We are in the part of summer when particularly the lower river gets real tough unless you fish early mornings and evenings. Terrestrials are out in great numbers up and down the river, and they now offer the best chance for top water fun. Presnt their patterns close to banks, especially those not in direct sunlight and those not far from deep water. Fish are spookier these days and will not venture far from cover during bright daytimes with warmer waters.
The river is warming up throughout its range. This means best fishing is in early morning and during evening. PMDs are getting quite small (#20-24). Hoppers are beginning to show on the lower river, so add patterns for them to those you have for beetles, ants and other terrrestrials.
It’s getting close to time to swtch to terrestrial patterns for the lower river. No significant hoppers yet, but beetle and ant patterns produce. PMDs are still around but getting smaller. Yellow sallys are another bug still present and effective, too.
Drakes have come & gone everywhere on the river. On the Harriman-Last Chance reach mornings and evenings offer the best fishing with PMDs in decreasing sizes (bring life cycle patterns in #18-#22) providing daytime action, then flavs bring evening action. Hoppers are not significant yet, but ant and beetle patterns will bring action anywhere on the river. So will evening caddis flights. On the middle and lower river, a few golden stones can still be seen, but sallys are more numerous, so medium and small stimulator and dry muddler patterns will work well. Likewise, no hoppers of significance yet, but ant, beetle, and PMD life cycle patterns can bring action. Don’t overlook streamer patterns if you will be on the river during evenings.
We are not far way from terrestrial insect season here. For now be sure to carry ant and beetle patterns any where you plan to fish the river. Use them along grassy banks, overhangs, and dry slopes. Flavs are still active on the upper river. PMDs are decreasing in size are now down to size 18s and 20s but numerous throughout. A few brown drakes are left on the upper river. Don’t overlook damselfly adults especially on slow reaches of the river such as in Harriman State Park. Say goodbye to the big stoneflies for this year, but get ready to break out those hopper patterns!
Flavs, smaller PMDs, evening caddis blooms and diminishing brown drakes are the fare on the upper river. On the lower river we are beginning to leave the early season mayfly emergence peak. Gray drakes are present but diminishing. PMDs are present in good numbers, but their size is decreasing. So go to #18’s-22’s of your favorite dry, emerger, cripple and spinner patterns. Evening caddis emergences remain strong here. Beetle and ant patterns are always good around overhead cover and along banks. We are not far from the days when hoppers will be a major food form for trou up and down the river.
Big event on the upper river remains the evening brown drake emergence. You will find them almost anywhere on the river within the State Park, but some areas are better than others. The river at the end of Wood Road 16 is a prime location. It can get crowded near, but there is room to spread out, especially upstream. Flavs are coming on, too. On the lower river gray drakes remain in good supply, particularly below Chester Dam. Above the Dam they are there but decreasing. Flavs, PMDs and caddis are also present and afternoons are best for fishing their imitations. Look for PMD spinner falls in the morning. Anywhere on the river don’t overlook presenting beetle and ant patterns especially near shorelines. As our mayfly and stonefly hatches decrease terrestrial insects will become increasingly important food items for trout.
Fish in the lower river are in a “kids in a candy store” situation. Flavs, PMDs, gray drakes, midges, caddis, sallys, and a few left over golden stones are all active. All you have to figure is which are they taking at a given time and location. Afternoons into evenings are best. Don’t worry so much about fly pattern for each of these, put more attention onto presentation. Look for the flavs and gray drakes to begin decreasing in numbers soon and the consider that such as beetles and ants will become important. On the upper river the big news is the evening brown drake emergence on lower Harriman, but look for the flavs to become important too. It’s a great time to be on the Henry’s Fork!
Big news here is the excellent brown drake hatch evenings with best being on the lower Harriman reach of river. Be there early to get your favorite spot even though there is plenty of river. Any big brown drake dry pattern will work if you present it carefully. There are still a few golden stones around Box Canyon and from Riverside Campground down through the Warm River confluence. Green drakes have peaked, but caddis and PMDs are everywhere. On the lower river gray drakes continue giving action from above Chester Backwaters down to St. Anthony. Don’t forget your favorite streamer pattern for evenings on the lower river. Through presenting them comes your best chance for that “fish of the year”. It’s a great time to be on this storied river, and if you are waiting for the South Fork to subside, this river is the best alternate for you and that boat.