That crisp autumn air will definitively trigger the change in season. From the leaves glowing in transition to a sudden increase in trout feeding behavior, fall is straightaway. Time to pack an extra layer, rain gear (always) and a little something extra packed away with lunch. Good dry warmth during a cold snap will keep you fishing. As unpredictable as the weather can be this time of year, one thing's for sure. Variable climactic occurrences consistently ignite fantastic fishing. Word to live by if you fish with a fly. Fall baetis dance on the water, young of year fish jockey for a safe winter hideaway as big ripe trout charge their every move. These are the days to walk far, stay long and hunt the alpha trout that call the Henry's Fork home. The coming three weeks will provide anglers with endless stunning eye candy, in every direction and more big fish than you can shake a stick at. And an ever present reminder that old man winter is well on his way. Relative solitude coupled with willing fish, what are you waiting for? Get here quick and get some.
When you come –
BOX CANYON: Fish small heavy nymphs deep or swing a bigger fly around and be diligent. Sometimes big is better. The fast water of the Box leave fish with little choice but to taste any fly presented in the proper manner. Have terrestrials, mahoganies and a kind selection of BWO lifecycle patterns and you'll probably find yourself connected to a few feisty rainbows or the errant whitefish. Dress warm and throw a streamer or a parachute adams.
HARRIMAN STATE PARK: A good drift with a mahogony, baetis, or late season hopper just might end up stuck to a big trouts face. These targets rarely shy away from a drag free drift, leaving an angler with many favorable options with concern toward pattern. Thick grass continues to be an obstacle, play your fish hard -and fast -for best results. Plop an ant or beetle to fool big fish during afternoon warm spells.
RIVERSIDE TO ASHTON: Those sporty canyon sections are providing great fishing. A hopper dropper is tough to beat and the bigger trout are responding favorably to well presented streamers. Double nymph rigs fished deep will keep the rod bent, try a rubber leg trailed by a smaller bead head and you'll find success. With the fall colors coming on, this is a wonderful time of year to experience these fun sections of the Henry's Fork.
LOWER RIVER: Cooler weather has re-vitalized the waters below Aston reservoir. It's still fairly skinny - and weedy, so be accurate with your casts and focus on the deeper water around structure. The baetis hatches are getting stronger with a good showing of midges and caddis as well. A hopper-dropper set up will bring good results and those bigger fish are still looking up for hoppers and other assorted terrestrial patterns. The streamer fishing on cool cloudier days has been fantastic, so be sure to have a big rod rigged.
THE LAKES: Henry's is starting fish a whole lot better. Strip leeches, buggers and stillwater nymph patterns in deeper water or around the springs. Hanging a chironomid and another bead head pattern can be deadly effective at times. Hegben and Quake have slowed a bit, but nymphing the deep channels between weed beds will often bring in the good fish. Strip leeches and buggers here as well. Hoppers and ants are still a viable option.
THE MADISON: Baetis hatches are providing solid dry fly opportunties, as are hoppers, beetles and ants. Throw terrestrials around on sunny afternoons and rip streamers during low light hours or when the weather turns foul. When the surface action quiets down, lob double nymph rigs through the deeper water to trick the fish. Watch for the madison to really fire up here over the next few weeks.
YNP: The Madison and Firehole are waking back up as a result of cooler water temps. Terrestrials are a staple, but the baetis hatches are really getting strong. The browns have begun their migration up from Hebgen so swinging soft hackles and low profile streamer patterns can provide fun fishing for big trout. The NE corner continues to fish well. Grey drakes and terrestrials will get it done. The Yellowstone river is slowing, but still worth a romp on warm calmer days.
Stop in and visit the TroutHunter fly shop to take advantage of some awesome late season sale prices. See ya soon!