Are you a drift boater? try the Warm River to Ashton or Ora Bridge to Chester stretch. It’s time to begin using big stonefly nymph patterns when you do. If you are wading the river, please take a look at our last entry for the Henry’s Fork. Some important info on public access is on it if you have not seen it.
Fall River is bringing in cold, discolored water, and this time of year the Ashton Dam acts as a settling basin. Flow out of Ashton Dam is just a bit above normal. Those facts pretty much tell where the best fishing can be found on the river. Within those limits BWOs, caddisflies, midges, and a few March browns are emerging and bringing responses from trout. Post spawning rainbows are taking streamers and stonefly nymph patterns drifting by. Afternoons make for best fishing, but be well insulated and ready for the cold water (currently not much above 40 deg. F.).
The Henry’s Fork is a bright star in the fly-fishing sky, and we are fortunate to enjoy fishing it. Considerable access to the river is provided through the generosity of land owners. There are times when sportspersons act in ways that do not respect that generosity leaving the offering landowner considering withdrawing access to the river. It is the responsibility of sportspersons to respect private property and abide by any rules for trespass. The Bill Fuchs family, owners of the Henry’s Fork Ranch, formerly Seeley’s, (east side of the river property from below Vernon Bridge to just above Chester Backwaters) are generous enough to allow access to a favored location on the river. Having experienced negative acts by some persons, they establish certain conditions for continued access to the river through their property. It is in our best interests as sportspersons to abide by these rules if we wish for continued access to the prime location on the Henry’s Fork.
Access Rules for Henry’s Fork Ranch
Parking is allowed for 4 vehicles. A vehicle with a trailer is considered two vehicles. No parking between livestock loading chute and driveway. Park along river edge.
This is a working cattle ranch. Enter at your own risk.
Beware of livestock, our dogs, electric fences, and natural conditions.
Our property line begins at the end of the paved road.
Access can be denied at any time.
No pets allowed outside vehicles; no exceptions!
You must complete information required and sign in.
No littering. Pick up all man-made litter on property and in river.
No fires, fireworks, firearm shooting, or overnight camping.
You can only launch or remove small non-motorized watercraft (under 150 pounds) from here. You must carry them not drag them up or down the bank.
If you have a motorized watercraft on the Henry’s Fork, you cannot use or access our property, no exceptions!
Access is limited to 100 feet of the river’s edge
Yours and others actions will determine present and future access.
Please act like a responsible sportsman and not like those who give sportsmen a bad reputation.
All property rights will be enforced.
Violators will be prosecuted.
Flow out of Island Park Dam was more than doubled yesterday, and flow in the river downstream is on the upswing because of local run-off. Look for flows to continue their increase with warm weather coming on. Midges and BWOs are still attracting trout on the lower river, but March browns are emerging and also attracting trout. Large stonefly nymphs and rubberleg patterns presented deep will bring strikes almost anywhere along the lower river. Streamers presented under low light conditions will always arouse interest from lower river trout this time of year.
Big news here is that BWOs are emerging up and down the river from Last Chance to Chester. Weather forecast is for lots of unsettled weather this week, so afternoons on the river could see a lot of action for those presenting BWO life cycle patterns. But don’t rule out presenting streamer and stonefly nymph patterns especially during low light conditions.
Walk-in fishing is the way to go on most of the river. Boat ramps are not cleared of enough snow to make launching and taking out much fun. As soon as we hear that certain ramps are cleared, we will post such info here. For now, if you must float, rafting is more practical, but you will need rope!
Fishing has been good along the river. Midge and BWO life cycle patterns provide action for floating line enthusiasts, while March browns should be doing the same not too far in the future. Giant stonefly nymph and steamer patterns are providing action for the sink-tip line enthusiasts. Some places to look for action include Last Chance area for good midge hatches. Henry’s Fork Anglers (HFA) offers that in Box Canyon midge life cycle, giant stonefly nymph and streamer patterns will result in action. Snow shoes or cross country skis may help access during warmer days. HFA also offers that rainbows are moving into the river above Island Park Reservoir, and access is best when snow is hard enough to support weight.
This year the river between Ashton Dam and the Vernon Bridge is open ONLY for catch and release fishing. Same for the river between Riverside Campground and the lower Harriman State Park boundary. Please report any violators to IDF&G.
Two closures will be made after November 30th: the river in Harriman State Park (Last Chance to Riverside) and from Ashton Dam down to Vernon Bridge (second bridge below Ashton Dam). Until then presenting midge life cycle patterns is a great way to fish the river in Harriman State Park, and presenting streamers is the best way to encounter the big trout between Ashton Dam and Vernon Bridge. Better Hurry! With low flow out of Island Park Dam, presenting streamers is a great way to fish just below down to the Buffalo River, but be ready for winter conditions. Cross Country skis can get you into the Tubs area where big rainbows are concentrating. If you try there, for sure you will need waders, and vibram soles will be better that felt soles (same applies to Box Canyon)! There is less snow along the lower river where presenting streamers is also the name of the game with some action available from fish feeding on midges.
Flows are a below normal and browns are migrating on the lower river. Fishing success through presenting streamers has been OK, but not great. Again, a bit warmer conditions would help. If you do not mind trudging through some snow, Box Canyon offers good streamer fishing. Wading is relatively easy there with only 86 cfs being released from Island Park Dam.