By Justin Waters
Well folks, with winter just around the corner this report will be a little repetitive. I would like to thank all the people who have come into the shop and share their fish stories, and a good conversation with me throughout the season. You guys are what make this job the best way one could spend their life. Today looks like a typical fall day with some cloud cover and a nip to the air, and I am looking forward to getting those last casts in Last Chance before I head to the coast for the winter. The shop does stay open all winter, but I will not be here again until May, so I will see you folks then.
We had our first snow fall already this year, and it was a good one down in the valley around St. Anthony, but it has for the most part all melted and the roads and river banks are clear. We do have some nasty weather in the forecast towards the end of the week, and it looks like possible snow for the weekend.
Upper Henry’s Fork
We are still having low flows (155 CFS) through the Box Canyon due to the dry season and low reservoir. Floating at this level is out of the question for hard sided boats, however this makes for great walk and wade access. Size 18 & 20 Zebra Midges in an assortment of colors is just about all you need through there. Other small beaded mayfly nymphs will work as well, and don't be afraid to throw larger streamers to move larger trout. Remember that the Box Canyon is now open to year-round fishing.
The Ranch is getting sporadic hatches of Blue Winged Olives, and lots of Midges. The Blue Wings are going to start slowing down as we are getting farther into winter. So you better hurry up if you have not got your fix of the flat water yet, because the ranch closes at the end of November. Bring your good eyes because the bugs are quite small.
Riverside to Ashton Reservoir
You can still get some big browns in this section on streamers, but now you will have to be careful not to step all over their redds. We need these fish to spawn safely so be careful. Again top water action is slowing down, but midges and BWO's can be found.
Midges are plentiful down here, and still some sporadic BWO's. You can still get big browns stripping streamers and dropping glo bugs, I will again remind you to be careful not to step all over their reds. Once again, overcast days will produce the best fishing. Remember that from the Vernon Bridge upstream to the Ashton Dam closes after November.
Streamers and midges outside of the park. Remember Yellowstone is now closed to fishing.
South Fork of the Snake
There has been dramatic flow changes on the South Fork of the Snake as they've have dropped the levels to 1,100 CFS which again makes wade fishing easier. I would say best bet again would be Midges and bring some BWO's in case you come across a good hatch. Present streamers on overcast days as well.
Yellowstone National Park
Closed to fishing.
Henry's Lake is still fishing really well. Try pretty much anything from scuds, to small nymphs, to leeches, and larger marabou streamers. The lake is open through January 1st.