The official first day of Spring is still a couple of days away, and it cannot come soon enough. We have just experienced one of the most severe February’s on record. I have heard it said that we had the most snowfall over a 30 day period during February since 1995. I don’t know if that is true or not but what I do know is that our snowpack was around 85% of average at the beginning of February and at the end of the month it was up to 140+%. This bodes well for our summer water flows/supply. The Idaho Natural Resources Conservation Service people predict that there will be adequate water supplies for all of the numerous water users across the state. This good news comes on top of the fact that the Henry’s Fork experienced very good water releases from the Island Park Reservoir Dam throughout the winter months. Typically, increased water flows, especially during the critical winter months, translates into better fishing during the summer and even into the following year. If there is any downside to the above average snowpack is that we may be facing a little higher than average stream flows during the early part of the fishing season. My best advice right now would be to encourage everyone to start tying plenty of Gray Drake’s in anticipation of a good Gray Drake hatch this year.
Area Fishing Report:
Last Chance: There have been plenty of Midges hatching over the past week and we have seen a number of fish rising to these early season hatching insects. Some of the guys from the shop have been swinging soft hackles and small leeches with their trout spey rods and they have reported catching some very healthy/strong rainbows in the 15” to 18” class.
Warm River/Ashton: There are several places where you can access the river on this section. The nymphing has been good with small dark bodied nymph imitations and smaller rubber legs. Also, midges have been hatching producing some dry fly action. I have heard rumors that there have been some sightings of a few adult Skwalas flying around. I might suggest trying a dry dropper rig with a small dark bodied Chubby dry and a size #16/#18 dark bodied beadhead nymph underneath.
Below Ashton: Again, there are a couple of places where you can access the river down there. The fishing report is pretty much the same as the Warm River section.