My favorite stretch of the Henrys Fork opened on the 15th. Once again depending on who you talked to, it was either no good or it was really good! I was fortunate in the fact that I got to guide the opener, and being the glass-half-full-guy that I am, the Ranch gets two thumbs up from me. First off, the crowds were non-existent; we had open water to hunt all day. Secondly, there were bugs in good numbers and plenty of good-sized trout up and willing to eat! I saw March Browns, PMDs, and a variety of Caddis. As Ranch fish do, they keyed in on March Brown Spinners — a #14 Rusty Para Spinner did the trick for me. We fed a total of five nice fish and landed one. I thought it was a great day! The temps have been a bit on the cool side, and we have not seen the Green Drakes or Flavs in the Ranch yet. There are rumors of Flavs being spotted up here, but I am thinking that’s just some misidentification. Flavs have three tails and solid grey wings and a green body. The March Browns that are found here have two tails and speckled wings and a darker brown body. Both of the above-mentioned bugs are about a size 14. Currently, there are at least three different Caddis up here. I noticed small black Caddis #18 and #20 and Mother’s Day Caddis #14 and #16 and the big tan Caddis that range from #12-14. The weather is going to be a little on the nasty side this week, but don’t let that slow you down. Bring your rain gear, get out there, and have a great day!
The big bugs are still sticking around in the Box Canyon. I would make sure to have #6 foam stones and of course rubber legs. The flows have been holding steady for the week at around 850cfs, and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. On cooler overcast days, the streamer fishing in the Box has been outstanding! I would watch for Golden Stones, too. Small Perdigons, Bullet Quills, and CDC Pheasant Tails have produced under an indicator or large dry. This cool weather has been helping to keep the crowds down, so it's a great time of the year to get in this popular stretch of the Henrys Fork.
The lower river is bug soup with a side of people! Hatches on the lower end are going strong! Green Drakes, PMDs, Flavs, Golden Stones and Caddis. The Father’s Day weekend was exceptionally busy, but as long as the fishing remains as good as it is, I don’t see the crowds slowing down. If you want to avoid the people consider floating below St Anthony. This is the time of the year to check out that water. Flows are good and water temps are still on the cool side.
Sounds like things on Madison are starting to pick up. Some great fish have been caught on streamers and the Caddis fishing has been great! As things start to warm up don’t forget to take rubber legs with you. The Salmon flies are still a couple of weeks away, but for the most part, The Madison is fishing well!
The best options in the park are the Firehole and the Madison. The hatches of PMDs and Blue Wings have been really good. I think that Slough Creek area is still too high and dirty to fish. As always, remember you are not on top of the food chain when in the park. If you notice animals with horns, teeth, or claws in your vicinity use caution!