Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

Henry’s Fork May 28th, 2020

Not much has changed recently on the Henry’s Fork, its still salmonfly time. Dry fly fishing has been best early and later in the day and the nymph fishing along the banks continues to be excellent. The bugs have spread out through the system a little more than this time last week so I wouldn’t be too worried about hitting a particular stretch. Make sure you have a few different profiles if you are set on fishing dries, and don’t limit yourself to big hair wing styles. Some of the smaller chernobyl type patterns can be killer during this hatch. There are still a few caddis around as well so make sure you have some on you just in case they are in one of those moods where they’d rather eat a size 16 over a size 4.

Henry’s Fork, May 23rd, 2020

The big stoneflies are coming out on the lower river. But you can bet those big bugs are hunkering low today!  Just getting to the river now could be  a bit tough with this late season snow storm.  But when the warm-up predicted in a few days kicks in, the top water fun will begin. For now, drive safely.

Henry’s Fork, May 16th, 2020

Few fly-fishing world happenings are anticipated as much as are the giant and golden stonefly emergences on regional rivers. With respect to the Henry’s Fork, nymphs of these species are moving toward banks along the lower river thus making patterns imitating these currently very effective. (don’t overlook pitching a streamer either).  It will be a matter of several days before these bugs will be flying, but look for the first to appear in numbers significant to attract trout attention in the Ashton through Bear Gulch reach of the river. Soon to follow will be the same activity happening from the river below Ashton Dam.  So if you  intend to be at the fly tying bench, tying nymph and dry patterns for giant and golden stoneflies will be time well spent!

Henry’s Fork, May 12, 2020

Flow out of Island Park Dam has been nearly cut in half and the boat launch just below is totally accessible.  The drop in flow is reflected on downstream to the Fall River confluence at Chester Dam with flow a bit below normal.

Henry’s Fork, May 9th, 2020

Fall River currently is running somewhat high but clear. This means the Henry’s Fork below Chester Dam still hosts good fishing.   The Island Park countryside is quickly becoming free of snow, and the Mesa Falls Highway is totally passable.  Many side roads are not yet free of snow.  The Henry’s Fork at Last Chance features midge and BWO activity, so presenting their life cycle patterns is quite effective.

Henry’s Fork, April 24th, 2020

Flow out of Island Park Dam has been raised from around 550 cfs to nearly 900 cfs.  This flow is not carried down much to the lower river where flows are a bit above normal for this time of year.  Fishing on the lower river is good ( BWO, March brown, midge, caddis  small stonefly life cycle patterns and streamers) except for windy days when anything emerging onto the surface is blown away before fish have a chance to raise to them.

Henry’s Fork, April 18th, 2020

Social distancing is a bit tougher to find at launch sites on the lower river. That is because currently some of the best fishing in the region can be found there.  Sun shiny days, like those  coming up until mid-week, will dampen the BWO activity a little, but March browns, caddis and midges will provide surface and near surface action with life cycle patterns of each.  Streamers remain effective under low-light conditions and as we advance past April, large stonefly nymph patterns will be increasingly effective.

Henry’s Fork, April 10th, 2020

A good bit of news for the Henry’s Fork  immediately below Island Park Dam is that flow out of the dam has remained above 500 cfs all winter. Annual average flow out of the dam through the winter has been just below 400 cfs.   The higher flow gives more natural bank cover for the youngest of trout to use for shelter thus helping their life expectancy.  They are the future, so the more of them, the better.

Chester Dam b4 redo (640x480)

On the lower river successful fishing is holding steady, so visits whether through boating or wading are on the increase making “social distancing”  more difficult to achieve. Nevertheless solitude can be found especially early and late in the day. Consider using the presentation strategies offered in our recent fishing reports for this part of the river.

Henry’s Fork, April 7th, 2020

Fun Farm Bridge (1024x768)

Fun Farm Bridge at Twilight

Below Ashton Dam river flow has been near normal with minor variations not being enough to impact fishing success.  With near constant flow and increasing daylight BWO, midge and increasing March brown activities are making presenting their life cycle patterns effective. Add to these streamer and large nymph presentations also being effective, and many fly-fishers are currently attracted to the river.   Thus compared to the South Fork, social distancing is a bit harder to realize, especially around boat launching locations.  Nevertheless, solitude can be realized but especially during early and late hours.  So consider these times for a visit.

Henry’s Fork, March 24, 2020

Some folks are drift boating from Warm River to Ashton.  Midges and BWO life cycle patterns will bring the most action, but streamer and stonefly nymph/rubber legs patterns will likely be more interesting to the larger fish anywhere you try the river. Consider trying places upstream along the river road after crossing the Fun Farm Bridge. Access on the lower river is shaping up, but the bad news is that the private access on the other side of the river above the Chester backwaters, known as Seeley’s, has been closed by the owner. Misuse by inconsiderate individuals accumulated enough to cause this closure.

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