You can really tell that it is spring time here on the Henry’s Fork the swallows have returned for the summer and the Baetis are in the air. Almost all of the snow on the lower river is gone and it is disappearing fast at higher elevations. We had a great snow pack this winter that should result in some amazing fishing in the months to come.
Note: Please be cautious this time of year on the river and avoid walking and or fishing the spawning redds.
Upper Henry’s Fork
The section from the confluence of Henry’s Lake Outlet below Big Springs downstream to Highway 20 at Mack’s Inn has been fishing well with nymphs as well as some midge action on top. The snow is melting in this section but snowshoes are still something that will be very helpful otherwise you may be post holing to the river.
This section has been fishing very productive the past few weeks with nymphs and streamers, but we are starting to see fish eating Baetis and Midges on top. The flies I would have at your disposal are, Pat’s Rubber Legs, Cocktail Nymphs, Bruised Baetis, Tungsten Zebra Midges (Rust, Olive), Mike’s Inverted Matuka, BH Mini Leech, Viz-A-Dun BWO and a Griffiths Gnat.
Last Chance / Harriman Park
The water from the boundary of the Harriman Park downstream to Pinehaven is closed to fishing until June 15, 2014. However, the stretch through Last Chance is open year round. It isn’t uncommon to see nice trout feeding on midges on any day of the season. Water temperature can have a major effect on fishing even though it is only 3 miles below the dam. Keep an eye on the weather and if it is not too cold you can find great dry fly fishing. Not many people are fishing the last Chance area stretch to the log jam, but on cloudy days bring your favorite midge pattern and don’t be surprised if there are some Baetis on the water also.
Wood Road #16 – Pinehaven
Fishing is closed from the south boundary of the Harriman East State Park downstream to Riverside Campground until the opening of general fishing season on May 24, 2014.
Access to the Henry’s Fork canyon from Riverside downstream to the confluence at Warm River is not available unless you have a snowmobile. Even then, hiking down to the water in deep snow is very hazardous and not recommended. There is a good snowmobile trail from Bear Gulch up to Mesa Falls that provides awesome winter scenery and is worth the trip even if you don’t fish.
Warm River to Ashton
The boat ramp at stone bridge and the county boat ramp are open. We have been receiving reports of Caddis coming off below the confluence of Warm River downstream to the boat ramp. Downstream from the there the fishing has been very good. Nymphs have been working the best in the deep pockets and cuts. Just upstream from the HWY 20 bridge there have been a lot of happy trout fishing eating Midges and Baetis on top. Flies I would have, Pat’s Rubber Legs, Zebra Midges, Tungsten Baetis and Tungsten Electric Caddis for nymphs, for dries Thorax Baetis, Viz-a- Dun BWO and Griffiths Gnat. Don’t forget to swing small leeches and streamers on cloudy days.
Ashton Dam to St Anthony
The tailwater section from the Ashton Dam downstream to the Vernon Bridge is closed for fishing until May 24, 2014. All boat ramps are open below Vernon Bridge. Fishing has been very good with nymphs, streamers and dries. Nymph the deep slots with Pat’s Rubber Legs, Egg Patterns, Tungsten Zebra Midges and the Tungsten Micro May. On certain days we have seen very good dry fly action on the flats and slicks between Vernon Bridge and the Fun Farm back water. Massive midge hatches have been coming off in this section along with some good Baetis action.
St Anthony to Confluence
The water in St. Anthony is open and is providing good nymph and streamer fishing. As the water warms up the streamer fishing this time of year can be great! Watch the “Down and Dirty Streamer” video on our website that was filmed last March below St. Anthony. Our favorite patterns include rubber legs, and zebra midges for nymphs, and small leeches, Copper Zonkers, and Sculpin patterns for streamers. Please be aware that starting next week the Del Rio Access will be closed until November because a new bridge is being built.
Henry’s Fork Tributaries
Fall River has started to see the beginnings of runoff with the warm days that we have been having this past week. Don’t write this freestone river off as it can be very productive this time of year before the runoff. Nymph the deep pockets with rubber legs, zebra midges and pheasant tails. Swinging small leech patterns can also be effective. Warm River above the HWY 47 Bridge can be very good for dry fly fishing on those cloudy days. There is a short section from the bridge downstream to the posted boundary near the Parker Cabin that is closed year around. Fishing the Buffalo River near Pond’s Lodge can be another option.
The fishing season on the Madison is a little complex so we highly recommend you check carefully with the Montana fishing regulations for more detailed information. The section from Hebgen Lake Dam to Quake Lake is open year round. The stretch from the Quake Lake Outlet to McAtee Bridge is closed to fishing from March 1 until the third Saturday in May. The Madison is open to fishing year round from McAtee Bridge downstream to the Ennis Bridge. The fishing season is closed to fishing from March 1 until the third Saturday in May from the Ennis Bridge downstream to Ennis Lake. Fishing can be very good in this section between the lakes. We like zebra nymphs, Tungsten Pheasant Tail, Skinny Nelson and a variety of other small bead head nymphs. You can also find success by swinging a stream through the deeper runs. Access can be tough because of snow.
Unless you like to fish through the ice wait until the ice goes out in late April or May.
South Fork of the Snake
There are a number of very good options on the South Fork during the early spring months. For wading anglers we recommend you concentrate your efforts near the Heise Bridge or downstream at Twin Bridges. The upper river is also good from the Palisades Dam downstream to the Spring Creek Bridge above the South Fork Lodge. Access can be difficult but if you can find good water you’re likely to find good fishing with nymphs or streamers. Midge fishing can also be very productive. Best fishing occurs on mild overcast days.
Yellowstone National Park- CLOSED UNTIL MAY 24, 2014