"Not life, but good life, is to be chiefly valued” ~Socrates
Oh, and what a good life it is right now in Henry's Fork country. Opening day on the Railroad Ranch was met with blue skies, oodles of bugs and smiling anglers for as far the eye could see. All the old faces were in attendance and a few Ranch veterans even claimed it to be the best opener in recent memory. The Trout health is absolutely outstanding this year, giving any angler who choses a romp on Ranch water the opportunity at hooking.... and landing a Henry's Fork fish of a lifetime. The fishing only continues to improve as we’re already starting to see both Green & Brown Drake activity. Couple that with dense PMD & Caddis movement and an angler can stay entertained clear throughout the day. The fish aren’t the hard-nose suspect skeptics they will be in just a few weeks time, but still demand a stealthy approach, long leaders & a flawless drag-free drift. It’s prime time kids, so get here quick for some of the most magical fishing of the season.
BOX CANYON: 956cfs The Box continues to fish extremely well. On the right day, when the bugs fly, the fish will key on Golden Stonefly adults. Focus your presentations on the middle river in the deeper water around big boulders. Drop a Rubber-Leg or flashy bead-head nymph to increase hook-ups. Double nymph rigs are a sure fire way to find success and pulling streamers when conditions dictate can move some hefty Trout. On the lower end of the canyon, look for fish up on Caddis, PMD's, Drakes & Spinner patterns.
THE RANCH: As stated above, its a great time to spend a day in the Ranch. We’re seeing spinner activity early & late, PMD's throughout the day, Green Drakes here and there; Caddis, Caddis, Caddis and the Brown Drakes are even starting to pop. Mix that up with a few Ants & Beetles between hatches and an angler could spend sun-up thru sun-down....and beyond chasing those fat Harriman Rainbows.
LOWER MESA - ASHTON: Always a solid choice, the lower canyon all the way to Ashton reservoir continues to produce. Golden Stones, Caddis, PMD's and Drakes are the name of the game. Look for fish up eating on the surface or employ a dry-dropper rig and prospect any likely looking holding water. Deep double nymph set-ups are standard M.O. for dredging up middle river fish. On cloudy days, or early & late, rope up a big gnarly articulated streamer pattern and pound the bank. The Warm River access area is a great place for the walk-wade angler and the Warm River itself is a great option for the angler looking for a little smaller water action.
LOWER RIVER: The Lower River continues to fish in true June fashion. Golden Stones, Green Drakes, PMD's and Caddis are all going strong. It’s been a busy little stretch of water, but with a little patience and dedicated approach, anglers can bring good fish to the net. Mayfly & Caddis bead-head droppers will only increase opportunities and these big Trout love big streamers, so have a few of those. We should see Gray Drake activity any day now, stay tuned.
THE LAKES: Reports coming in from Henry's Lake confirm fair fishing with a selection of Leeches, Nymphs and Bugger patterns. Find fish and stay on them for best results. Hebgen is fishing well with Choronomid patterns and we should start seeing strong Caddis & Damselfly activity any day now. Prospecting around structure with terrestrial patterns can prove effective. The Lakes will continue to improve as we move through June and in to July.
THE MADISON: The Salmonflies have begun their yearly up-stream migration. Last reports had the big bugs around 8 mile. This hatch moves fast so be prepared to move around a little to fond the prime fishing. Evening Caddis fishing is coming on strong & nymphing Rubber-Legs with a bead-head dropper is always effective. Don’t forget the streamer box, these fish sure do like them a big meal.