There is some great mid-summer fishing in the Henry’s Fork region as the sweet sound of hoppers is in the air!
Upper Henry’s Fork – Box Canyon
Typically we can give the same report for the Box Canyon from week to week throughout the summer because things don’t change much. Use a double nymph rig with either an indicator or a larger hopper. Popular patterns include Flashback PT, Olive, Red or Brown Zebra Nymph, Copper John, Green Electric Caddis, or Skinny Nelson in size 14 – 16 with tungsten beads. As of this writing the outflow from Island Park Dam is around 852 CFS and reaming fairly consistent.
Upper Henry’s Fork – Last Chance, Harriman Ranch to Riverside Campground
There have been some very good sized trout rising on the flat water. This water has been fishing fairly well in the morning and evening hours. Once the sun comes out and warms the river fish begin sipping all kinds of terrestrials found in this area. The expected and long awaited grass hoppers are in full swing on the riparian of the Henry's fork, which means multiple hopper patterns in sizes 8 through 12 when fished fairly close to the bank just may get smashed. Smaller ant and beetle patters in red, black, and honey colors should also get the attention of these fish thruought the whole day. We very recently witnessed a prolific flying ant hatch in the area, which can be some of the most exciting dry fly fishing of the season. Later in the morning look for a few Callibaetis and PMD Spinners in sizes 14 through 16, although as we get later into September these bugs trickle off. There is also some smaller dark caddis in the morning and evening hours. Use a size 18 Spent Partridge Caddis.
Middle Henry’s Fork – Riverside Campground to the Ashton Dam
The best fishing on this section of the Henry’s Fork has been between Warm River and Ashton. Two good options are to us a double nymph rig like that described for Box Canyon or try a dry/dropper combo. Best dries are the Chubby Chernobyl, PMX and Rainy’s Hopper. You’ll catch plenty of small trout and whitefish on nymphs with a few larger browns and rainbows as a bonus. If you want to go for larger trout, try fishing a streamer in the early morning hours with a fast sinking tip line.
Lower Henry’s Fork – Ashton Dam to St. Anthony
This part of the river has really slowed as it normally does during the hotter summer months. The water temperature gets too warm during the middle part of the day and the trout become very lethargic and uninterested in chasing your fly.
Lower Henry’s Fork – St. Anthony to Confluence
The fishing is about the same in this section. There are other places that should provide much better opportunities than this water. It will pick up later in September and early October for some unbelievable streamer fishing.
Henry’s Fork Tributaries
Fall River, Warm River, Buffalo River, Robinson Creek and other smaller streams in the area have been producing some good fishing. These streams stay cool during the heat of the summer providing a great opportunity to catch some trout. Use a dry/dropper rig with a hopper, stimulator or Chubby for the dry with a Prince Nymph, Pheasant Tail or Zebra Nymph for the dropper. 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
Best fishing has been in the evening hours with caddis and mayfly spinners. The wade section has been best between Slide Inn and the West Fork. The float section from Lyons Bridge to Ennis hasn’t been as productive. The best fishing has been with a dry/dropper rig or a double nymph rib. BH Zebra Nymphs and Pheasant Tails have been the most productive nymphs. Trudes, hoppers and Elk Hair Caddis have been productive dries. Another good bet is to drop a black fur ant below a dry as a wet fly.
Henry’s Lake is fishing extremely well around the inlets of Targhee Creek and Duck Creek. Best patterns have been Mity Mouse, Henry’s Lake Renegade, Purple and California Leech. Indicator fishing with nymphs has also been productive. The indicator fishing is the best bet for catching numbers during the day, but if you stick around for the evening you may have some success on Callibaetis or smaller ants and beetle patterns fished on the surface. Throwing larger streamers, such as a olive and white double-bunny is sure to receive a few hard strikes from some of the lakes enormous brookies, cutthroat and hybrids.
"Gulper" fishing has still been good on Hebgen Lake around the Madison Arm and the Grayling Arm areas. Best action is from 9 AM until the afternoon breeze comes up when Callibaetis Spinners are on the water. This fishing should stay good as long as the water temperature stays warm enough for the bugs.
South Fork of the Snake
The flow has dropped to about 8960 CFS from the Palisades Reservoir, which is about normal for this time of year. Fishing has been “good enough” on the banks and in the riffles, the high waters from early in the summer have shaken things up down there. Use a size 16 or 18 Pink Sparkle Dun, Pink Hackle Stacker or Pink Thorax. I also like the Pink Nohackle, Limestone Cripple and Tan X-Caddis. Throwing larger hoppers or chubby’s on the bank will produce some eats, and dropping a smaller nymph off the dry is another productive set-up.
Yellowstone National Park
Try the Gallatin River in the Park of U S Highway 191 towards Big Sky. Dry/droppers have been very productive in this stretch. Other good bets in Yellowstone Park are the Yellowstone River, the Lamar River, Slough Creek and Soda Butte. The Upper Gibbon has also been producing some good dry fly fishing for smaller trout.