Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

Henry’s Fork 5-14-18


To minimize crowding here avoid fishing on weekends, particularly Fridays, Saturdays, and Sunday afternoons.  Because the South Fork is still high for the season and not yet fishing up to par, many enthusiasts are going to the Henry’s Fork to not only wade-fish but to fish from boats. This is the case mainly from Warm River to Chester where flow is about normal for this time of year. Monday or Tuesday are likely the best days for experiencing reduced crowding along this part of the river.   No reports yet of significant big stonefly activity, but streamer patterns produce under low light conditions and large rubber leg and stonefly nymph patterns will produce when drifted deep through runs. For sure, giant stonefly nymphs are beginning to move meaning some are breaking free and drifting. For good top water fishing look for trout responding to PM caddis activity, to BWO activity, and diminishing march brown activity.

Henry’s Fork 5-9-18



Biggest concern here is Fall River inflow and impact on fishing the river below Chester Dam.  Currently Fall River flow below Yellowstone diversion is about 50% higher than normal and sure to increase. With warming weather much more snow on YNP’s Madison and Pitchstone Plateaus will melt and come down through Fall River Basin streams and into the river.  This means an abundance of cold, discolored water coming into the Henry’s Fork just above Chester Dam, and this activity could continue through June.  Let’s see how this shakes out after a winter of abundant  snowfall.

Henry’s Fork 4-10-18

Fishing success along the river from Warm River to Chester Dam has been about normal for this time of year.   Flows here are a somewhat high.  BWOs, and March browns have been providing top water action for those enthusiasts presenting emerger and dun patterns along with midge life cycle patterns. Big rubber leg and stone fly nymph patterns drifted through runs and into upstream portions of holes and pockets will produce with chances for more interest from larger fish.  The same goes for streamer patterns presented under low light conditions.

Be ready to see more anglers, whether wading or boating, present anywhere along the Henry’s Fork because of the South Fork’s high water situation.

This is the

This is the time of year where we are starting to see the bug activity picking up on the Henry’s Fork. Around mid-day there has been the long awaited emergence of Blue Winged Olives, and the midge hatches continue to be pretty steady. Fishing midges and BWO in the slower water has been pretty productive, so  try using BWO and midge clusters in sizes 16 and 18, and single midge patterns in sizes 18 and 20. I will fish a sparsely tied BWO size 16, or a well dressed BWO in 18. I usually fish 2 flies 2 feet apart on 4 and 5x Rio Suppleflex tippet, on a 9 – 12 foot Rio Powerflex 4x leader.

As for the nymph angler, running a Pat’s Rubberlegs trailed 18″ off the back with a size 14 Pheasant Tail or chartreuse Glo Bug, have been producing good numbers of fish. We are starting to see plenty of beds dug by spawning rainbows, so like every year, please watch your step if you see areas of dug, clean gravel. There are plenty of fish that are pushed in to a little faster water right now, and they are feeding well on nymphs, so don’t just focus on the deep water. I have caught some nice fish in only a foot or two of riffle water, and there seems to be a good amount of them sitting right off the drop offs of fast water in 2-4 foot deep buckets. The slow pools are kind of tricky to nymph, but running a little lighter setups while slowly bouncing the bottom will produce some nice size fish. I know it sounds like fish are all over the river, and they are, but if you focus your efforts on drop offs and slow pools, you will find fish.

Streamer fishing can produce some nice fish right now. Try fishing a slower retrieve with a pause, or a fly on the swing to produce some feisty fish. I usually swing or dead drift sculpin patterns, and strip some larger articulated patterns, usually in the Galloup variety. Color is going to be a day to day, or hour to hour thing, so bring a good selection of streamers to fish. I can usually get fish to eat olive or brown sculpin patterns on every trip, so you should at the very least have those in your box..

Henry’s Fork 11-21-17



With respect to BWO and midge activity, conditions on the lower river are much the same as those on the South Fork. Upcoming weather and fewer daylight hours means more overhead cover.  So with mild but unsettled weather coming up, now is a good time to give the lower river a try. Presenting small flies will be the name of the game for top water fishing.  Presenting soft hackle patterns just under the surface during BWO activity can be particularly rewarding, and presenting streamers will be the best way to encounter larger fish anywhere on the river.  BWO and midge hatches will slow on the river in Island Park, although presenting streamers remains effective in such as Box Canyon and The Tubs area.  Winter conditions prevail on the river in Island Park, so venturing to the river there means taking precautions for such as well as being aware of any upcoming hazardous travel conditions.

Henry’s Fork 10-28-17

Dave R. and friend

Brown trout are moving on the lower river.  So anywhere from Warm River on down, presenting streamers is the name of the game for encountering them.  Patterns featuring shades of yellow, chartreuse, or orange seem to be particularly attractive to browns in a migrating mode. There are no brown trout in Box Canyon and “the Tubs”, but presenting streamers to big resident rainbows  works as well as doing the same for browns on the lower river.    Pitching streamers is not your game? The Henry’s Fork obliges by offering BWO activity in most locations on the lower river and many on the river above.  Afternoons having overcast skies (even with rain or snow) and minimal wind ( if that is possible!) as predicted for later next week are the best time of day and conditions for the densest BWO activity and responses from trout.

Henry’s Fork 10-14-17


BWOs and mahogany dun continue to provide good dry fly fishing up and down the river. Streamer fishing is best in Box Canyon, ” The Tubs” , and the entire lower river.  Considering the recent storm moving through the region, contact the Ashton District Office: 208-652-7442 to  determine if unpaved roads such as into the Hatchery Ford, Lower Coffee Pot and Tubs area (Below Big Springs and Henry’s Lake Outlet confluence) are open.

Henry’s Fork 10-10-17

Bear Gulch

What we offered in the South Fork report apples to most of the Henry’s Fork as well. BWO and mahogany dun activities are resulting in great dry fly fishing just about everywhere along the river.  Flows are at or near historic normals everywhere above Chester. Below Chester  down to St. Anthony flows are slightly higher than normal because of higher than normal Fall River flows as has been the case all season.  Streamer fishing brings the best responses from large trout in Box Canyon and The Tubs, but is effective on most of the lower river.

Henry’s Fork 10-7-17


Observing the number of fly-fishers in the Last Chance area is a clue that BWO and mahogany dun activity is producing good fishing. With a week of uncertain weather coming up, the river here and in Harriman State Park below will be great locations for dry fly fishing. Do not overlook presenting soft hackle patterns to rising fish in these waters (dead drift down to rising fish, then rise to just below surface with rod tip action).  Size (16-18 for BWO, 12-14 for mahoganies) is more important than color (olive for BWO, rusty brown for mahoganies).   A turn and a half of grouse hackle completes these appropriate patterns.

Henry’s Fork 9-30-17

From below Ashton Dam

Everything describing current fishing success on today’s South Fork fishing report applies to the lower Henry’s Fork from Warm River on downstream and around Last Chance (dry fly fishing at Last Chance). Add to this improved streamer fishing in Box Canyon and “The Tubs” above Mack’s Inn (where Henry’s Lake and Big Springs Outlets combine) and you have the best of current fishing in the river.



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