It has been beautiful on the Henry’s Fork this past week and with the increase in flow out of Island Park Dam the fishing on the upper river has been good.
Upper Henry’s Fork
Henry’s Lake Outlet never produced good fishing this season because stream flows from the dam remained very low. There have been some good hatches of Pale Morning Duns and Caddis on the upper river below Mack’s Inn. This is good water to take less experienced anglers. You can usually catch fish with Elk Hair Caddis, Parachute Adams, Renegade and other standard patterns.
The flows through the Box Canyon are 1390cfs and have been holding steady since the 13th. Higher flows mean more stable water temperatures which really helps the fishing during the heat of the summer. There are Caddis, a few and Grey Drakes and even a few Golden Stones still flying around if you’re a dry fly addict but your best odds are to use a double nymph rig. The go to Nymphs have been the Two Bit Hooker, Bruised PMD, Cocktail Nymph and the Electric Caddis.
There have been good fish feeding on the surface from the mouth of Box Canyon downstream to the log jam at Last Chance. Use spinner patterns in the morning hours. There has been a hodgepodge of spinners including a few Flavs and and better numbers of PMDs. There are also spinners in the evenings along with some heavy caddis hatches. Look for Pale Morning Duns later in the morning and Flavs in the late afternoons, especially when the sky is dark.
You’re likely to see the same mayfly spinners described in the Last Chance section. We are still seeing good numbers of PMDs in the Ranch but are starting to see the fish moving towards terrestrials. I would be sure to have ants, hoppers and beetles in your arsenal.
Wood Road #16 – Pinehaven
You should use the same stuff described above for the Ranch. Pale Morning Duns are prolific in the warm afternoon hours. They like the colder water that emerges from many springs which flow into the Henry’s Fork on the east side of the river. Trout concentrate in these areas. They can be ultra selective making a realistic emerger or cripple pattern a must. We like the PMD Half Back Emerger, Harrop Last Chance Cripple, or PMD Cripple. Be sure to have a few hoppers and beetles on hand for targeting tough bank feeders.
This area is very tough to access and wade when the water is high during mid-summer. If you want to get away from the crowds you should use the same patterns and methods described for Box Canyon.
Warm River to Ashton
The section from the Stone Bridge access below the confluence of Warm River downstream to the County Boat Dock at the Ashton Reservoir has been very productive. This is a great section to float and consequently there are a lot of recreational floaters drifting down the river in everything from inner tubes, rafts, and the like. Normally they don’t hinder the fishing crowd but you still need to keep your eye out if you hear a bunch of screaming teenagers upstream to avoid getting run over. Use the same techniques and patterns described for Box Canyon. The best place to look for fish right now in this section is along any shelf or shallow depressions in the river bottom.
Ashton Dam to St Anthony
It has been warm down in the valley the past couple of weeks and the fishing on the lower river has really slowed down. If you have your heart set on doing some fishing down here your best bet would be early in the morning or late in the evening just before dark.
St Anthony to Confluence
Fishing has really dropped off in this section of the river but you can still get good fish if you get out early in the morning or late at night just before dark.
Henry’s Fork Tributaries
There is good access to lower Warm River near the campground. Warm River is a good option with attractor dry flies, and nymphs. Warm River is stocked with catchable trout near the Warm River Campground and is a good option for young anglers. Fall River has fished very well in the upper reaches from Cave Falls downstream to the national forest boundary. The best action has been with a dry/dropper rig. Use a large attractor like a Royal Trude, Stimulator, or Chubby Chernobyl for the dry fly with a bead head Prince Nymph or Tungsten Pheasant Tail Nymph as a dropper.
The Madison has been fishing very well. There have been great caddis hatches in the morning and evening hours just before dark. There are several species of caddis ranging from as large as a size 14 down to tiny size 20 micro caddis. The upper section below Quake Lake has also been producing some good Pale Morning Dun and Flav mayfly action. The river is low making wading a little easier but the fish spookier.
We’ve had great reports from Henry’s Lake. Best action has been to use a small wooly bugger, leech or Chironomid pattern with an indicator. Most of the fish are 16 inch Cutthroats but there have also been some nice Brook Trout and Hybrids landed. Things are also starting to happen on Island Park Reservoir. Gulper fishing has also started to roll on Hebgen Lake. Normally mid-July through August are the best months to fish the great lakes of our area.
South Fork of the Snake
There have also been heavy hatches of smaller Yellow Sally stoneflies. You can also find good trout rising in the riffles as they feed on Pale Morning Duns and Pink Albert mayflies. Pale Morning Duns have a pinkish cast on the South Fork and they look almost exactly like Pink Alberts. Use size 15 pink Nohackle, Pink Parachute, Pink Split Flag, and Pink Parachute. Cripples and Emergers are also very productive.
Yellowstone National Park
The Yellowstone River is now open above the lake to fishing. The water has been high but is slowly coming down and the fishing is starting to really pick up. Fishing has slowed down on the Firehole, Madison and Gibbon due to warmer water temperatures. You can still get into some nice fish on the riffle section of the Madison from the Barns Pools near the West Entrance upstream to Nine Mile Bridge. There have also been good hatches of Salmonflies, Golden Stoneflies and caddisflies on the Gallatin River downstream to Taylors Fork.