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Fishing Report

Sep 28, 2011 | Mike Lawson

An overall fishing report could probably be summarized by using one word...tough. The late season warm weather we've been experiencing has been enjoyable, but at the same time has made for tough fishing conditions with limited hatches.

At this time of the year the weather outlook will usually foretell the fishing...

bad weather = good fishing


good weather = bad fishing

Upper Henry’s Fork – Box Canyon

The Box Canyon has been fishing okay with flows still holding steady around 700 CFS. This is well above average with the Island Park Reservoir still very full. In the afternoons you’ll probably find yourself spending more time picking grass off your flies than actually casting.

Success has been had with size 18 or smaller bead head nymphs and 5X fluorocarbon tippet…it’s just that time of the year.

Upper Henry’s Fork – Last Chance, Harriman Ranch to Riverside Campground

The flat waters of Last Chance and Harriman have been challenging even for skilled anglers. The warm weather we’ve been experiencing has prolonged the presence of small hoppers and there are Mahogany Duns and Baetis hatches on the lower stretches given the proper weather conditions.

Middle Henry’s Fork – Riverside Campground to the Ashton Dam

Warm River to Ashton has been a “safe bet” for putting a bend in your rod. They might not always be very large as the quantity usually prevails over the size of trout caught…but we have had a few nice browns caught on streamers which usually is the case this time of year as they’ll start preparing for the spawn.

Lower Henry’s Fork – Ashton Dam to St. Anthony

Work on the Ashton Dam is still making the river off-color. We’ve been told that work should start subsiding and the river should start clearing up…but we were also told that a month ago. A few of our guides have gone down there on their own and have only been able to move a few fish.

The cleanest water will be found on the Fall River side below Chester Dam.

Lower Henry’s Fork – St. Anthony to Confluence

Same as above.

Henry’s Fork Tributaries

We’ve actually had some good reports from Fall River and Warm River. On average these fish are smaller than those found in Henry’s Fork, but they tend to be much less finicky and more willing to reward your efforts.

Hopper-dropper fishing with small bead nymphs will be the most productive technique.

Madison River

Few reports from the Madison outside the park. However, our guides have been finding a few trout using ants and small hoppers. You’ll also want to start throwing streamers with the anticipation of the browns coming out of Quake Lake.

Area Lakes

Henry’s Lake has probably been the best ticket in town. However, our guides did report that today was a lot slower than it’s usually been. Howard Creek, Targhee Creek, and around Staley Springs have been the hot spots.

Most success has been had using a floating line while retrieving small bead head nymphs and leeches, as well as some action on small black ants and Callibaetis.

No reports from Hebgen or Island Park Reservoir.

South Fork of the Snake

Flows have dropped to just below 8,000 CFS. This is still well above normal for this time of the year and it seems that there are only a few PMD’s left to hatch on the river. You’ll find a few trout still willing to come up to a hopper, but fishing will be tough overall until cooler weather and lower flows trigger the Mahogany Duns and Baetis mayflies.

Yellowstone National Park

No reports yet of brown trout movement into the Madison from Hebgen Lake. The Firehole is starting to produce again with Baetis hatches as well as large cream colored caddis late in the afternoon. We’ve also heard that the Soda Butte and Lamar are producing trout on small terrestrials.