Report 5/13/24

The 2024 fishing season has kicked off with some notable changes since my last report. The water flows have significantly decreased, with the Box now at 516cfs and the Henrys Fork below the Ashton Reservoir at 1680cfs. This means all ramps are now open for business.

Box Canyon

Box Canyon is currently experiencing slightly low flows, so if you’re floating in a drift boat, exercise caution. The reports I’ve received haven’t been overly positive, but the best fishing has been observed on the top end with the usual small beads and rubber legs. I’ve spotted good numbers of blue wings and even a few caddis near the Last Chance boat ramp. While I haven’t found many rising fish yet, I anticipate this to change as the weather warms up.

Warm River to Ashton

I have yet to fish this section personally, but the reports I have heard have been positive. Fishing the banks with small bead heads has been effective. Olive or brown zebra midges have been the ticket. The streamer fishing has been good in this section. I love to fish zonkers. Look for fish rising to BWOs and caddis on the right day. The hatches have been starting around 1:00 p.m. and, depending on the weather, lasting most of the day.

Ashton to St Anthony

The fishing in this section has been incredible. Look for March browns, caddis, and blue wings. Depending on the weather, the hatches have been starting between 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Take your time if you are fishing in this section. The water temps are a little on the low side, so the trout are a bit slow to rise, but they are rising. This weekend was fantastic with more Mother’s Day caddis than I have seen in years. They were coming down the river in mats! At one point, there were so many caddis on the water, and in the air, the fish stopped eating on the surface. Even the birds took cover. Anybody on the river last Saturday knows what I am talking about.

The March browns are hatching well, and even though the water was covered with caddis, the trout in the Chester backwater seemed to be focused on the March browns. A March brown is a beautiful mayfly—a size 14 and chocolate in color. I love seeing these bugs. Your fly selection for the lower river should include Blue Wing Olives. Have that bug in sizes 16 and 18. I like the no hackle. My pattern of choice for the Mother’s Day caddis is the trusty ole Hemingway caddis in sizes 14 and 16. The March browns fly of choice would be a 14 Adams. A 14-purple haze is also a good choice.

On a final note, I prefer to wade the Henrys Fork. I find it more intimate. The fish that are tucked in little nooks and crannies along the banks are what it’s all about for me. As I walk up the river searching for difficult fish, the drift boaters will roll over the top of me without regard for me or what I am doing. This weekend was different. The drift boats that came down gave me a wide birth, with most pulling off the bank a hundred yards above me. I do the same for wading anglers when I am in my boat. Maybe etiquette on the Henrys Fork is not dead! I will also mention that many bugs and healthy fish up-eating dries were cool. It was good for my soul and reminded me why I do what I do. I hope this is a sign of what the coming summer will be like. Great hatches and happy fish!

If you have some time on your hands, give us a call, take advantage of the off-season rates, and let us do the rowing for you.


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