It’s an absolute splendid time to be alive and fly fishing here in Henry’s Fork country. A steady influx of cool wet weather this past week put the damper on the early dawg days of summer. The cooler temps, combined with a reduction in flows from IP reservoir, really got bug, and fish activity cranking again. The entire region is bounding with endless fly fishing possibilities. Here’s a quick rundown of what’s happening up in our neck of the woods.
BOX CANYON: 1080cfs.The fishing in the Box has been really good lately, particularly the streamer fishing. Throw big weighted lead-eye Leech patterns in the deeper slots, runs and around those big box canyon boulders. Hopper-dropper rigs are producing as well. The old rubberleg to bead-head combo is a daily go-to approach and a sure bet, so have a bobber rig ready to go. Look for some good spinner fishing on the lower end of the canyon during the morning & evenings.
THE RANCH: The honey ants are showing and the trout are paying attention. There are also strong numbers of smaller black ants on the water. The callibaetis and trico hatches are warming up and we’re seeing good PMD activity throughout the day, particularly in the afternoon. The spinner fishing early and late is a solid option too. It doesn’t hurt to be on the water early, take a mid-day break and return in the early afternoon for more fun. The trout have become a tad finicky, so be sure to make a stealthy approach and present your offerings with a clean drag free drift. Mid to late August is a fine time to walk the Ranch; the crowds are down, the fish are many and solitude is easy to find.
CANYON STRETCH: The lower Mesa slide down to the warm river confluence continues to fish well for those willing to put in the extra effort to get there. Hopper-dropper rigs, streamers and deep double nymph set-ups are all solid options. This is also one of the most scenic floats on the Henry’s Fork, so don’t forget to take the time to look up a bit and absorb the majestic scenery.
WARM RIVER-ASHTON: This stretch continues to produce day in and day out. The standard M.O. here is a rubber-leg trailed by a smaller bead-head dropper, but this time of year, a hopper-dropper rig will likely produce positive results. Mowing the bank with big foam will bring the big boys up and the streamer fishing, early and late, can put a true brut in the net.
LOWER RIVER: Warm water temps and heavy weed growth are making this stretch a tough option. Better to focus your attention elsewhere until cooler temps and better conditions warrant feasible fishing.
HENRY’S LAKE: We’re starting to see good fishing around the creek mouths and spring areas. Strip leeches and still-water nymphs or hang a chironomid under a small indicator or grasshopper. The Lake will only improve as the water cools and we move toward cooler day/night time temperatures.
HEBGEN: The gulper fishing remains strong mid-morning through early afternoon...or until the wind blows you off. Target gulping trout with callibaetis dun and spinner patterns. Trailing your 1st fly with a small ant or beetle will give the snobbish fish another option, often with pleasing results. When the wind picks up, focus your efforts in wind protected bays with terrestrial patterns and keep your eyes peeled for bank cruisers. On certain days, the evening fishing can be awesome with caddis, callibaetis & midge patterns.
If you’re in the area, drop in and say hi. The shop is open form 7a.m. to 8p.m. daily, so stop in to get a real time report or to pick up some flies from our behemoth fly selection. See you soon!