The fishing in Box Canyon has been amazing this past week. The golden stones are hatching in good numbers and the trout are looking up! You can have a great day in the box fishing a foam golden stone in size 10 and 12. I would recommend fishing with Zebra Midges, bullet quills, rubber legs, and mic drops in the Box Canyon. If time allows, I would suggest being on the water early. If you are on the water around 7ish you will notice a couple of great things. The first thing you will notice is that for the most part you are going to have the river to yourself. The next great thing is there will be no paddle boards or innertubes, or that guy who parks in the middle of the ramp and unloads a variety of floatation devices. That’s the guy who whips into the ramp whos’ vehicle is like a clown car and people just keep getting out of. He will stay parked right in the middle of the ramp for 30 to 45 minutes unless you say something to him. Take pity on that poor feller and be nice to him as he/she is probably suffering too.
The Railroad ranch has been a hit and miss this week. Flows have come down to 800cfs and may continue to adjust as irrigation demand changes. I have not seen honey ants yet, but I would think that they should be right around the corner. The hopper fishing should start to really get going soon. It looks like more rain later in the week so that might slow down the morning trico hatch.
In the last few years, the Ranch has been amazing with the water quality and bug hatches, but this year it’s different. The water quality has been poor this season, and it is affecting the hatches making the fishing very unpredictable. I personally have tried contacting someone at the Henry’s Fork Foundation and as of right now I have not heard back from them. There has been many people voicing their concerns and trying to get answers from the foundation has proven very difficult. The mission statement for the Henry’s Fork Foundation reads as follows:
The Henry’s Fork Foundation is the only organization whose sole purpose is to conserve, protect, and restore the unique fisheries, wildlife, and aesthetic qualities of the Henry’s Fork and its watershed.
So where is the foundation? It’s obvious something has changed with the fishing on the upper river. The hatches are slim to none and finding a rising fish is almost impossible. The water has been dirty for most of the season. Has the foundation lost its way? Has the South Fork initiative become the sole focus? Everybody knows there is a lot of money in that area. Perhaps hosting trips all over the planet is more important. Maybe the politics of today are more important to the foundation. I don’t know. These are the rumors that are flying around and the foundation needs to address all of them. People want answers and I don’t have them.
Warm River to Ashton
This is a great section of the Henrys Fork. Try to avoid the weekends as it can be really busy with tubers. If the weekend is the only time you can fish, then I would go early. You will have to sort through some smaller fish, but some larger fish are looking up. Take some nymphs and hoppers with you. I would also recommend taking Mic drops in a size 16 because they have been working great.
Hopper fishing on the lower river is really starting to pick up. I would fish early in the morning and then again in the afternoon. If we get the the rain and lower temps this weekend then I would fish all day. Pink and Tan hoppers with small black rubber legs and bullet quills.
The South Fork of the Snake has really been great. The flows have been reduced to just under 10,000 cfs. I always get excited this time of the year as the mutant stones should get going any minute. The riffles are starting to fish very well with PMD’s, and the banks are still fishing well with hoppers.
The flows came up after this weekends rain storm, but they are on the way back down and will continue to do so until more moisture comes. The old dam to hog hollow has been fishing ok with hoppers and should continue to improve as the water drops. The upper river has fished well and hatches have been great. Once again, the weekends on the upper Teton can be busy with the pleasure floaters.
The Madison has continued to fish well, and the hoot hour restrictions are from the 8-mile access and downstream. The mornings and evenings have been the best times to be on the water. PMD patterns and caddis and mutant stones. Don’t be afraid to throw streamers and nocturnal stones early in the mornings. I like to fish with copper or crystal zonkers for streamers and Berrett’s golden stones for the mutant stones. I would have Lawson’s caddis emergers and Lawson’s EZ caddis in tan. Lime Stone Cripples and PMD Hackle Stackers will also work well.
The park is another great option. The Yellowstone River has continued to fish well and the cutties continue to eat dry flies. I would have golden stone patterns and bullet quills for a dropper. The Fire hole and the Madison are both getting warm. I would avoid the fire hole and fish the Madison early. Callibeatis, Caddis and PMDs are still around in good numbers. The Gallitan river is worth a look. The big salmon flies are done, but there are plenty of goldens and still a few flavs. I would make sure to have both tan and pink hoppers with you.