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Fishing Report 8-16-11

Aug 16, 2011 | Mike Lawson

There is some great mid-summer fishing in the Henry’s Fork region as the sweet sound of hoppers is in the air!

Upper Henry’s Fork – Box Canyon

Typically we can give the same report for the Box Canyon from week to week throughout the summer because things don’t change much. One thing most anglers don’t take advantage of is the streamer fishing in the early morning and late evening hours. The fish move into the banks when the sun is off the water. Sculpin patterns in olive or black will do the job. Otherwise use a double nymph rig with an indicator. My favorites are Flashback PT, Olive, Red or Brown Zebra Nymph, Copper John, Green Electric Caddis, or Skinny Nelson in size 14 – 16 with tungsten beads. As of this writing the outflow from Island Park Dam is around 860 CFS and slowly rising.

Upper Henry’s Fork – Last Chance, Harriman Ranch to Riverside Campground

There have been some very good sized trout rising on the flat water. This water has been fishing very well in the morning and evening hours. If you get on the water by 8:30 AM you can expect to see plenty of spinners on the water. Most of them are size 18 PMD spinners. Later in the morning look for Callibaetis Spinners in size 14 – 16. There is also some smaller dark caddis in the morning and evening hours. Use a size 18 Spent Partridge Caddis.

The expected terrestrial fishing has finally arrived. We still have not seen the Honey Ants in good numbers but I wouldn’t want to be in the Ranch without some size 14 Honey Ants, Henry’s Fork Hoppers and Black Beetles.

Middle Henry’s Fork – Riverside Campground to the Ashton Dam

The best fishing on this section of the Henry’s Fork has been between Warm River and Ashton. Two good options are to us a double nymph rig like that described for Box Canyon or try a dry/dropper combo. Best dries are the Chubby Chernobyl, PMX and Rainy’s Hopper. You’ll catch plenty of small trout and whitefish on nymphs with a few larger browns and rainbows as a bonus. If you want to go for larger trout, try fishing a streamer in the early morning hours with a fast sinking tip line.

Lower Henry’s Fork – Ashton Dam to St. Anthony

This part of the river has really slowed as it normally does during mid-summer. The water temperature gets too warm during the middle part of the day and the trout become less active. If you don’t mind getting out early in the morning you can pick up some nice fish on nymphs but we encourage you to stop fishing once the river temperature reaches 70 degrees. Use nymphs or terrestrial imitations.

Lower Henry’s Fork – St. Anthony to Confluence

The fishing is about the same in this section. There are other places that should provide much better opportunities than this water. It will pick up later in September.

Henry’s Fork Tributaries

Fall River, Warm River, Buffalo River, Robinson Creek and other smaller streams in the area have been producing some good fishing. These streams stay cool during the heat of the summer providing a great opportunity to catch some trout. Use a dry/dropper rig with a hopper, stimulator or Chubby for the dry with a Prince Nymph, Pheasant Tail or Zebra Nymph for the dropper.

Montana - Madison River

Best fishing has been in the evening hours with caddis and mayfly spinners. The wade section has been best between Slide Inn and the West Fork. The float section from Lyons Bridge to Ennis hasn’t been as productive. The best fishing has been with a dry/dropper rig or a double nymph rib. BH Zebra Nymphs and Pheasant Tails have been the most productive nymphs. Trudes, hoppers and Elk Hair Caddis have been productive dries. Another good bet is to drop a black fur ant below a dry as a wet fly.

Area Lakes

Henry’s Lake is fishing well around the inlets of Targhee Creek and Duck Creek. Best patterns have been Mity Mouse, Henry’s Lake Renegade, Purple and California Leech. Indicator fishing with nymphs has also been productive.

We haven’t had any good reports from the Island Park Reservoir but things should start picking up out on the west end and near the springs.

Hebgen Lake has been the most productive stillwater fishing in the region. Gulper fishing has been good on the Madison Arm and the Grayling Arm areas. Best action is from 9 AM until the afternoon breeze comes up when Callibaetis Spinners are on the water.

South Fork of the Snake

The flow has dropped to about 9000 CFS from the Palisades Reservoir, which is about normal for this time of year. Fishing has been “good enough” on the banks and in the riffles. Use a size 16 or 18 Pink Sparkle Dun, Pink Hackle Stacker or Pink Thorax. I also like the Pink Nohackle, Limestone Cripple and Tan Easy Caddis.

Yellowstone National Park

Try the Gallatin River in the Park of U S Highway 191 towards Big Sky. Dry/droppers have been very productive in this stretch. Other good bets in Yellowstone Park are the Yellowstone River, the Lamar River, Slough Creek and Soda Butte. The Upper Gibbon has also been producing some good dry fly fishing for smaller trout. Even though the numbers are down there are some quality Cutthroat Trout in the Yellowstone River and the angling pressure has been fairly light.