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Fishing Report

Jun 22, 2012 | Mike Lawson

First off we offer our sincere apology that the fishing report has not been updated since June 3. Hopefully we can redeem ourselves with a glowing report now. There’s a lot of good stuff to report so I’ll get right to it.


Upper Henry’s Fork

We’ve had some reports of big fish on the Henry’s Fork above Island Park Reservoir. They are likely reservoir fish that have moved up the river to spawn and haven’t yet made their way back to the lake. This part of the river gets some heavy tourist traffic on the weekends but there is good fishing with Green Drakes, Pale Morning Duns and caddis. We also expect Brown Drakes to start showing up any day.

Box Canyon has been very productive with nymphs. By now most of the fish have had enough of rubberlegs dangled in front of them so your best bet is to use a tandem rig of bead heads. My favorites are size 16 olive Zebra Nymph with a size 16 red Two Bit Hooker as a dropper. Even though the big salmonflies have come and gone their slightly smaller cousins, Golden Stoneflies, will continue to emerge and fly out on the water to lay eggs for another month or so. The trout are still looking up. Use a size 8 or 10 Henry’s Fork Foam Golden Stone or Chubby Chernobyl. Dropping a bead from the big dry can increase your odds if you’re not a dry fly purist.

Flat Water

It’s happening from the Box take-out at Last Chance downstream to Pinehaven. Up to now the river has been slow starting because of cool weather but  things are heating up earlier in the day. Look for spinners first thing, PMDs and caddis later in the morning, Green Drakes at noon, and caddis and spinners in the evening. We also expect to see Brown Drakes in the evening hours on the lower Ranch near Wood Road #16. They’ll get up above Osborne Bridge a day or two later. We’ve had some great reports in the shop and our guide clients have scored some big time action in the Ranch. You’ll need some size 16 PMD and Rusty Spinners, size 16 PMD Duns and emergers, size 16 – 18 caddis patterns, size 10 Green Drake Duns and emergers, and some ants and beetles. We can get more specific if you stop in the shop or give us a call. Most of the same stuff is happening on the lower river. We’re already seeing Flavs down there so they should start up soon in the upper river. If you’re here in Henry’s Fork Country this week be thankful. If not this report will likely put you in a foul mood.


Riverside to Ashton Reservoir

Many anglers don’t pay much attention to this section of the Henry’s Fork after the salmonflies are gone. If you want to get away from the crowds and have some good fishing you should consider fishing from Riverside Campground downstream to Mesa Falls. There are a number of access points to get to the river. We’ve had a couple of trips floating Cardiac Canyon with good reports of trout on Golden Stone patterns.

The section from Warm River to Ashton has been fishing well. Golden Stones have been producing some dry fly action while nymphs have produced the best action. I like to use a Chubby Chernobyl with a Zebra Nymph dropper. This is a good stretch of the river to get lots of action with small to medium sized rainbows with a good opportunity to hook a large brown. Most anglers float this section but there is plenty of good wading access from the river road that follows the river from the Mesa Falls Road to Highway 20.


Ashton Tailwater

Fishing has been hot and heavy. Green Drakes are moving some big trout during the middle of the day. The fish have also been keying on Pale Morning Duns during the late morning hours. There have been some good hatches of Flavs in the afternoon. We’ve also been seeing some Gray Drake Spinners but we don’t expect to see the intensity of this hatch that we experienced last year. These drakes do best during big water years. All in all the Ashton section has been producing great dry fly fishing from the Ora Bridge all the way downstream to the Fun Farm Bridge near St. Anthony. The only downside of this is that the word is out and the fishing pressure is high.

Golden Stones are also bringing some big fish to the surface. Some of the best fishing with Golden Stones has been from Chester through the lower section of the river below St Anthony.

For more specific information about the hatches don’t hesitate to check the hatch chart with more details about these insects and patterns to use to match them.


Madison River

We’ve been receiving a lot of calls about fishing on the Madison, especially concerning the salmonflies. There have been some reports of big bugs showing up downstream from Wolfe Creek. With the warm weather conditions we expect the salmonflies to be in full swing any day.

Fishing has also been good with nymphs and caddis dry flies. Brown or olive Zebra Nymphs, Olive Electric Caddis, and Brown Rubberlegs have been productive.


South Fork of the Snake

Fishing has been very good with nymphs but spotty with dry flies. We expect the salmonflies to start coming off by the first of July. If past experience holds true, the BOR will kick up the stream flows about when the big flies begin. They seem to do it every year about the 4th of July.

The fish have pulled into the riffles and the PMDs have been starting. Look for these fish to start feeding on the surface with greater intensity as the mayfly activity increases. In the meantime use black or brown Rubberlegs, brown or olive Zebra Nymphs, Tungsten Pheasant Tail and Two Bit Hooker Nymphs.


Yellowstone Park

Fishing has been holding strong on the Firehole with good hatches of Pale Morning Duns and caddis. Expect the dry fly fishing to slow down as the hot weather warms the water temperature but good evening fishing can be expected for the next several weeks. Nymphs and soft hackles have also been productive. There have been some decent caddis hatches in the evening on the Madison. We expect Brown Drakes in the Gibbon Meadows any day. In the meantime use an attractor with a bead head nymph dropper in the pocket water below the falls.



Warm River and the Buffalo River have been fishing very well. It’s hard beat a Parachute Adams, Renegade, or Prince Nymph for brookies and small rainbows on both streams. The salmonflies have come and gone on Fall River but the fishing has been very good with attractor dry flies with bead head nymph droppers.



Henry’s Lake has fished well since the season opened on Memorial Day weekend. You’ll do better if you have a boat because the fish are scattered. Float tubers have been taking some nice fish near the cliffs, creek mouths near the state park and the Staley Springs area. Expect the damselfly hatch to start soon. Fish will move in closer to shore as the damselflies start to emerge. You’ll need a sinking line to fish Henry’s Lake with Brown, Olive, Purple and Peacock Leeches. We have had some reports of trout feeding on Callibaetis mayflies on the surface.