Henry's Fork Report - May 25, 2023

Henry's Fork Report - May 25, 2023

Henry’s Fork Streamflows

Island Park Dam:  1020 cfs

Ashton Dam:  3040 cfs

St. Anthony:  4790 cfs

Fall River:  3070 cfs

Memorial Day weekend is coming in with decent river conditions throughout the Fork, the pace of snowmelt has been a little accelerated in the past week and the river is running off color but fishable for most of its length.  Anglers should be able to find good fishing opportunities in most of their favorite pieces of water, and there are just enough bugs around to get the fish biting.  Caddis, March Browns, Baetis and Midges all dominate the bug scene, but salmonflies are very close to being on the menu as well, so be prepared with nymph and adult versions of each.  Keep an eye on the weather each day, as it will play a major role in how your day plays out!

Box Canyon

Running at a nice flow of 1020 cfs, the Box is in a pretty manageable state at the moment, this is a great flow for a quick cruise or an all day event and with stoneflies just around the corner, trout have both enough water and incentive to move around and distribute themselves through the river.  Nymphing dominates the rigs in the Box at the moment, but a keen eye out for flying salmonflies can change that in a hurry.  Nymph selections are generally small this time of year, with your favorite perdigons, zebra midges, caddis pupas, and mayfly nymphs in a 14-18 range.  Don’t forget the rubberlegs nymphs, there are stonefly nymphs around and if you’re fishing on the roll, you’re likely to find some hungry trout in search of a larger fly.  A single BB split shot should do the trick with a nymphing rig, but keep the B’s handy in some of the more shallow reaches.

Ralroad Ranch

Closed until June 15th

Canyon Country

The canyons of the Henry’s Fork are likely to see salmonflies this next week, flows are manageable, and clarity good enough for some solid trout fishing. This is generally dry/dropper territory, more for the benefit of not hanging unrecoverable deep nymph rigs on the rocks.  A Chubby Chernobyl variant with an easy to see wing is the top choice for the dry part of that rig, a rubberlegs stonefly nymph is the top choice for the underwater portion…the “Chubberlegs” combo, as it’s come to be known.  If that’s not working, try stopping and working a nymph rig in a specific lie.  Streamers are worth throwing down there as well, but a fast strip isn’t always the answer, we like heavy, fast sinking flies like the BFE fished slow and deep when possible.  Black and Olive are a good place to start.  Be sure to pack your rain gear and some warm layers, when the weather turns foul in the canyons, you’re often a long way from your truck.

Warm River to Ashton

This is a fun time of year to run this section, though it’s not usually characterized by the higher volume catches of the summer months, anglers can often find some larger trout but in fewer numbers.  Caddis, March Browns, Baetis and Salmonflies could all be on the menu this week.  Again, a stonefly nymph is likely to be your best player, but the big dry can definitely pay off this time of year.  Henry’s Fork Salmonflies, Chubby Chernobyls, size 14 parachute style dries, a few baetis, and some X caddis will cover your for dry fly fishing.  Down below, in addition to the rubberlegs, bring along some perdigons, pheasant tails, caddis pupa and zebra midges to drop off the back.

Below Ashton Reservoir

The lower river is in good shape in its upper reaches, clarity below Chester dam will be worth daily evaluation.  Flows are relatively high, which should make for good holding water on the banks for when the salmonflies appear.  Dry fly only or dry/dropper rigs are a good choice when the depth is not too great, indicator nymph rigs will dominate the mid-river. 

Happy Memorial Day weekend, good luck out there!

THE Henry's Fork

The Henry's Fork Foundation is the only organization whose sole purpose is to conserve, protect, and restore the unique fisheries, wildlife, and aesthetic qualities of the Henry's Fork and its watershed.

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with jonathan heames

the Legendary

Railroad Ranch

A mere mention of the storied Railroad Ranch section of the Henry’s Fork conjures images of expansive flats with large rainbow trout sipping away on the surface.  It's technical waters, and sophisticated fish have earned the reputation of PHD level dry fly fishing. Countless innovations in flies, and techniques have been spawned here, and few places will test an anglers ability more absolutely. Simply put, it is one of the most iconic pieces of trout water on Earth. 

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