Henry’s Fork Streamflows
Island Park Dam: 188 cfs
Ashton Dam: 929 cfs
St. Anthony: 1290 cfs
Fall River: 576 cfs
It’s deep fall on the Henry’s Fork and the snow is finally beginning to fly out there. This weather we are experiencing at the moment is likely to bring some bugs around and put the Fork’s trout into a feeding groove. It is likely to lower water temperatures to the point that help encourage a more regular hatch cycle in the coming week. Colder temperatures will narrow the window of quality fishing time, but generally make that period more intense, so have an extra cup of coffee before heading out to the river and enjoy the last days of October while you can. Flows are low and relatively stable in most sections.
For anglers looking for a quality fishing experience, albeit a bumpy one if in a drift boat, the Box delivers in the fall. Current flows are ideal for wade fishing for those so inclined, there are several good accesses throughout the canyon that can provide enough water to spend an afternoon. A wading staff goes a long way to keeping one from taking a spill, those square rocks have a way of tripping up even the most experienced anglers and these cold days of fall are a lot more bearable when you can stay dry. Indicators and nymphs are the rigs of choice, and anglers should be prepared to adjust their weight for the water they’re fishing. Dry/dropper rigs are a solid option as well as a shallow nymphing rig. Flies are generally small this time of year, but larger flies can elicit takes during the middle hours of the day. We are generally throwing PTs, Cocktail Nymphs, R/L Tactical Pts 16-20, Juju Baetis 16-20, red, brown and black Zebra Midges 16-20, Rubberlegs stonefly nymphs 10-12, and your favorite perdigons (Olive Hot Spot, Frenchies, Jig Napoleons and Jake’s SH 16-20 are our favorite choices).
Though anglers may fish the waters of the Ranch until the end of November, this will be our last report of the season. Anglers wishing to experience November on the Fork can expect to find continued hatches of baetis, psuedos, and some midges throughout the month as well as a shrinking hatch window. This week, keep an eye out for small spinners and midges in the mornings, followed by hatches of pseudos and baetis. The best fishing will be found in the hours of midday. This is a great time to take a walk on the Ranch with fewer anglers around. If you’re poking around Millionaire’s and downstream, bringing along a can of bear spray isn’t a bad idea. We are keeping our boxes stocked with small mayfly patterns: Harrop’s and Copenhaver Spinners 16-22, both parachute and silhouette styles, Quigley’s Flag Duns and olive Comparaduns 16-20, and Bucky’s Upright Baetis 18-20. Not a bad time for a small Griffith’s Gnat or Moore’s Comparabuzz in an 18 as well.
Though some great fishing can be found in the canyons, there are better times of year to commit to these full length floats. A shrinking window of fishing opportunity will likely result in a few hours of good fishing preceded and followed by some hours of scenic floating. If heading into these canyon sections, be sure to bring plenty of layers, solid oarsmanship, and a rubber raft.
Warm River to Ashton Reservoir
This section remains a solid choice for an outing with a diversity of water types suitable to indicator rigs, dry/droppers, streamers, and even some dry fly opportunity. Be prepared to switch it up throughout the day and willing to experiment with different rigs to find what will work for you at any given moment. The lower reaches can have some decent dry fly fishing, so if you see baetis on the water, keep an eye out for the occasional nose of a rising trout. Nymph selection will be similar to what we’ve recommended for the Box Canyon, streamers leave plenty of room for creativity, and dry flies should mimic baetis 16-18, we like Comparaduns, Flag Duns and Parachute Adams.
Below Ashton Reservoir
The lower river should have some opportunity this week, especially with the weather these next few days. Expect to fish subsurface with nymphs or streamers in the mornings and hope for dry fly fishing in the midday hours. Colder weather can push the hatch back as late a 3pm, so if conditions are prime but it hasn’t happened, don’t give up on the final hours of the day. Pseudos, Baetis, and the occasional Mahogany Dun are the bugs to keep an eye out for. Nymph selections should include small mayfly patterns (PTs, Cocktail Nymphs 16-20), a handful of perdigons like the red Jig Napoleon or Frenchie in a 16-18, and some Zebra Midges in red, black and brown 16-20 should all do the trick.
Stay warm out there and have fun!