Lower river is definitely warming, so we suggest fishing in the early AM when spinner falls provide some action. Presenting streamer patterns, especially during early in the day overcast conditions, can bring out some large trout. Fishing the upper river is more consistent with continuing AM and PM spinner falls and afternoon caddis activity. Look for mayfly populations to begin diminishing from the spring-early summer peak and for bank side terrestrial insects to increase in number. Depending on weather (mostly thundershowers and resultant winds ) some good fishing can be found in less crowded spots along the river such as the Coffeepot area, the Tubs area, and the Flat Ranch preserve. Spinner falls, afternoon caddis, yellow sallies, diminishing PMD and golden stones and increasing terrestrial insects will provide interest from trout. From now through Labor Day expect to share the river in Box Canyon and the Big Springs-Mack’s Inn section with floating recreationists.
On the upper river weather determines intensity and fly-fishing success during the PM brown drake emergence. Try to use good weather evenings for best chances. Recreating boaters are coming to Box Canyon, and they have the same right to use the river as anglers. Their numbers peak during mid-day, so to minimize interference consider early AM, or late afternoons for your visit here. AM and PM spinner falls, afternoon caddis activity, PMD,and beginning-to-diminish flav activity give the best chances for success in the Last Chance-Harriman section.
PM caddis activity and the same spinner falls as on the upper river provide good fishing on the lower river. Green and gray drakes provide action, but begin fading out there as the river warms. Another bit of good news is that the South Fork stonefly hatch has transferred many boat away from this part of the river. This week will see rising air temperatures on the lower river and therefore rising water temps.
The river in Island Park offers great late afternoon fishing during caddis activity. Brown drakes are beginning to show up making evening fishing quite interesting. Double nymph rigs work well in Box Canyon. AM & PM PMD spinner falls bring trout to the surface. Green drake are decreasing, but flavs increasing.
All these insects plus gray drakes are available to fish on the lower river where crowds are thinning a bit because fishing on the South Fork is taking off.
Be aware of the two construction zones on Highway 20 impacting travel to the river and beyond. We have given details on how to avoid hold-ups on the highway climbing Ashton Hill if you intend to fish in Island Park (use the Mesa Falls Scenic Highway). The other significant construction zone on the highway, the re-surfacing of the Lorenzo Bridge across the lower South Fork, impacts travel to the lower and upper river. Here the highway is down to two lanes for about four miles and accommodating the increasing traffic can mean delays of up to twenty minutes until piled-up traffic dissolves. Certainly, try not to be on this part of the highway during “rush hour ” times
The lower river continues to offer the best and most consistent fishing. Some flavs, PMDs, a few goldens, caddis and even a few terrestrial insect attract fish. Look for boating crowds to diminish as the South Fork fishing improves. Weather conditions make fishing on the upper river a bit inconsistent.
The great fishing on the lower river continues. Flavs have showed up, some green drakes remain. PMDs are present and PM caddis provide action.We have not heard a lot about the gray drake emergence. It’s is not what it use to be ten years ago in terms of number, but late afternoons and evening are the best times to try it (streamers work well during these times of day). The Chester backwater is one of the best locations especially on using a boat to get around shorelines.
Wind and cool temperatures have impacted fishing on the upper river. Predicted warm weather will bring aquatic insect activity back to seasonal norms.
Green and grey drakes, flavs and PMDs are coming out on the lower river, fish are hitting these very well, and word is out. This shifts fly-fishers from the upper river as well as bringing in those in waiting. So both places are well attended. Looking for a Henry’s Fork location with fewer fly-fishing attendees but with good fishing? Try the river in the Nature Conservancy’s Flat Ranch. It’s really the Henry’s Fork according to the USGS even though the rest of us call it Henry’s Lake Outlet.
The lower river offers the most consistent fishing with green drakes, PMDs, golden stones, and caddis all offering action for dry fly enthusiasts. If nymphing is preferred, rubber legs with small bead head droppers, or bead head nymph patterns by themselves and evening time streamers suffice. Best fishing here is above Chester Dam because Fall River contributes run-off. With less variable weather fishing in the upper river would become more consistent.
Harriman State Park opens today and you can bet that the river within is well populated with fish, fly-fishers, and flying insects (PMDs, increasing green drakes, wind-blown stoneflies, & caddis). A less human-crowded alternative is the lower river where green drakes, PMDs, golden stones, caddis and left-over giant stoneflies are providing good fishing.
The Highway 20 road construction on Ashton Hill replaces about four miles of damaged pavement. Travel is down to one lane and flaggers hold back traffic with delays up to twenty minutes depending on flow. This situation could extend through the summer. Consider at least during morning taking the Mesa Falls Scenic Highway to avoid delays and get to fishing destinations (including Yellowstone Park, Henry’s Lake, and Montana waters) on time. On doing so you will see wind-blown stone flies along the Mesa Falls Scenic Highway for a while. It’s a tip that fish are likely full of them in the Cardiac Canyon stretch. So come back there in about a week or so when fish will be looking for them again. Meanwhile, they are in Box Canyon and likely around at Coffee Pot. Up and down the river fish also key on AM & PM caddis activity. Green drakes will be arriving soon. Adult stone fly patterns, giant and golden, remain effective during the first days of fish responding to green drake activity whether on the upper or lower river.
I lost a Snake River Net Company Owyhee net below the Ashton dam. I am checking with local shops to see if anyone has seen/picked in up. My name, Colby Burr, is etched on it. Please contact me if you find it: [email protected]
The Ora Bridge project requires additional blasting that puts the parking lot in range of debris. On Tuesday, June 11th there will be a parking lot closure at Ora from 2-4 pm. No new vehicles will be permitted into the site from 2-4 pm. HFF staff will be on hand that morning to answer questions. There will be limited parking near the boat ramp for those who cannot complete a shuttle prior to blasting or who are wading in at Ora.
All anglers wading in or floating the river right next the bridge will also need to exit the river or float downstream prior to blasting.