Upper Henry’s Fork
We are still seeing higher temperatures in the mid to high 70's range which has kept the hoppers and terrestrials alive, but we haven’t seen any good Mahogany Dun or Blue Wing Olive hatches yet. We aren't’t discouraged though due to the fact that the forecast tells us that by next week we should be down to the mid 60's. This should turn on the hatches and we should see a lot more rising fish.
Box Canyon is now down to 349 CFS which means I would not recommend floating it in a drift boat. With the cold weather at night and in the morning, the streamer fishing has still been quite good. We have seen good nymph fishing with a double nymph rig with zebra nymphs, hot Wire prince, and flashback tungsten pheasant tails. A hopper/dropper still works in the lower sections of the float.
The Ranch is still fishing well enough, but with the change of flows and the cold nights...things are a little tricky. The Trico and Calibaetis hatches have pretty much turned off and we aren't’t seeing a whole lot of bugs at this time, but we are starting to see some Mahogany Duns, Midges, and Blue Wing Olives. During the warmer times of day a lot of our success can be attributed to hoppers, ants, and beetles. As I mentioned, the water levels have dropped quite a bit, so the weed beds have been exposed and fighting those tough rainbows has been a challenge.
Riverside to Ashton Reservoir
The Canyon below Riverside Campground down to Upper Mesa falls is a gorgeous section of river. The fish very rarely get hit down there and some of them surprise you with lightning fast runs. Granted there is not a lot of rod breaking fish down there. We very rarely get reports from this section because it is not that famous spring creek water like the Ranch. I do know that hoppers, Chubby Chernobyls, and bead heads have been working. What I am trying to say is for those fishermen trying to get out and “get away from it all” this stretch is a very good option. It has two things that everyone needs now and again, solitude and good fishing. I do not recommend floating this section, it is very technical, and can be reached by the wade fisherman in multiple places if you just pick up the map. This section sees very little traffic and sinks a few boats every year.
The Warm River to Ashton section of the river has been pretty good as of late. It involves a lot of nymph fishing as well as a good possibility of catching a nice brown trout on a streamer. A hopper/dropper pattern is still effective with throwing a chubby chernobyl trailed with a pheasant tail, zebra midge, or even a copper john along the banks and in the deeper holes and channels. There are quite a bit of white fish, but it is worth it to catch those when you land that big brown trout.
The lower end of the Henry’s Fork is a great stretch to fish in the fall. As the temperatures continue to drop we will see an increase in surface feeding fish. As I mentioned before, with this warmer weather we are still seeing hoppers. As it warms up in the later morning and early afternoon the hoppers come out and so do the big fish. With work still in progress on the Ashton Dam there is still some flow fluctuation that kicks up a lot of weeds at certain times of the day. If possible watch the flow charts from the regional water information link on this page to predict the best time to avoid the weeds and such.
Chernobyl and hopper patterns have been successful along with zebra midges on the Madison. Throw nymphs in the morning and by mid-day throw terrestrials. Work the banks but not too hard. There are fish in the middle of the river too. They’ll eat the same stuff in the middle that they would if it landed against the banks.
South Fork of the Snake
The South Fork is still slower than we really like it to be. Streamers are probably the best bet right now to catch a nice solid fish. A mutant stonefly is a great choice to get some work done along the banks. You can also hit the riffles with the adult stonefly along with a pink attractor of some sort. Maybe a pink PMD or a Yellow Sallie.
With all the rivers opening up again in the park due to cooling weather, the fishing has been very acceptable. Dark streamer are the thing to use at this time along with leech patterns, baetis parachutes, and pink bellied hoppers. Green and Gray Drakes are bringing up fish in the Lamar drainage areas. With the cooler mornings, being on the river before 11 AM wouldn't’t do anyone any good.
Fall River is a great river to fish during this transitional period. There is nothing of real size, but if you can’t help but get out on the river then put a hopper on the end of your line, trail it with a nymph (Pheasant Tail preferably) and throw behind any rock, and you’re sure to catch a fish. It may not be very big but if that’s all you want to do is catch fish then you should do just fine.
Warm River is another smaller river that won’t hold anything of real size, but you can catch plenty of fish on a parachute adams in the slower moving pockets and also in the riffles.
With this time of year comes the time for fish to “come home” to spawn. Henry’s Lake sees many cutthroat come up to spawn. Be ready with some nymphs and attractors. They will mostly hit the nymph but you will get them to occasionally roll on your attractor. The mouth of tributaries are great places to be to catch a real nice brook trout or hybrid.
Due to all the water needed in the valley, the Island Park Reservoir is pretty low. Leeches and other nymphs are recommended. A darker color or olive color damsel is a choice fly along with a san juan worm or even a rubberlegs.
"Gulpers" are pretty much over at Hebgen Lake. The same kind of leech patterns and lake fly patterns as the reservoir would be your best bet. You might also be able to get something to rise to your parachute adams and maybe drop a pheasant tail behind it to hook up on a nice fish.