Henry's Fork Report - June 29, 2023

Henry's Fork Report - June 29, 2023

Henry’s Fork Streamflows

sland Park Dam:  636 cfs

Ashton Dam:  1740 cfs

St. Anthony:  1700 cfs

Fall River:  1040 cfs

It’s been a fun week on the Henry’s Fork with good opportunity throughout the length of the river.  We welcome this next week with lots of good fishing that should continue, but opportunities will shift with the weather. Temps are expected to climb this weekend which will begin to slow some of the hatches we’ve been seeing but will get others on the move.  I expect this week will continue to provide anglers with good opportunities throughout, and am hoping to see an increase in bug activity in the upper river.  Caddis, PMDs, Flavs, Green Drakes, Gray Drakes, Golden Stones, Olive Stones, and Yellow Sallies are all on the menu out there.  Flows will likely be on the slight increase as irrigation demand begins in response to the warmer temperatures and lighter precipitation.  The forecast still has plenty of variability in it, so be sure to check an updated version within a day of solidifying your plans.

Box Canyon

At sub 700 cfs, the Box remains at a great and fishy flow, anglers should be finding an increase in activity relative to the past couple of weeks as water temps begin to warm slightly.  As ever, indicator nymph rigs are the norm, but dry fly opportunity will be there with warmer weather.  Golden Stoneflies are a possibility these next couple of weeks and I wouldn’t float the Box without a variety of imitations.  We love the Henry’s Fork Golden Stone, Water Walker, and JoJo’s Golden 6-10.  For nymphs, we suggest you keep PMDs, Flavs and Caddis in mind when making your selection, depending on the weather and what you’re seeing.  PTs, Split Backs, Tactical R/L PTs, Hare and Copper, and your favorite perdigons in 14-16 are all worth trying.  Don’t forget the faithful Zebra midges in red and brown in 14-16 and the good ‘ol rubberlegs stonefly nymph.  Change your weight based on the water you’re fishing, we like to rotate between a BB, B and no external weight at all depending on where we’re at in the canyon.

Railroad Ranch

The storied waters of the Ranch continue to provide good angling to those who seek it out.  As is typical for this time of year, reports vary depending on the day, weather, and location.  If you’re not finding fish or bugs, keep your legs moving and hunt for opportunity, it is usually out there.  Though we all hope for consistently rising trout to abundant hatches, good targets are found with solitary rises and sparse hatches for those anglers who are prepared to act.  Most trout in the river have been feeding on caddis for a few weeks now, and a pattern in a 14-16 is still a good bet on a tricky fish.  We love the Iron X-Caddis not only on the Ranch, but throughout the river, Henry’s Fork Caddis is a long time standby as is a Partridge Caddis.  There have been spotty green drake hatches and some flavs starting to appear, I expect this week will see more of both.  All of this combined with PMDs makes for great spinner falls in the mornings followed by emergences of fishy insects in the afternoons and evenings.  With lower numbers of fish in the Ranch this year, expect your targets to become more wary quickly and to be more spooky.  A stealthy approach is a good idea, and know that these trout begin to move when they feel they are being fished to.  This behavior can be maddening but also presents opportunity.  Successful Ranch anglers are actively using their imaginations to paint a picture of what is happening with the visual clues they are given, being ready to make your “kill shot” when it is presented is critical to success on these wary trout.

Canyon Country

The canyons of the Henry’s Fork are fishing well and are in great shape.  These are wonderful sections to enjoy a day of dry/dropper fishing without the swarms of anglers found in other reaches.  They may lack the sight fishing opportunities that exist elsewhere but they offer anglers in search of wildness and solitude a place to focus their efforts.  Solid oarsmanship is required to safely navigate these waters, and a raft is the watercraft of choice for all but the most experienced.  “Chubberlegs” dry/dropper rigs are the first choice, but if the bite is weak on the stonefly nymph, try your favorite large tungsten bead head in a 12-14.

Warm River to Ashton

This scenic float continues to offer anglers of all skill levels a shot at decent trout fishing with a variety of rigs.  Indicatory nymphing will provide the most consistent results, dry/dropper fishing allows sporty anglers to probe the waters less deep for fewer, but at times more quality shots at the resident trout.  Caddis, PMDs, and the occasional stonefly varietal will all still be around this week, have appropriate imitations on hand to increase your chances of success.  There are some great trout to be found in here, this section has been putting smiles on anglers’ faces most every day.

Below Ashton Dam

The lower river has had a couple weeks of outstanding dry fly fishing now and it appears it may have some left to offer.  Expect opportunities to begin to dwindle this week but fishing should still be solid for the next week.  We are still seeing green drakes down here, but we expect the final days of opportunity for the big green guys are nearing.  Flav and Gray Drake hatches should keep things alive this week along with the presence of caddis, some PMDs and golden stones.  Sunny and windless mornings should have good spinner falls, but afternoons will rely more and more on some cloud cover to keep the bug activity going.  Expect things to slow down after 1 or 2 on a sunny afternoon, but mornings and evenings should be a good bet for the week.  For dry flies, we like the Hot Spot Flav, E/C caddis, Film Critic, Iron X Caddis, Copenhaven Spinner, Profile Spinner, Harrop Paraspinner and the Delekta Mo’ River Bug in a 14-16.  For green drakes, we like JoJo’s Green Drake, Green Drake Variant, Hairwing Dun, and Green Drake Soft Hackle.  Gray drakes call for spinner imitations, our favorites are JoJo’s Gray Drake, Copenhaven Spinner, and Harrop’s Hackled Gray Drake Spinner.  Keep some golden stone imitations for those hot afternoons, you never know when an opportunity will appear…

 

Keep the rain gear handy, waders close by, and enjoy!

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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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