The 2022 season is upon us! We are looking forward to another great year on the Henrys Fork, and our surrounding waters. It has been a long winter but we are praying for more snow. We started strong but the current snow pack is at 70%. Island Park Reservoir is currently at 83% of capacity and is due to fill sometime in May.
This an exciting time of the year on the Henrys Fork; as things warm up a little we start to see midges on the surface, and on the right day pods of trout will begin to feed on large midge clusters. Access to the Box Canyon boat ramp is not accessible due to the snow. If you feel up to it, you could drag a raft down however with low flows and high snow banks it is going to be a challenge getting it out. I would recommend walking down with a pair of snow shoes to fish. Zebra midges in 16s and 18s are a must have this time of the year. I like red and olive. Black or brown rubber legs in size 8s and 10s and handful of San Juan worms will complete your winter fly selection. Your winter dry fly game is simple all I use is Griffith gnats in size 16 and 18. Some will tell you that a size 16 is too big but I have watched trout feeding on midge clusters the size of a basketball. The big plus is you can see your fly! The streamer game can also be very fun in the box this time of the year. Swing a copper zonker into some slack water and hang on! I also really like Mike Lawson’s olive wool head sculpin or his olive matuka.
Warm River to Ashton
Access is limited. The boat access at stone bridge is blocked by a wall of snow but you could slide a boat around it. Jump Off Canyon is also blocked off. Again, if you had to, you could slide boat around it. It’s going to be a job! If you want to take out at the county boat ramp, make sure to check first as the ice jams can really build up making it impossible to get out. Your fly selection will not change in this section of river. I would leave the boat at home and wade above the bridge where the warm river and Henry’s Fork come together. Deep nymph’s rigs can really pay off in that section of water.
Ashton to St Anthony
Once again boat access is limited. The guys with rafts have been floating from Ora Bridge to Vernon Bridge. I would make sure to check the Chester Back Water before you commit to floating. Large chunks shelf ice can make it impossible to get a boat out. There is plenty of access in the winter if you are willing to put on some layers and wader up. Keep an eye on the weather and try to get out during the warmest part of the day. The fly selection for the lower river is no different. Worms, zebra midges and rubber legs for nymphing and Griffiths gnats for the dry fly game. We are expecting blue wing olives and cannot wait for the Mother’s Day caddis! Check out our online store for some great fly selections!