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Fishing Report

May 1, 2017 | Todd Lanning cool_box.jpg

Box Canyon


The Box is now accessible by vehicle. Flows have increased to make room for the run off that will come. We may see flows come up as high as 1400 cfs. This is great news for the entire river in my opinion. After the last few years a little bit of a flush is a good thing. It will be hard to predict when the out flow from Island Park Reservoir will increase but it’s going to happen. If I hear the nuts and bolts of what’s to come I will be sure to let you all know. I have not been in the Box Canyon since the water has come up but I would guess that the streamer bite may be very good. Also, as always have your nymph box handy. I would fish rubber legs tight to the bank. Leave the indicators out of the formula when fishing heavy nymphs close to the bank. Keep your rod tip up a little higher and feel the nymph bounce along the bottom. You feel the strike. Give it a try, tight lining a nymph in my mind is a lot of fun and a little more rewarding than staring at a bobber all day. The dry fly fishing has been very tough from the log jam on up this past week. The current flows and water temps have changed the game a bit in Last Chance. I have not found fish on the top at all. If you wanted to nymph the flat water I would suggest black zebra #16 and cocktail nymph #16 and #18. I would also have some #18 Sawyers p.t. Swinging leech patters is also a good idea.

Lower River


The lower Henry’s Fork has fished very well. The mother’s day caddis is here and the fish are on them! This weekend I checked wood road 16 and due to the high water the dry fly fishing was nonexistent. I then drove as far as I could to check the Harriman Pond and again not a fish in sight. Also you have to walk about half a mile to get to the pond. The pond is completely full and running out of the overflow. Then I went down to Ora and saw fish eating caddis. Ora on down to Vernon had a great hatch and many fish eating on the surface. I have heard rumors of March brown but I only saw one yesterday. The caddis were thick and I tried a lot of different patterns from a Hemmingway to Mike’s emerger. Mike’s caddis emerger, olive #16 worked okay but the better fish that I landed were on a #10 Adam’s. I fished the Adam’s with Mike’s caddis emerger dropped about a foot behind. My guess is that by this coming weekend the run off will be up due to warm temps forecast in the near future. Don’t let that scare you away. This will put fish back on the banks were they belong! Bring your favorite caddis patterns with you. These should include Hemingway caddis #16 and #16 Mike’s olive caddis emerger. I would also have #16 renegades in your selection. You will most likely find the hatch thick and get a little frustrated when they won’t take your fly. Don’t let them get to you. I would pick one fish to work on. If they won’t eat try to make your offering stand out. This is where your renegade will come into play. If the caddis are a #16 than fish a #14 or even a #12. I think attractors are very important to have with you in the blanket hatch situation. All in all is a very exciting time to be on the water so get out there and enjoy some great fishing before the crowds of summer are upon us

South Fork

The South Fork is currently at 17000 cfs. It looks like they are matching inflow to me. It will be interesting to see what unfolds this year on the South Fork. The Snow pack is well above normal this year. I think you can compare 2011 with this year. If that’s true It may not be until July that the South Fork is fishing consistently. It’s hard to know for sure and I could be completely wrong. Fishing on the South Fork has been ok. I would stick to nymphs. Rubber legs and bead heads. You may have to add some shot to get down but I bet you will find a few fish. Also please use caution if you’re planning to be on the river at these flows.



I don’t have much in the way of new information for the Madison. It continues to fish very well. The Madison might be the most consistent fishing in the area. The blue wings are in great numbers in the walk wade section and the entire river has been fishing very well. I would have blue wings and skwallas with you. The midge fishing has also continued to produce great dry fly action. I would not be in a rush to get on the water. Plan on seeing good dry fly fishing from 10:00 am into the later afternoon. The Skwalla pattern that I really like is a #10 purple chubby. If you see blue wings than a # 16 no hackle will work well and I would also have some #16 last chance cripples. The #16 Griffith gnat will still do the trick if the midges are out in numbers.