Henry's Fork Report - July 27, 2023

Henry's Fork Report - July 27, 2023

Henry’s Fork Streamflows

Island Park Dam: 1730 cfs

Ashton Dam:  2610 cfs

St. Anthony:  1230 cfs

Fall River: 202 cfs

The past week has had some terrific fishing days on the Henry’s Fork; stable weather has made for regular spinner falls in the mornings and solid hatches in the evenings.  Days with cloud cover produced enough insects to keep anglers fishing through the afternoons.  Looking forward, the coming week is showing more cloud cover and more consistent winds for the afternoons.  Check the forecast for the day of your excursion and plan accordingly.  We are hoping for the good clarity to continue, but windy weather and a dropping reservoir are a combination of factors that is likely to increase turbidity as the week progresses.

Box Canyon

Flows have kept things moving right along in the Box Canyon, and good clarity has helped keep those deeper-holding trout willing to move for food.  Golden stones are still in there in good numbers, making a dry fly run a possibility on any given day.  Flav spinners in the first half of the day and evenings are still strong in the lower reaches of the canyon, so keep a dry fly rod handy in case you spot a feeding trout along the way.  Indicator nymph rigs are the standard choice, but there is plenty of opportunity to try other angling methods depending on your approach; dry flies, dry/droppers, and streamers are all in play for anyone wanting to try something different.  Hatches include Midges, PMDs, Flavs, Caddis and Golden Stones, fly selection should represent these insects.  As ever, red and brown Zebra Midges 14-18, PTs, Split Backs and Tactical R/L PTs 14-16, Olive Partridge Caddis Pupa, SH Hare’s Ear, Hare/Copper 14-16, Rubberlegs Stonefly nymphs 6-10, and your favorite Perdigons (Olive Hot Spot, Bullet Quill, Spanish Bullet, Jig Napoleon, Jig Frenchy) 14-18.  With flows at current levels, anglers should expect to have AB, BB, and B split shot handy, adjust your weight for the depth and speed of the water you’re fishing.

Railroad Ranch

The storied waters of the Ranch have been fishing well the past three weeks and we expect fishing opportunity to remain solid in there this coming week.  Anglers should plan their days around the morning spinner falls, looking for low wind situations, a windy morning will evacuate spinners before they have a chance to fall.  Flav spinners are the primary driver, but yellow and rusty PMD spinners are present as well.  Sunny and windy afternoons will be generally slow outside of spring affected waters.  Afternoon clouds will help to drive PMD and Flav emergences.  Caddis are present and are an important fly to have represented in your boxes.  A small selection of flying ants is a must have in the event they show up on the water on any given day.  Generally, we are liking the following patterns for the Ranch-bound angler:  Copenhaver Spinner in Flav, Rusty and Yellow 14-18, Harrop’s Paraspinners in Rusty and Yellow 14-18, Harrop’s CDC Profile Spinner 14-18, Heames PMD Klinkhammer 16, CDC Biot Dun PMD 14-18, CDC Biot Dun Flav 14, Heames’ Honey Ant 14, HF Caddis in brown and olive 14-16, and few of your favorite Hopper patterns just in case. 

Canyon Country

These summer days in the canyons of the Henry’s Fork are about as enjoyable a day as you can have in terms of scenery and comfort.  The canyon walls make for fewer hours of blaring sun, the churning water keeps trout happy with plenty of oxygen, and the scenery is unbeatable.  Canyons are also a good place to hide away from a day with high winds.  “Chubberlegs” dry/dropper is the first choice of rig down here, but breaking out an indicator to work a deeper run is a great option and a good reason to pull over.  Remember that these sections require skilled oarsmanship and usually an inflatable raft to navigate safely.  These are wilderness sections, so come prepared with rain gear and rescue gear (throw bag, life jackets, first aid kit).

Warm River to Ashton

This section of the Henry’s Fork is still fishing pretty well overall with plenty of anglers and pleasure floaters present.  An early start will help get the most out of your fishing day and keep the interactions with tubers to a minimum.  After lunch, things are getting warm down there and fishing is beginning to slow a bit, but an evening run is a good choice as well.  Dry/dropper and indicator rigs are the standard choice here, with a selection of flies that mirrors those we recommend for the Box Canyon.  This time of year is a great time to experiment with subbing out the rubberlegs nymph for a small Bouface leech, or a perdigon for a red Copper John.  Catches have been a grab bag of trout and whitefish, but we are consistently seeing some quality trout down here each day.

Below Ashton Reservoir

Aside from an odd morning foray into the lower river, we are generally leaving these sections alone at this time due to low insect activity and water temps that are nearing 70 degrees in the afternoons.  Generally, it’s best to focus on the waters upstream of Ashton Reservoir for the coming weeks.

Have fun and good luck!

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.

ranch tactics

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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