects of draw-down which should not be as drastic as last year.

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Henry’s Fork 5-12-12

The information Tim placed on the Henry’s Fork yesterday is good and informative, but lets now give you an alternative river location.  The Henry’s Lake Outlet section of the river is open to catch and release fishing with numerous cutts spawning in the upper reaches down into the Flat Ranch Preserve.  We fished here late last week, avoiding the spawning redds but trying adjacent cover. Any wooly bugger type or streamer was effective in catching not only cutts but brookies hanging around for drifting eggs. Even encountered a rainbow or two, but not the size we were hoping for.   Flow at the time was 140 cfs but has since dropped to 110 cfs ideal for wading.  As soon as the  general season opens this part of the river will be crowded and many fish will be creeled.  So enjoy it now.

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Henry’s Fork 5/11

The release from the Ashton Dam was delayed and we believe that they will start to release water today. We will keep you all updated and although I don’t think the water quality will be fishable because they don’t have to do any excavation.

So far the only Stonefly action is on the warm river. some of them have been moved down to the stone bridge below the confluence of Warm River and Henry’s Fork. Caddis, March Browns, Blue Wing Olive and Stonefly nymphs have been effective on the lower river. Through Box Canyon you will find some BWO hatches and a few caddis hatches right now. Nymphing will be your best opportunity for hooking fish through the Box Canyon.

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Henry’s Fork 5-8-12

Ashton Reservoir draw-down begins tomorrow and will take two weeks to complete.  Expect discolored water during this event and for a while afterwards.  However, discolor should not be as bad as last September when unconsolidated sediments up to 100 years old moved out.   Impact on wet fly fishing is less likely than to dry fly fishing during draw-down.  A streamer pattern of the evening presented in areas out of direct sunlight remains the best way to encounter a large fish until stonefly nymphs begin moving.

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Henry’s Fork 5/4

Flows on the Lower Henry’s Fork have seemed to level out from that warm spell we had last week that raised the water levels that discolored the water. Caddis, March Browns and Blue Wing olives have been hatching and fish have been receptive to a dry fly presentation. Nymphing has also been effective. I would fish 2 rubberlegs below an indicator right now focusing on stoneflies starting to move around. Just a few more weeks till we start seeing a major move of stonflies to the bank for the Salmon Fly hatch. I haven’t heard much about the streamer activity but I assume you should be able to move some fairly large fish right now with a big fly.

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Henry’s Fork 4-28-12

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.

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Henry’s Fork 4-24-12

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.

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