"Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don't be sorry." – Keroauc
After an extremely hot and arid July and August, we're finally seeing a little reprieve. The last week has brought on some much needed rain and welcome cooler temps. The trout seem to enjoying the change in weather as well. Cooler temps coupled with the promise of a winter to come can really get really get the fish amped up and feeding with a more reckless abandon. Few fishing situations equal the thrill of hunting the large well fed trout of autumn in lower gin clear water. September offers anglers the chance to really mix it up with pattern, as well as presentation. The streamer fishing lights up and the dry fly fishing remains killer, affording anglers the exhilarating benefit of continued visual takes and hook ups. The big labor day weekend has passed and the crowds are thin, providing plenty of angling solitude in every direction. From the rivers to the lakes, Autumn in to fall is certainly one of the greatest times to cleanse your soul in the healing waters of Henry's Fork country. It'll only get better from here kids - until old man winter's frigid grip takes hold. So get here quick to see what all the fuss is about. Here's a summary of what's crushing it out there.
BOX CANYON: 500cfs +/-. They took the box down another notch this week. The lower flows will make it more accommodating for those on foot, but plan to paint a few rocks if you choose to float. The skinnier flow will define those middle river slots between boulders, making it easier to present a fly directly in to a trouts feeding lane. Come prepared with smaller bead head nymphs (#16-#22) and tie one on behind a larger attractor style nymph or rubber leg pattern. Ripping smaller streamers and leeches is an effective approach and mowing the bank with a hopper patterns will often bring favorable results on the lower end of the float through the top end section of Last Chance. Live bait is not allowed on this reach.
THE RANCH: The worlds greatest dry fly fishery continues to test the skills of all anglers who set foot within her hallowed waters. It's always worth a look and with the reliable late season hatches ramping up, look for it to really turn on. Callibaetis, mahogonies, tricos, baetis, a few caddis and an endless collection of terrestrial options fill out the current menu. Move around and keep a keen eye on the edges to locate active feeders. It's weedy out there folks, play those fish as fast as possible and release with care.
WARM RIVER TO ASHTON: Fishing is never a guarantee, but this section is about as close as it gets if you're looking to put numbers in the basket. A double nymph rig will get plenty of attention and the hopper dropper tactic can really clean up. The streamer bite is turning on and on cooler cloudy days, those big fish loosen up and get quite frisky. A young leech, a big rubber leg, smaller bead heads, big foam and articulated streamers are all safe bets here.
LOWER RIVER: 1,100cfs +/-. Cooler temps will continue to turn this stretch on. If it's hot and sunny, plop hoppers in under the trees and around defined structure. If it turns cold and nasty, fear not, just rope up to the meat and get busy pounding the banks. Cool cloudy dats will also offer anglers the chance of running smack dab in to the middle of a baetis or mahogany hatch, and that's never a bad thing. It's super grassy down here as well, so plan to clean hose hooks off regularly.
LAKES: Henry's is turning on a bitt more with all this cool weather. It'll get hotter as we move through September. Hebgen continues to fish well, but he callibaetis thing is almost a wrap. Toss high floating terrestrials with a bead head dropper. Strip leeches, buggers and small still water nymphs through deeper water.
THE MADISON: - is still fishing well and the streamer fishing is really getting good. If you choose to chuck a dry, have some baetis and a good selection of hoppers and smallish terrestrials. The small bead head nymph game will always get it done, employ this tactic when encounter favorable nymphing runs.
YNP: Grab a handful of terrestrials and have your way with happy hungry cutthroat trout. Get to the park for some of the best fishing of the season.
Come on up and grab a burger, a tin full of flies and to take advantage of some killer late season discounts in the fly shop. See ya soon!