South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Warm River

Warm River

Warm River

Just as is the case with any stream close to the Madison River or the South Fork, any stream located next to the Henry’s Fork  will come out second best in terms of  visitation.  It’s all understandable, but  it also leaves a visit to that second best stream open for not only a better measure of solitude, but some excellent fishing.  That’s certainly the case with Warm River for much of its length just to the east of  the Henry’s Fork.  Actually a spring creek with beginnings against the west edge of the Madison Plateau and supplemented by a  contribution from brookie laden Partridge Creek, Warm River in it upper sections is a good lightweight tackle stream.  It really comes into its own At Warm River Spring as shown in the above pic.  This spring gushing out of the side of the hill is worthy of a visit in its own. Only Big Springs on the Henry’s Fork above Mack’s Inn brings more underground water to the surface in Island Park. From here Warm River drops into its canyon with increasing gradient until due east of  Bear Gulch when the gradient eases to be gentle  for most of its remaining  course  to the Henry’s Fork. This lower course from its confluence up to and for a way above Warm River Campground is easily accessible along the old railroad grade and thus very popular with visits from anglers of all legal terminal gear.    So let’s go back to the river where Warm River Spring enters and where visits to the river just below are much fewer. You get there off the Mesa Falls Scenic Loop.  Just above Mesa Falls State Park  turn right onto an excellent gravel road signed with Warm River Spring and other places of interest.  Go east on the road for some miles, then take the right hand fork which soon turns  to cross the railroad grade, goes through a meadow, then down into Warm River Canyon to end at the Spring.  Along the road in the canyon several pull-outs make for easy access to the river.  As with any location in this region, the further one walks away from a road, the fewer folks will likely be encountered.  That  strategy applies here, so  walk downstream as far as time permits, then begin fishing.  Here’s another option; on crossing the railroad grade before dropping into the canyon, park, gear up, then walk down the grade for about a mile to where it converges with the river.  Drop off the grade here to fish the river.  September and into October is a great time to visit Warm River in this area.  Terrestrial insects are numerous until a killing frost, and mosquitoes are gone. Afternoon egg laying caddisflies are important to feeding fish, and so are emerging BWOs.  Of course nymphing will get results here, but top water fishing here ranges from good to superb.  So hopper patterns and BWO and caddis life cycle patterns work well.  So do traditional attractor patterns.  What can really be fun here is seeing which specie of trout takes your offering because brookies, browns and rainbows are present.  The browns and bows can range up to eighteen inches making for great sport in the riffles and runs.  Try a four or five weight system with a 9-foot rod, same length for a leader of 3X or 4X tippet for this water and be sure to bring a camera.

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