Welcome back to the second installment of fishing reports for the 2023 season! Right now, on the Henry’s Fork we currently stand in a lull period as the salmon fly hatch has mostly concluded through sections of the river and the mayflies have yet to hatch in staggering numbers. For that reason, this report will look to go into not only what is fishing good now, but also outlook on the future of the mayfly hatches of the Henry’s Fork. Along with, when other rivers should be looking to fish better as higher flows decrease on some of our favorite fisheries. As always for more information and fly recommendations stop by the shop or give us a call.
Fishing in the Box compared to other sections of the Henry’s Fork has been slower, flows currently stand at 813 cfs. The salmon flies hadn’t really hatched in good numbers but fliers and bugs on banks might be seen through the canyon. The best bet for finding fish will be nymphing through runs and dry dropping looking for a curious fish to eat on top. Fishing this section might not be your best bet at finding success compared to other sections and the bigger ones can be few and far between when looking at what other stretches have to offer and are getting ready to offer.
Harriman State Park
The fishing season, as many of you might already know, has recently opened on the Ranch. For anglers wanting to fish the Ranch, caddis and spinner patterns would be my choice of flies. From fishing the opener this past Thursday, I saw good amounts of each of the two priority mentioned bugs throughout various parts of the day. I also wouldn’t be too concerned with getting on the water incredibly early as you wait for the day to progress and warm up. In terms of future hatches be on the lookout for both the green and brown drakes within the coming week to week and a half. This hatch will probably happen after the hatch down below Ashton due to the warmer temperatures down the hill. There are a decent amount of PMD’s already but they should come out in greater numbers as the weeks progress as well. Please also remember to be courteous to your fellow angler so that we can all enjoy the Ranch and what it has to offer.
Henry's Fork - Mesa Falls to Ashton
Most of the salmon flies have passed out of the canyon sections however the remnants of the hatch might be felt in the upper sections of the canyon all the way up to Riverside Campground. Fishing from Stone Bridge down has mainly turned into a nymphing game. Some bugs can be seen coming off like caddis and PMD’s but the fish aren’t as keened on these as they are the bugs underwater, like smaller rubber legs or PMD nymph patterns. We’ve seen a few drakes flying around as most of the hatches on the Henry’s Fork happen on the Warm River section before they happen on other stretches.
Henry's Fork - Below Ashton
The salmon flies come and gone but there is plenty of good dry fly fishing. Flows out of the Ashton dam currently stand at 1870 cfs making things easier for wading access compared to weeks past. There are some golden stones flying around down low making the use of a golden stone dropper good for finding fish tight to banks, adding a bigger pheasant tail would be my choice of nymph as we wait on the green drakes to hatch. The drakes should start coming off on the lower here within the next week to week and a half at the latest so be on the lookout for those within the coming days. In terms of smaller bugs there are a handful of PMD’s hatching along with a good amount of caddis. Searching for fish with the dropper rig and then changing out to what bugs you see coming off as the day progresses could bode well for finding fish. As usual this section will have its fair share of anglers especially with the upcoming hatches.
The Madison has yet to whip up into full shape but has subsided in terms of water and color. Right now, to find fish on the Madison nymphing with a bigger rubber legs and caddis pattern will still offer the best chance to catch fish that are hunkered down as we wait on the adults of each of the two bugs to start coming off within the coming weeks. Throwing a flashy streamer pattern would be another good option to find a couple better fish, having a flashy streamer will do good to catch the attention of the fish in the colored-up water. For all those that love to fish the Madison it should be shaping up here sooner rather than later, giving anglers another great option for fishing once it does.
Fishing on the South Fork has more or less been the same since the last report. There isn’t a lot happening on the surface but anglers have been having success finding fish that are eating lower in the water column. For preferred fly choice fishing the big rubber leg should still be in your arsenal for the South Fork along with heavier beaded nymphs. In terms of future hatches to come on the South Fork be on the lookout for the salmon flies. If the hatch this season is anything like lasts, then we all should be in for a good time.
Flows near Saint Anthony on the Teton are at 2720 cfs, which is higher than what most folk would like to fish this river at. Because of this, the Teton has taken a while to shape up with the amount of snow we got this winter. Once flows subside this river should fish well with the excess of water from increased snowfall, stay tuned for the next report which will more than likely have better info on the specifics of the Teton.
The Firehole is still fishing good with consistent PMD hatches amongst white millers. The Firehole most likely doesn’t have too much longer before the river comes to warm to be fishable due to the geothermally heated water. However, once it shuts down other rivers should be fishing better than they would be now. Waters like the Gallatin and Yellowstone should be starting to look better as the run-off season subsides. Fishing the salmon fly hatch on both these rivers can make for some good fun once they happen in future weeks to come.