Autumn on the Fork is a wonderful time indeed. The days grow shorter, the air has a certain bracing feel, and the trout are fat and happy from a seasons worth of robust hatches. This is a magical time for the fly angler, full of eager trout and ample opportunities. It is also bittersweet just the same as the promise of a colder season, void of any prominent hatches, lingers not too far off down the road. The fishing as of late has been outstanding. The terrestrial fishing is fantastic, the autumn mayfly hatches are cranking and the streamer fishing is really starting to heat up. Yes indeed kids, these are the days that dreams are made of, so get here soon to enjoy some of the finest, and less crowded fishing of the year.
BOX CANYON: Current flows from I.P. Reservoir are 600cfs. Expect flows to drop even more with minimal irrigation demand as a result of this recent wet weather. The typical standard rubberleg to beadhead dropper approach will fill the net, but the streamer bite has been strong lately and gives you a little more bang for the buck. Focus efforts in the deeper middle river water and around deep bank side structure. On the lower end of the canyon, keep your eyes peeled for mahogany, baetis, callibaetis and PMD duns. On certain days these hatches come off strong and bring some truly impressive fish up to the surface. Terrestrials are certainly a safe bet and will remain so throughout the remainder of the season.
LAST CHANCE & THE RANCH: We’re seeing strong mahogany, baetis, trico, callibaetis, PMD and BWO activity. With the water dropping, the weeds will become more of a nuisance, but will also concentrate pods of risers. Terrestrials are still about and are a solid option on those warmer sunny afternoons. A selection of ants, beetles and hoppers should always accompany an angler this time of year. With cooler day time temps being the norm now, look for good fish to be up, and eating throughout the entire day.
WARM RIVER TO ASHTON: This section of the Henry’s Fork continues to fish well. A deep double nymph rig is a sure fire way to get the fish. Hitting the bank with a big hopper pattern can be productive as well, and adding a bead head dropper will only increase your odds. When the weather turns south, tie on a big gnarly streamer and target those big cantankerous browns. Keep your eyes open for fish up on caddis, as well as baetis, PMD and mahogany duns.
THE LOWER RIVER: This section fished well the past week with the cooler wet weather, but is still a roll of the dice. This stretch will gradually improve as we start to see cooler day and night time temps.
HENRY’S LAKE: Henry’s is really starting to turn on. The areas around the creek mouths and springs are your best option. Strip leech and bugger patterns with varied retrieves for a shot at voracious cutthroats, brookies and hybrids. Another proven method is to hang midges or still-water nymphs under a hopper or small indicator. Mix up the depth to find that magic spot. For an added challenge, strip a mouse pattern over pods of active trout.
THE MADISON: The Madison is starting to fish really well. Nymphing will bring good numbers, but these fish are still keyed on terrestrial patterns and we’re starting to see solid baetis activity. The bigger fish are responding well to streamers under cloudy skies or early and late in the day. The Madison above Hebgen is starting to fish well with terrestrials, baetis and a swung soft hackle or streamer.
HEBGEN & QUAKE LAKE: We’re still seeing good callibaetis hatches and targeting trout with terrestrial patterns is still a viable option too. Look for fish cruising the bank or shallows and get a hopper or ant pattern out in front of them. Stripping leeches and buggers can be productive as well and the bead-head midge under a hopper or small indicator can really get it done on the right day.
Stop by the TroutHunter fly shop for real time conditions, the hottest flies, or to shop our outstanding selection of tackle and gear. Rain or shine, the fishing’s divine. See you soon!