South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Henry’s Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Henry’s Fork (Page 31)

Henry’s Fork 3-19

We received a email from the Henry’s Fork Foundation in regards to the flows below Ashton Dam. Here is the email.

Subject: Ashton Reservoir Drawdown

Good Morning,

PacifiCorp has started lowering Ashton Reservoir this morning.  If you’re watching the gage below the dam you’ll likely see two increases in river flow of approximately 100 cfs each this morning.  The reservoir will lowered to a target of approximately 5147, about 5 feet below the current elevation.

This drawdown is being made in preparation for construction of a new low level diversion tunnel later this year.  It is being schedule at this time for the purposes of complying with USFWS consultations relative to the Migratory Bird Treaty Act and in cooperation with the adjacent irrigators on the reservoir who would prefer to not see elevation changes during the growing season.

The drawdown rate will conform to consultation language discussed with IDFG, not more than 100 cfs change in one hour, not to exceed more than 200 cfs change in 24 hours.

Mark Stenberg
PacifiCorp Energy
208 547-7305

So what does this mean for the fishing? I would not be to concerned with these flows upsetting the fishing for very long. Expect it to slow down for a day or two. The fishing will resume as usual after that time. Lots of people have found success using Midges, Rubberlegs, and worms. I would expect the San Jaun Worm fishing to be really good with these increased flows.

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Henry’s Fork 3-9

Drift boat fishing on the Henry’s Fork is not possible right now because all of the boat ramps are still snowed in. However fishing has been really productive on the Henry’s Fork. Midges are being taken on the surface. Glo Bugs,  San Juan worms, Rubber leg stonefly nymphs and Zebra Midges are producing fish in good numbers. As the warm weather continues it will not be long until Blue Wing Olives and March Browns will be hatching. Good places to walk in and fish is the confluence at Warm River, Vernon Bridge (don’t fish above the bridge…its closed!) Sealy’s, Chester Dam, The Fun Farm, and below St. Anthony.

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Henry’s Fork 2-27-10

Warming days will help with access and bring BWOs into big emerging numbers.  Big stonefly nymphs are a good bet above Chester backwaters to Vernon Bridge ( Vernon Bridge to Ashton Dam opens general season) and above Ashton Reservoir to Warm River.   Streamers will work throughout for post spawning bows and hungry browns. The further upstream you go the more likely access will be a problem because of snow and shore ice.

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Henry’s Fork 2-18-10

The lower river will become more important to consider as we move into March.   Access will become easier, early season mayflies will begin to appear, streamer patterns will be attractive to post-spawning rainbows,  big stonefly nymphs will always be candidates for excellent fishing, and midge life cycle patterns will work.   Realize the further east (upstream) you venture on the river, the more likely access will be difficult because of shore ice and snow pack. Candidate locations to give the lower ‘Fork a try, you ask?  Consider off Cottonwood Drive  below St. Anthony,   around the Fun Farm Bridge and upstream on the west side road to the Hooray Ranch, below the Vernon Bridge, around Seeley’s.  At Seely’s, Nedrow’s,  and other locations, please respect private property.  Access to the river through properties such as these are privileges granted by generous land owners.  If you see them, consider thanking them and do everything possible to show them you appreciate their generosity.

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Henry’s Fork 11-27-09

Closes to fishing above Riverside after Monday, November 30th. Most of the lower river remains open year round, so we will post occaisional reports on how it is fishing.

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Henry’s Fork 11-23-09

Midges, Beatis, and Streamers are still producing fish in good numbers. The Box Canyon and Riverside boat ramps have been reopened. Find some time to get out and fish your favorite spot on the Henry’s Fork before it closes at the end of the month. Nymphing is producing fish as well. Rubberlegs and Zebra Midges are working well under an indicator. Good reports of large brown trout being caught on the Vernon Bridge stretch.

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Henry’s Fork 11-18-09

!!!!!!This is our official Winter Report!!!!!

As winter approaches fly fishing will become fairly slow. Slow enough that we will not be updating the fishing report as often as we do in the spring, summer and fall. We will continue to keep you updated on any changes in the river or good fishing that might happen during the winter. We want to continue to be your best source for information on fishing in our local area. The reason we don’t update the fishing report as much in the winter is because the conditions do not change. With that said successful fly fishing in the winter time is very obtainable. Many people enjoy winter fishing and find it to be very rewarding. Here are a few things that will help you be successful while fishing this winter.

Pick the right day. You will want to pick a day that will be warm. I like to use the rule of 32. If it is above 32 degrees its warm enough to fish. If the high doesn’t reach 32, fishing might not be the best option. There are exceptions to this rule but in general it is a good one to follow.

Leave the Boat at Home. Most of the boat ramps do not get plowed in the winter so it is really hard to launch your boat. The flows are very low in the winter and 3 miles will take all day to float. The fishing in the winter is only good for a few hours during the warmest part of the day. Wade fishing is very easy in the winter, focus finding fish to catch during those few hours when the fish are active. Fish pod up in the winter in the slow deep holes and the tail outs of riffles. Pounding the bank from the boat is not an effective way to catch fish in the winter.

Be Prepared! Things that go wrong on a typical summer day of fishing can be dangerous. Those same risks can be multiplied very quickly in the winter months. Hypothermia is something you would watch out for in the summer and expect in the winter! Especially if you fall while wading and take a swim. Never travel too far from the car unless you are prepared with an extra set of dry clothes, and the ability to make a fire. Its a good idea to fish with a partner, and never ever think it is safe to walk out on river ice. Once the sun goes down the temperature drops dramatically so be prepared and know when it’s time to call it a day.

Flies. Typically you will be nymph fishing in the winter. Size 8-12 rubberlegs with a beadhead nymph dropper in a size 14-20 will produce the most fish. Streamers will work but need to be presented really, really slow.

Fish become very lethargic in the winter and do not move fast. This is how the conserve energy in the winter time. However they still need to eat everyday. Winter fishing can be some of the most memorable fishing you will experience. Very small crowds on the river and lots of opportunities to see wintering wildlife. Most of the time you will be the only one on the river so be smart, because chances are no will show up to rescue you. If you have any questions on spots to fish, or winter fishing techniques call or stop in at the shop and we will be happy to assist you.

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Henry’s Fork 11-14-09

The Henry’s Fork is fishing very well. Midges and Blue Wing Olives have been hatching in good numbers. Picking the right day to go is really important this time of year with the weather. Cloudy days will produce the best Dry Fly fishing and streamer fishing. Take advantage of the Henry’s Fork before the the season ends and some of your favorite stretches will be closed until next year.

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Henry’s Fork 11-10-2009

We have word that the Ashton Dam is being tested for integrity.  Water levels  out of the dam rose about 200 cfs on November 9 in order to drop reservoir levels needed to perform the tests.  It is planned to lower flows out of the dam by 200 cfs on November 13th.  So be aware that this action could impact fishing below Ashton Dam for a few days.

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Henry’s Fork 11-09-09

Fishing on the Henry’s Fork is still good. Look for Blue Wing Olives in the afternoon. Nymphing and Streamer fishing have been producing a lot of good sized trout as well. Keep and eye out for trout to start eating midges, below the surface and on top as we continue to see cooler weather.

We have been contacted by the Henry’s Fork Foundation and they informed us that they are making some improvements to the Box Canyon and the Riverside Boat Ramp and to expect these ramps to be closed for about a week.

We also received some information regarding Ashton Reservoir:

On Monday, November 9, 2009, we will be increasing outflow from Ashton Reservoir by approximately 200 cubic feet per second above inflow to the reservoir.  This will cause the reservoir level to decline approximately one foot per day.  We will be maintaining this rate through Friday, November 13, 2009, or until we reach Elevation 5147.  The reservoir is  presently at Elevation 5152.

Saturday, November 14, 2009, through Monday, November 16, 2009, the reservoir will remain at Elevation 5147.

Starting Tuesday, November 17, 2009, outflow will be reduced approximately 200 cubic feet per second below inflow to begin  refilling the reservoir approximately 1 foot per day. This will be maintained through Saturday, November 21, 2009, or until the reservoir reaches Elevation 5152.

During this time frame we will be testing generating equipment to determine its ability to operate at lower reservoir levels.

Mark Stenberg
PacifiCorp Energy
208 852-5507

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