I did not have to leave the Henry’s Fork to find good fishing this past week but my wife wanted to go camping so we packed up our Tab trailer and drove east to Wyoming. There we camped for a couple of days along the Hoback River. Over the years we have developed a friendly relationship with the Hoback. We can drive to our favorite camp site along the river in just a couple of hours, the river flows through some beautiful country, it’s never crowded and the fishing for it’s fine spotted Snake River Cutthroats is uncomplicated. On our way to the river we stop at Broulim’s grocery store in Driggs and pick up a rack of ribs, a couple of sides and a six pack of Rolling Rock from the deli for dinner our first night in camp. After setting up camp and fishing for a few hours nothing beats a riverside dinner of Broulim’s bar-b-que ribs and a cold Rolling Rock. As I sat there listening to the sound of the river rushing by and finishing off a cold one, I was reminded of something an old friend of mine, Gord Kennedy, used to say about such moments. Life is Large! Even though the experience on the Hoback was very enjoyable I couldn’t help thinking about what I was missing back home on the Henry’s Fork. The fishing on the “Ranch” has been very good recently due to excellent hatches of tricos, PMDs, callibaetis, caddis and honey ants. It’s fun working the water with little Chubby Chernobyl’s, hoppers and Trudes trying to entice 10 to 14 inch cutties to the surface on the Hoback but there is something very special about the challenge of testing your skills against a selectively feeding and very wary “Railroad Ranch” rainbow.
Box Canyon: The “Box” continues to produce solid fishing. This has been one of the most productive years I can remember on this section of the river. There just hasn’t been many, if any, down times. The most productive way to fish the “Box” right now is dead drifting a coupe of nymphs under an indicator. Dry dropper fishing using an adult golden stone or hopper imitation on top with a small beadhead underneath is still producing decent results.
Last Chance: This section of the river continues to produce decent fishing. The fishing has slowed a little compared to the previous week. I blame the slow down on the hot, sunny and dry weather we have been experiencing. Also, the caddis hatch isn’t as strong as it was the previous three weeks. There are still plenty of PMD spinners on the water early and late. The fish will respond to hoppers during the afternoons and there are still some caddis getting down on the water in the evenings.
The “Ranch”: Fishing on the “Ranch” continues to be productive. We are experiencing some excellent trico, PMD, callibaetis and honey ant hatches. With this insect activity comes countless opportunities for those fishermen exploring the waters of Harriman State Park. It gets to be quite challenging when you are faced with multiple days of compound (more than one insect hatching at the same time) and complex (different stages of those insects/adults, emergers, spinners) on the water at the same time. But, hey, that’s what makes the “Ranch” so intriguing.
Wood Road: Pretty much the same report as above.
Warm River to Ashton: In spite of the hot dry weather this section of the river fished well over the past week. Dry fly fishing with hoppers, Chubby’s and various attractor patterns produced good results. Dropping a small beadhead nymph under a dry fly has produced some trout and plenty of whitefish.
Ora to Chester/Chester to the Fun Farm: These two sections of the river have produced good fishing with hoppers and streamers mainly during the AM.
Other area waters: Madison River (Montana): The Madison continues to provide anglers with good fishing. Attractor dries, small beadhead nymphs, hoppers, ants and spruce moths are all producing good catches of rainbows and browns.
Hebgen Lake (Montana): Fishing has picked up on the lake with the arrival of a good callibaetis hatch. There are tricos and ants on the water as well.