This coming two weeks is one of my favorite times to fish the Harriman State Park reach of the river. Crowds are definitely down, and more enjoyable weather prevails. Surely there are many approaches to fish the river during this time, and all can produce under the right conditions. Because it produces for me, my favorite is through long drifts around cover using a hopper pattern. I prefer using this technique with traditional patterns. That is because I believe their imprint on the smooth surface of the river here is closer to that of the natural insect than those patterns fashioned from foam and rubber. And this technique with traditional patterns produces for me on other streams with similar surfaces. On water of broken surface this difference is minimized. When presenting with a long drift be aware of drag, strive for a natural drift as long as possible, and wade as little as is practical.
Henry’s Fork 9-2-14
Henry’s Fork 8-23-14
From Last Chance to Pinehaven terrestrial patterns will bring the best daytime action. Fish these around overhead cover. For the mayfly enthusiasts tricos and speckled duns are emerging, so their dun and spinner patterns are a must, especially in the morning. In the Coffee Pot area terrestrial patterns are best with caddis life cycle patterns doing well in the evening.
Henry’s Fork 8-12-14
If you fish the Last Chance-Pinehaven reach, your best bet for action is through terrestrial patterns. Mornings offer action from fish seeking spinners, but after that, prospect banks and channels between weed beds with hopper patterns. This technique, although a bit uncertain, can be educating through learning favorite locations big fish move to for a meal. Be sure to look for flying ants, because as Mike Lawson offers, fish really key on them during their presence, and even in their absence this time of year. Forget the river below Ashton Dam until we begin the late summer cool down. Cardiac Canyon waters are best fished with terrestrial patterns or two nymph rigs.
Mike Lawson offers
Mike Lawson offers that AM spinner fishing in the river from Last Chance to Pinehaven is productive in the morning with patterns for green drakes, PMDs, and Flavs working best. During afternoon hours PMDs and in overcast afternoons flavs bring about action. As expected, the fishing in the Henry’s Lake Outlet portion is slow. Increased water coming out of the lake did not happen until later when fish around the lake’s shoreline had moved to deeper water. Thus fewer fish were available to get into the Outlet via those increased flows.The river below Ashton Dam is beginning to warm because of irrigation water output. Look for action there to begin diminishing, but an early AM streamer can bring up some big trout.
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Henry’s Fork 6-28-14
Add flavs to the list of mayflies emerging in the Last Chance-Harriman State Park area where fishing has been good. Still some green drakes and gray drakes with a few golden stones are left on the river below Ashton Dam. Now that South Fork fishing is picking up big time, as Jimmy related a few days ago, there will be a shift of interest away from the Ashton to Chester part of the river and therefore fewer boats. So with fewer anglers present from Ashton to Chester there is opportunity to enjoy fish responding to those drakes and golden stones before they die out.
Henry’s Fork 6-21-14
Fishing just below Ashton Dam was very good two days ago. No green drakes , but volumes of caddis and PMDs. When the breeze blew some gray drake spinners in fishing picked up with bigger fish responding. Further down the river green drakes are still going, but diminishing. If you fish the river from Ashton Dam to below Chester Dam, expect company in the form of boats and wading folks—lots of both. Same thing on the upper river in the Last Chance-Harriman-Riverside part: good fishing (green drakes, PMDs, caddis, a few golden stones), but plenty of company (some polite, some not so polite).
Henry’s Fork 6-3-14
As some of you may have heard, Highway 20 construction this summer and fall on Ashton Hill can result in up to half-hour travel delays. That means plan your travel to include this inconvenience that could impact fishing. An alternative to reach the river at Harriman State Park-Last Chance and above is to travel via the Mesa Falls Scenic Highway. Doing so adds about twelve miles onto travel. But it is a scenic trip and much better than waiting for who knows how long in a mile-long traffic jam sure to include many 18-wheelers and slow moving recreational vehicles.
Henry’s Fork 5-27-14
Big attraction here is the stonefly emergence. Fish are responding best to dry patterns from Lower Mesa Falls to the Chester backwaters. Warm River to Ashton remains a productive float trip for presenting big dry fly patterns. Forget fly-fishing below Chester Dam because Fall River is putting in big time run-off. No stoneflies flying significantly in Box Canyon to date, but big nymph patterns should work any time now. Be sure to have caddisfly life cycle patterns on board when fishing from the Riverside area downstream to Chester backwaters.
Henry’s Fork 5-20-14
The season of anticipation is over! That means the big stoneflies are out and flying in the Warm River to Ashton Reservoir section of the river. Fish are still taking nymphs, but some are keying on egg-laying adults and will tend more to do so in the upcoming days. Look for the big bugs to be out soon below Ashton Dam, and depending on weather, look for a progression of their emergence on the river above Warm River. Rubberleg patterns as well as any traditional large stonefly nymph pattern will work well, but as time goes by and fish key on more available adults, there is a huge array of effective dry patterns. All you must do is find that big, hungry trout and throw him or her any one of these! All this being said,don’t forget that some fish may prefer caddis life cycle patterns.
Henry’s Fork 5-17-14
We have reports of good nymph fishing on the lower river, especially from Warm River to Ashton Reservoir. Large rubber legs and stonefly nymph patterns are producing especially for those folks fly-fishing from a boat. Fish also are responding to BWO and caddis life cycle patterns with overcast skies or storms being best times for BWO activity.
So far very little water is coming out of Henry’s Lake into the Henry’s Lake Outlet part of the river. This means that few fish are present there.