South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Henry’s Fork

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Henry’s Fork (Page 14)

Henry’s Fork 6-3-17

Everyone knows the giant and golden stonefly hatches are making for good fishing from just above Chester to Box Canyon. So the river here is crowded with boating and wading anglers.  In several days these events will be over, but give the fish time to digest their bugs, and they will be looking for more.  Figure on about a week for fish in a given location on the river to respond again to dry patterns.  But weather and flow conditions can alter this time span. We have reports that there are trout in the river in the Nature Conservancy’s Flat Ranch Preserve, but not a lot. These are mostly escapees from Henry’s Lake and they will likely take patterns that work in the lake until aquatic and terrestrial insects begin emerging in good numbers..


Henry’s Fork 5-23-17

There is a good number of escapee trout from Henry’s Lake now in the Henry’s Lake Outlet. These fish are mostly cutthroat trout with some hybrids and brook trout.  Until stressed by wading anglers, these fish will take streamer and woolly bugger types. Fishing space in the outlet is somewhat limited above the Highway 20 crossing, and will likely be crowded the upcoming holiday weekend.  Eventually these fish will disperse into the river going through and offering good fishing in the Flat Ranch property.

The big news for this river is that the giant stonefly hatch is out big time with adults flying from Warm River to Ashton. Look for the hatch to expand to the river below right now and angler presence to expand greatly.  Boat traffic is thick and will increase on the lower river above Chester during the upcoming holiday weekend.  Cooler weather expected later this week means that presenting big nymph patterns may be the best way to go for now in such as Box Canyon and upper Cardiac Canyon, but because the progress of this hatch is so unpredictable, be sure to have dry stonefly patterns along.


Henry’s Fork 5-20-17

Whether it is Box Canyon, Cardiac Canyon, or the lower river, you can bet that large stonefly nymphs are on the move towards shallow water. That means the whole array of large nymph patterns available from rubber legs to fancier renditions will be effective in waters such as these. Flow out of Island Park Dam is just under 1000 cfs and appears likely to remain at that level for the time being, so look for a stable river at least down to the Warm River-Robinson Creek and Fall River confluences for now. In addition to stonefly nymphs being effective, March brown and caddis  life cycle patterns bring responses on the lower river, and bead head nymphs of choice bring action there and in Box Canyon waters.  During our recent cold spell flow into the river coming from Fall River has decreased. However look for Fall River to put a lot more water into the river during the upcoming predicted warm weather.


Henry’s Fork 4-25-17

The lower Warm River to Ashton reach featured a blanket caddis hatch last weekend. So fish seemed filled with these. From Warm River downstream to Chester the river is a bit high but clarity is about normal. The same applies from Ashton Dam to Chester. Streamers and big stonefly nymphs are the best patterns to try both places for larger fish. Midges abound, but BWOs seem spotty (good numbers some places, not so good others).  Midges are dominant at Last Chance were your choice of bead head nymphs in sizes around 12-14 work best.


Henry’s Fork 4-4-17

Although some midges and some BWOs are on the surface, presenting nymph patterns in the lower river above Chester seems the most productive approach lately.  Streamers also bring responses from trout, especially under low light conditions.  Look for Fall River, with flow at Yellowstone canal diversion more than double normal, to increase flows significantly and add discolor to the river below Chester.


Henry’s Fork 3-24-17

Run-off from farmlands is beginning to come into Fall River as well as from higher elevations. This means discolor in Fall River impacting the Henry’s Fork at Chester Dam and below. From there downstream presenting streamers and nymphs is the best way to attract fish. On the river above, the same strategy works (a great way to attract fish in Box Canyon), but include midge life cycle patterns. Give BWOs and march browns a bit more time before their activity become significant.


Henry’s Fork 3-14-17

Winter still reigns on much of the lower river, and the best way to visit is walk-in and wade as opposed to boating. Nymphing with rubber legs and bead head nymph patterns will get you into action. When we have wind-free days fish will be on the surface taking midges, and a #18 griffiths gnat will do a good job of imitating the clusters trout look for.


Henry’s Fork 10-8-16

A piece of important information is that the Fun Farm Bridge is closed.  Signage just off Highway 20 proclaims this closure, and so do the berms placed at either end of the bridge.

Increasingly streamer fishing on the Henry’s Fork will become effective as we move through October. But a current problem with presenting these along much of this river is extensive aquatic vegetation.  Trying to get streamer patterns to run deep in many locations brings contact with beds of waving weeds. Eventually this stuff will break up and drift away to impact dry fly fishing (!) Here are few ideas to help minimize those clogged up flies. Switch to a floating line and unweighted patterns when presenting in shallower water, cover upstream water, and try to keep that rod tip high. Trying shallow water is always a good strategy under low light conditions, such as twilight, because low light becomes increased cover and large pre-spawning trout are more likely to migrate with it. Some areas where weed growth interferes to a lesser degree include The Tubs above Mack’s Inn, below St. Anthony, and the Chester backwaters,


Henry’s Fork 10-1-16

With only 192 cfs coming out of Island Park Dam, it is time to wade Box Canyon rather than float it. Increasingly, presenting streamer patterns there will bring better chances for encountering large trout. Concentrate on presenting these in deeper holes and runs. Cooling and unsettled weather is just what is needed for improved fishing on the lower river. BWOs and mahoganies provide top water action and streamer patterns will be increasingly effective as we move through October. Presenting terrestrial insect patterns almost anywhere on the river will remain effective until a killing frost comes along.


Henry’s Fork 9-24-16

The recent stormy days are just what is needed to pick up fishing action on the lower river. Tiny BWOs and mahogany duns are emerging and attracting fish. With terrestrial insects still around in good numbers, and cooler water temperature, dry fly action will benefit. These will accompany the increasingly effective presentation of streamer patterns.  So stock that fly box with patterns appropriate for all these.