South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Henry’s Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Henry’s Fork (Page 23)

Henry’s For 2/2

Winter fishing is in full swing on the river. Mostly nymphs have been producing fish. I recommend 2 zebra midges under an indicator. I like to fish about 6 feet this time of year and use two contrasting flies. For example a red zebra midge in a size 14 and a black zebra midge in a size 18. On the right days you will find those midges hatching on surface. Look and watch very closely for small rises on the surface. Trout will not be working very hard to eat these flies and they barely break the surface of water. However they will eat a ton of midges. Look to the slow consistent moving water for these fish to be rising. Everything is open year around now except the Ranch and Ashton Dam to Vernon bridge. There are lots of spots you can snowshoe into and have a great day of fishing.

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Henry’s Fork 12-6-2011

Fishing season  closed November 30th on the Ashton Dam to Vernon Bridge reach and will not re-open until Memorial Day, 2012.  The river below Ashton Dam has cleared significantly, and fishing has been good (streamers, small bead head nymphs, and midge life cycle patterns) downstream of the Vernon Bridge.   Access along the river is not impeded much by snow amounts.

Now for some information that will help you plan fishing on the lower river next season. First,  Ashton Reservoir will be refilled during the winter, but depending on run off conditions, the reservoir will be drawn down for the final time in late May, 2012.  Next, turbine issues at the Chester Dam mean that the rubber bladder on top of the dam will not be installed until fall, 2012 at the earliest.  This means water levels, and fish and insect activity in the Chester Dam backwaters and immediately above will be subject to run-off and weather conditions alone.   This delay also impacts full use of the dam’s new fish ladder.

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Henry’s Fork 11-26-2011

The  river below Ashton Dam remains a bit discolored, but streamer patterns are working for those hardy souls getting out on the river.  Browns are migrating, and rainbows are stocking up for winter.   As we said on the South Fork report, pitching streamer patterns while moving around to find water where fish hole up helps keep one relatively warm. Yes, the river has good days for top water midging, too. On the upper river (check road conditions before going) snow from a foot or two to much more makes it tougher to get to Box Canyon or the Tubs to pitch streamers.

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Henry’s Fork 11-11-2011

Expect turbidity spikes in the river below Ashton Dam as work on the outlet tunnel and coffer dam proceeds.  Midge emergences are big time on the lower river, and small bead head nymphs, pattern of your choice,  catch fish, but streamers are catching the biggest fish.   Box Canyon and The Tubs are the place for big fish on the upper river. Dress for the occasion if you venture to these.

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Henry’s Fork 11-05-2011

Inspection work on Ashton Dam requires reducing flows as low as 300 cfs from time to time over the next week. This fluctuation will  impact turbidity in the river as well as fish activity.  PacifiCorp will begin filling Ashton Reservoir on November 28th.   Best news is that because Island Park Reservoir holds abundant water, flows out of Island Park Dam will be at least 500 cfs through the winter. This is great news for fish especially the youngest which need bank side water for shelter.  Best way to enjoy top water fishing on the river now is with midge life cycle patterns as BWOs will begin to diminish.  Nymph patterns will also work, but streamer fishing is the best way to encounter the largest fish these days.

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Henry’s Fork 10/19

Water quality has not improved below the Ashton Dam. We have been keeping in contact with a few individuals about this project and will update you as soon as we hear the water quality improves.

Warm River to Ashton stretch is fishing well with Blue Wing Olives, and midge Patterns. There are a few October Caddis out but nymphing seems to be the ticket for getting into large numbers of fish. Zebra Midge patterns and Mayfly bead head seem to be the most effective. Streamers have also been effective on the overcast days.

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Henry’s Fork 10-11-2011

According to Henry’s Fork Foundation reports, water clarity is improving with suspended fines causing the off-color appearance of the river from Ashton Dam to the confluence with the South Fork. The mud flats exposed in the drained reservoir above the dam do not appear to be eroding into the river—good news!  Presenting streamers in the river above the reservoir to the Warm River confluence is a way to attract browns migrating to upstream spawning areas.   In Island Park it is time for large trout from the Harriman-Last Chance reach to begin migrating into Box Canyon for the winter.  Streamer fishing in the canyon is improving and will continue to do so as we move to the end of the year.   Further upstream consider trying streamer patterns in the river below the Big Springs-Henry’s Lake Outlet confluence. The holes known as “The Tubs” there host big trout this time  of year. This part of the river also features huge whitefish. They take midge and BWO life cycle patterns, provide great fillets, and turn out great after a stint in your smoker.

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Henry’s Fork 9-19-2011

The lower river is discolored from construction activities at both Ashton and Chester dams.  To keep up on these activities go to the Henry’s Fork Foundation (www.henrysfork.org) home page and  look at the “Latest News” box for updates.

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Henry’s Fork 9-13-2011

The last few feet of draw down of water from Ashton Reservoir should be completed this week. Turbidity in the river below the dam continues because of by-pass tunnel construction which will continue through the week.  The river is cutting a new channel in the upper end of the reservoir adding fines to the river below.  After draw down and tunnel construction are completed, look for improved water quality in the river below.  The Henry’s Fork Foundation  (www.henrysfork .org) publishes progress and observation reports on the Ashton Dam construction regularly.

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Henry’s Fork 9-08-2011

Because of construction activities on Ashton Dam the river below clouds up from time to time.  So fishing below the dam has slowed. On the upper river Last Chance-Harriman is fishing well. Morning spinner falls, Mid-day and early evening terrestrial activity and evening caddis activity make for action.  Want a chance at a big cutthroat or brookie in the Henry’s Fork?  The flow out of Henry’s Lake is being dropped.  So fish that have come out of the lake and have survived the summer in the reach known as “Henry’s Lake Outlet”, mostly cutthroat but some hybrids and brookies, will be moving downstream into the Tubs above Macks Inn and eventually down to Island Park Reservoir.  Best way to encounter these is presenting streamer patterns from the Tubs on down through Coffee Pot.

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