The best fishing on the lower river is from Warm River to Ashton, but that section is beginning to turn to early and late in the day for the best results. PMDs, a few goldens and flavs are present with caddis providing PM action. Don’t forget to pitch a steamer pattern around overhead cover as the sun sets. Crowds have thinned everywhere on the river. Much of that is because of the activity on the South Fork. On the upper river nymphing seems the most effective way to action in Box Canyon where recreationists will share the water. Further downstream at Last Chance and Harriman crowds have thinned a bit and mayfly hatches are off their peaks. AM and PM spinner falls provide good action with standard rusty spinner patterns being most effective. PMD and decreasing flav activity provide some daytime action with a variety of caddis taking over during PMs.
Henry’s Fork, July 18th, 2020
Henry’s Fork, July 11th, 2020
Time to enjoy what is left of the great mayfly hatches on the upper river. Brown drakes and flavs are beginning to diminish. Soon PMDs and speckled duns will make up the major mayflies. Caddis of many types will be around. But just around the corner terrestrial insects will rule the roost. Ants and hopper will be of major attraction to trout.
Look for the lower river to begin warming to the point that early and late in the day will be the best times to present caddis life cycle patterns as well as those for terrestrial insects. Also look for boat traffic to drop, but an increase in recreational boaters.
Henry’s Fork, July 4th, 2020
We are past the peaks of the big stone fly and green drake activities. Now is the time on the upper river for flavs and PMDs during daytime and brown drakes during evenings. Look for a lot of folks being on Harriman East, especially using Wood road 16 to access the river during evenings. Because of the South Fork turning on crowds are thinning, but enthusiasts remain. This also applies to the lower river where good PMD and caddis activity remains, but the usual summer warming will begin any day.
Henry’s Fork, June 27th, 2020
Along the upper river major mayfly hatches move on from continuing PMDs to include those of flavs and brown drakes. Caddis accompany them during PMs. So the “name of the game” is finding which of these fish are taking: PMDs, flavs or caddis. Go to the water with life cycle patterns for all of these. Brown drakes coming on will most likely be what trout look for during the evening hours. If you fish at twilight, don’t overlook drifting a hair mouse pattern close to banks adjacent to water offering good cover. You could encounter your fish of the year!
The crowds on the lower river are a bit thinner now. The above aquatic insects are important to trout as are gray drakes during evening hours.
Henry’s Fork, June 23rd, 2020
The big stoneflies have come and gone from the river. Straggling goldens can be around on upper sections including Coffee Pot and wind blown into the Flat Ranch section. Now the big mayfly emergence array has taken over. Green drakes are diminishing on the lower river, but flavs, gray drakes & PMDs are taking over to be accompanied with PM caddis and a growing amount of sallies. The trick here is to find trout’s preference at a given time then present life cycle patterns for that preference. If you want fly-fishing company, the Box Canyon to Riverside section is for you.
The array of mayfly activity ( minus gray drakes in number) continues on the upper river. From the top end of the Mesa Falls Scenic Highway to view towards the river looks like a massive trailer camp. The Last Chance rest stop is full of parked vehicles, and there you can hear foreign languages and English language accents from all corners of the earth. Dozens of boats will pass you by along the river during a day of fishing. All this is for good reason: this section of the river currently offers arguably the best trout fishing in the country. So be patient and considerate if you plan a visit!
Henry’s Fork, June 13th, 2020
All sorts of hatches are taking place on the river. The lower river still offers golden stoneflies hatching along with PMDs, PM caddis and green drakes starting. Hopefully gray drakes will join this array. On the upper river golden stones predominate over giant stoneflies and green drakes will start being important any day. PMDs and PM caddis offer action almost everywhere. All this means this near best of all trout streams is attracting fly-fishers in numbers in accordance with the variety and number of aquatic insects for trout to enjoy. You will certainly have company almost everywhere on the river whether you wade or use a boat. Be patient and diplomatic. Remember that many visitors are coming from areas not as fortunate as locally with respect to the pandemic impact and social unrest. Show them how lucky we are to live in eastern Idaho.
Henry’s Fork, June 9th, 2020
Golden stoneflies are coming out on the Warm River to Ashton section of the river, and some giant stoneflies remain. Goldens will now work their way up the river and such as Box Canyon will be the next host. The next big activity, soon to happen on the lower river, is that from green drakes. That activity, too, will come to certain sections of the upper river. We are all hoping for a return of gray drakes in past intensities around the middle of this month on the lower river. All these happenings and more to come are the reasons why this great and unique river attracts crowds of enthusiasts whether boating or wading. Certainly the crowds can test one’s patience, but tolerance can come based on the fact that few of those present are lucky enough to have such a treasure on their doorstep as do we in east Idaho.
Henry’s Fork, June 6th, 2020
The big bugs are in Box Canyon, and fish are looking for them. This makes the choice of flies obvious: big floating patterns. The word is out, so look for a lot of boating and wading anglers there. The green drakes should appear in numbers to attract fish on the lower river any day now. This will help spread out fly-fishing interest on the river.
Henry’s Fork, June 2nd, 2020
Most boat traffic now is on the Warm River to Ashton section of the river. But the most fish responding to the stone fly hatch is from Riverside Campground down to Bear Gulch with activity in Box Canyon coming on. Look for boat traffic on these sections to be on the increase. Give the lower river some more days before fish there begin looking for stoneflies again after digesting those from the early days of the hatch.
Henry’s Fork, May 30th, 2020
The big stonefly hatch peak has passed the river below Ashton Dam. These bugs are just beginning to fly in number in the Hatchery Ford area. So the event is on its way to Box Canyon and beyond. For the river below Ashton Dam wait a matter of days and depending on weather and water temperature, fish will have digested their bugs and be looking for more until the next big hatch ( green or gray drakes?) comes along.