There are few insects that create so much buzz, anticipation, and sheer excitement as the Salmonfly. The Salmonfly is the largest stonefly in our rivers; some adults and nymphs approach 3 inches in length. It’s not only the sheer size that makes the Salmonfly unmistakable, but it’s also the orange markings on their stomachs.
The unique thing we enjoy about our location is how the population of Stoneflies emerges on a river system as the Henry’s Fork. Typically, Salmonflies will emerge from the furthest point downriver, and then work their way upstream. However, due to the regular flow and temperature of Warm River, Salmonflies will emerge a few days earlier on Warm River than the lower section of the Henry’s Fork. This gives us a good idea that the Salmonfly hatch is underway. We can then expect the hatch to begin on the lower section of Henry’s Fork and move up river towards Three Rivers Ranch and other upper sections.
The best way to fish the Salmonfly hatch is with a drift boat. You can cover more water and also increase your chances of finding feeding fish. It isn’t completely out of the question to wade certain sections; however, many fish move in close to the banks to feed. So by using a drift boat, you eliminate the chances of standing where you need to be fishing.
Fishing the Salmonfly can be very frustrating and exciting all in the same. Breaking a rod in frustration is not uncommon. Many trout are a bit leery of seeing an adult Salmonfly floating. It’s like seeing a 10-pound cheeseburger. You’ll see a trout bump the fly, swim downstream, slap it again, and still refuse your fly. Sometimes the fish is only waiting for a twitch of your fly. If you size your fly right, just under the size of the naturals, you’ll even see a trout deny the natural for your imitation.
The winter, spring runoff, and general weather greatly affects the Salmonfly hatch. This is what makes the hatch so elusive for so many anglers. On a typical year, you can expect the Salmonflys to begin emerging in late May to Early June. Again, that depends on many factors, but it’s a good estimate.
Fishing the Salmonfly hatch on the Henry’s Fork is something every angler needs to experience. It’s challenging, elusive, and very worthwhile.
2014 - Henry's Fork Salmon Fly Hatch Update: We're expecting the hatch to begin in about 3 weeks (towards the end of May 2014)! About the same time as our Teton Valley Fly Fishing Festival! Mark your calendar!
Not much has changed in the past couple of weeks as far as fishing conditions go. Although all rivers are still being productive, things have been a little tough. Check out our last post as far as what flies to use right now. But be ready. As the weather cools and the water temperatures begin to drop, look for the emergence of Blue-winged Olives and Mahogany Duns.
Call us today with your fly fishing questions or to reserve your guided trip! (800) 360-9051
TRR guide Rocky Elliott shows off his latest catch.
Are you ready for these Dog Days of summer to end? Let's be honest. The past few weeks of fishing have been a little difficult, although always rewarding. We're happy to report things are picking up everywhere and fishing has been much more productive. Take note: a Hopper Dropper seems to be working pretty much anywhere right now. That beautiful hybrid (pictured below) caught by Susan, with Three Rivers Ranch guide BJ Gerhart, was caught on a hopper. Sweet!
Here's what to expect and what to use as you head out for that perfect catch.
Railroad Ranch - The ranch has been fishing really well. Always very technical, use long 12-14 ft. leaders and light 5/6X tippet. Try trico's in the morning, little black ants mid day, Hoppers in the afternoon, mahogany from morning to early afternoon, callibaetis in the morning and early afternoon and throw beetles to the fish who just won't eat anything!
Box Canyon - Fishing pretty well with 16-22 inch rainbows being caught and released . Right now it's pretty much a nymph game as the water is a little off color. Try small Mayfly nymphs or a Hopper Dropper combo.
Henry's Fork of the Snake - Warm River to Ashton - Why do we love the Henry's Fork? Simple. It fishes well. Try dry droppers with a variety of nymphs. Or only nymph it. No major hatches going on but it's still fishing really well.
Henry's Fork - Lower Section (Below Ashton) - The hot days of summer have led to this section being very mossy with lots of free floating grass, very slow. Try a Hopper Dropper combo.
Teton River - Has been fishing pretty good. Try hoppers, ants, trico's.
South Fork of the Snake River - has been picking up as the water levels are dropping. Palisades to Spring Creek is fishing pretty good overall. Use a Hopper Dropper set up. Mornings and evenings are the best time to hit this section. In The Canyon - Same. Hopper Dropper set up. From Byington to Menan - Getting more productive. Try Hoppers on the grassy banks. Fish are on the ripples.
Teton Basin – Technical fishing. Try PMD's & trico's. Also try small hoppers - the smaller the better, ants and beetles.
For the best selection of flies, including Hopper Dropper combos and gear, stop into one of our four fly shops and talk to one of our expert guides who are always happy to help you. Fishing the Henry's Fork and need a vehicle shuttle? We got ya covered! Call to make a reservation for your Henry's Fork shuttle now. (208) 652-3008
Susan M. & TRR veteran fly fishing guide BJ Gerhart with a beautiful 22 Inch Hybrid Trout was caught using a Grasshopper pattern.
Box Canyon continues to fish well. We recommend trying a double nymph set up like a Golden Stone and dropping a Red Copper John. Drakes are about done, but we're starting to see a few Stone Flies. Going lower? Use Caddis, PMD's or Drakes. The Railroad Ranch is fishing really well. We've had quite a few veteran anglers tell us it's fishing (in their humble opinion) like it did 20 years ago. Lots of fish for your patient, determined angler. Try Caddis and Brown Drakes.
The Upper Section of the Henry's Fork is still generating great fishing. Try Golden Chernobyl and nymphs. Stop in to one of our fly shops for current sizes and color patterns or give us a call. Clients yesterday netted 25-30 fish by noon!
Lower Henry's Fork try PMD's, Green Drake, Caddis and Golden Stones.
The Teton, in the basin near Victor and Driggs has trout rising every evening to the Caddis hatch and PMD's.
The Teton River in the upper valley has been a little hit or miss but we are finally into the dry fly season. Try Yellow Sally's and PMD's – be on the lookout with warm temps for grasshoppers to pick up by end of the month.
The South Fork of the Snake – Fishing well! On the banks try Golden Stones or stop into one of our fly shop's and try Head Guide, Doug Gibson's Michigan Hopper. Also try Chubby Chernobyl's. In the ripples we're seeing them rise to PMD's and first thing in the morning and evening try Caddis and flying ants. The water temp has been around 60 degrees, which is a good temp for insects. Once it gets a little warmer we'll see those prime hatches take off.
Perhaps one of the best ways to fish the South Fork of the Snake is with an experienced, veteran Three River Ranch guide! The canyon section is by far one of my favorite floats. Those who have yet to see or experience it, should put it on your summer bucket list.
Call now to reserve your spot or click here to learn more about our guided day trips. Or just give us a call to get the latest information on rivers and what to use. (208) 652-3008
According to the calendar, summer has officially begun! Here's to great weather, big hungry trout and enjoying those late evening summer hatches! And here's what to expect while out on the river:
Henry's Fork Fly Fishing Report:
Box Canyon still has a few Golden Stones, but nymphing still remains good or running dry hoppers. The Golden Stones are out in Cardiac Canyon below Mesa Falls; you can also try Mayfly nymphs, Copper John's and Pheasant tail nymphs.
Check out our recent blog on the record number of rainbow trout in Box Canyon. More than any other year since the 1970's! Also,the Railroad Ranch opened last weekend and Green Drakes are starting to come off in good numbers.
Warm River to Ashton – Golden Stones are out and also a bunch caddis.
Lower section – Grey and Green Drakes, lots of caddis and few PMD’s. At this point the fish are a little more picky having been worked over a bit this spring season, but they're still biting.
Teton River Fly Fishing Report:
The Teton River has cleared and is fishing well! Try Big Bead Head Copper Johns and Pheasant Tails, Salmon flies, Green Drakes and streamers. In the evening try Caddis, Lots of Cutthroats.
South Fork of the Snake Fly Fishing Report:
The South Fork has exploded and is fishing fantastic! Our guides are reporting lots of fat, hungry fish, primarily browns anywhere between 16-18 inches. Although there are plenty of rainbows and cutthroat biting too. Try Salmon Fly adults,Green Drakes, PMD's, Caddis, Pink Albert's & Blue Wing Olives for dry flies. Also try rubber leg Stone Fly nymphs.
Recent research by the Henry’s Fork Foundation and Idaho Fish and Game biologists shows that there are currently more Rainbow trout in the Box Canyon stretch of the Henry’s Fork then there has been since the 1970’s. A few major factors they believe contribute to the increase of Rainbows is due to a large number of two-year old fish spawned in 2011, the increased water flow from the Island Park Dam from the 2011-2012 winter, and possibly due to the increased fish production from the Buffalo River. Whatever the case, biologists believe there are 6,200 fish per mile, plus or minus 500.
Stop in to one of our conveniently located fly shops in either Island Park or Ashton, Idaho to get hooked up with the right flies to tackle the Box. Right now you’ll want to have some Golden Stones, Green Drakes, Rubber Legs and Caddis. If you’re interested in a guided fishing trip through the canyon section you can reserve your guided fly fishing trip NOW or call the fly shop. (208) 652-3008 in Ashton or (208) 558-7501 in Island Park.
Going to float Box Canyon? << Book your Henry's Fork Shuttle Service. >>
What’s Happening Now on the Henry' Fork of the Snake River?
The Henry’s Fork is fishing really well! We’re in between hatches as the Salmon flies were a bit early this year and just finished up. They’re currently biting Caddis & PMD’s and a few Golden Stones. The Golden stones should be picking up soon, so watch out for them. We’ve been catching a lot of nice size fish so far, and plenty of them! Last week one client caught a 27 inch Brown on the lower section. Sweet!
What’s Up Next?
As we enjoy the Golden Stones picking up, we will also eagerly anticipate the arrival of the Green Drake’s. Within the next week or so, we believe you’ll start to see them come off in good numbers and then progressively increase in numbers on the lower Henry’s Fork. About the same time this is happening watch for the Brown Drake’s to start along the upper Henry’s Fork sections going north. We’ve also seen some Yellow Sally’s flying around, so watch for those too as they’ll pick up shortly. Opening day for the Railroad Ranch in Harriman State Park is June 15. Game on!
How About the Teton River?
The Teton River continues to come down and is clearing up, should be fishing well soon. We’ll be looking for the Golden Stone’s shortly and then from there they will move on to Caddis and Terrestrials (grasshoppers, beetles, ants) as the summer progresses.
What’s Happening Right Now on the South Fork of the Snake?
The South Fork is fishing well right now with nymphs and streamers. Visibility and flows are good, bugs haven’t hatched yet, as they are still lowering the water. Salmon flies will be a little earlier this year than in years past. We anticipate the lower river (anything below Twin Bridges) seeing Salmon Flies by the end of June through first of July.
What’s Up Next for the South Fork?
All summer long watch for – Mayflies & Caddis on the South Fork. Toward the end of July and into August watch for Grasshopper’s to start picking up on the South Fork. Also in July watch for hatches of PMD’s and Caddis.
The South Fork has a population of well over 5,177 fish per mile. Wild cutthroats averaging 14-16 inches, as well as rainbows and hybrids can be found. You will also find brown trout that can grow much larger than 10 pounds. Although the South Fork is best known for its dry-fly fishing and steamer fishing, casting big flies under-cut banks, or dead drifting a bead head nymph along the numerous gravel bars can be very effective and exciting!
Interested in a guided fly fishing trip? Reserve your guided fly fishing trip NOW through one of our four shops. Call now to make a reservation: 208-652-3008.
TRR Outfitters & Three Rivers Ranch Guide Eric Grigg with legendary coach Denny Crumb with a giant 27" Rainbow trout caught on a mountain lake.
TRR Outfitters & Three Rivers Ranch guide Nick Minor holding a nice Henry's Fork Brown Trout his client caught on a Golden Stone fly.
If you're planning on Fly Fishing Idaho, now it's a great time to do so. Your best bet for fly selection on the Henry's Fork of the Snake River is Caddis, March Browns, Streamers, & Rubberlegs.
Spring runoff is here and we are seeing dirty water conditions. As temperatures rise, expect waters to get higher & slightly more turbid.
Many fly fisherman in the area are starting to talk about the Henry's Fork Salmon Fly Hatch. If you can make it to the area during the peak of the hatch, it's something to check off your life-list (fishing wise). The Henry's Fork Salmon Flies are getting closer by the day. We are expecting the temperatures to rise in the next two weeks, which will affect the temperature of the water. As the water temperature rises, we will start seeing the hatch emerge from the lower sections of the Henry's Fork and move up river, towards Warm River & Island Park.
Overall, fishing has been good lately. The best news is that the fishing here in East Idaho is only going to get better.
Stop by our Ashton Fly Shop to see our new product lines: Patagonia, Echo, Rio, William & Joseph, & Korkers. We also started a new Henry's Fork Shuttle Service as well. If you're looking for a River Shuttle on the Henry's Fork, Teton River, or the Fall River give us a call (800) 360-9051 to book your East Idaho River Shuttle.
Nick Minor of Three Rivers Ranch holding a nice Henry's Fork Brown on the Upper Section.
A beautiful Henry's Fork Rainbow Trout
Three Rivers Ranch Head Guide checking out a long & skinny Henry's Fork Rainbow Trout. This guy will fatten up on Salmon Flies in the next two weeks!
Spring Fly Fishing on the Henry's Fork is vastly under-rated.
Spring on the Henry's Fork brings milions of Caddis. A slight wind doesn't hurt any fly-fisherman, as it thins out the caddis "blanket" hatch.
We offer River Shuttles on the Henrys Fork of the Snake River, Teton River, and Fall River. Call to Schedule your Henry's Fork Shuttle Now (800) 360-9051
I had a chance to visit with Sam, a Three Rivers Ranch guide yesterday about fishing conditions on the beautiful South Fork of the Snake River. Sam shared that from Palisades Dam to Byington, the South Fork is really fishing well. He noted that with summer still in full swing, it’s not a bad idea to head out early, as the river gets pretty crowded in the afternoon. Any angler wanting to enjoy a productive day will want to throw Caddis, PMD’s and Nymph Droppers right now. He also mentioned they’re starting to look up for grasshopper’s, so be ready because once they start on grasshoppers - it’s game on.
If you’re planning a trip to the Teton Basin, you’re in for a great day as it’s fishing great! The lower section from the dam down is still just too warm. On the upper basin section however, the fish are feeding on PMD’s, Caddis, Terrestrials and the Grasshoppers are out in full force!
I visited with Ben, at the Three Rivers Ranch Henry’s Fork Fly Shop in Island Park today to see what fishing conditions we can expect on the Henry’s Fork. Temperatures are still quite hot during the day, but fishing conditions are great on Box Canyon. Water flow is over 1500’s cfs, which makes wading a bit difficult on Box Canyon. With some rivers in Yellowstone Park and Montana being closed due to the water temperature being too warm, anglers will find plenty of great fishing on the upper sections of the Henry’s Fork. Fish are mostly biting at small bead head, Mayfly and nymphs such as flashback pheasant tail, zebra midges and grasshopper’s. Infact, if you’re looking to fish Harriman State Park or Railroad Ranch bring plenty of grasshoppers! They are in large numbers! Honey ants have started to come out, they’re not quite in full force, but one they do the fish will go crazy! Right now they’re also eating Tricos, Callibaetis Spinner s and Pale Morning Dun Spinners.
Warm River to Ashton is still fishing great, the warmer temperatures haven’t affected the fishing. They’re eating grasshoppers and smaller bead head nymphs.
The lower Henry’s Fork from Ashton Reservoir down really isn’t fishing as well anymore. With the hot summer temperatures and the work still being done on the dam, affecting the water levels, this section is tough.
The Salmon Fly is here, along with several other species. There has been a lot of dry fly action along the entire stretch of the Henry's Fork. The Henry's Fork general season opener is this weekend May 26, 2012. There are several spots where fish have been gorging themselves on Salmon flies. Box has been fishing well, but in typical Box fashion your best bet is a nymph, and the Salmon fly nymphs are crawling in the evening. From Ashton up to Riverside campgrown, we've seen some Flavs, Blue Winged Olives, Crane flies, Yellowsallies, Midges (early), and Spinners (late). Golden Stone's are just around the corner.
Chester to Fun farm you're looking at Salmon Flies, Blue Winged Olives, Flavs, Midges, Crane Flies, and most of the same flies I listed from Ashton up.
It is definately a great time for the Henry's Fork of the Snake River. This year is shaping up to be an excellent year for fishing! If you're all set to visit us at Three Rivers Ranch this summer, we look forward to seeing you. If you haven't got your trip booked yet, do so immediately! As our legendary head guide Doug Gibson says, "... you never know about the catching, but the fishing is always good!"
This information was just provided to us from Deb at PPL Resource Coordinator:
"A flow increase was made at Hebgen at 13:00 today, Wednesday, April 18th. The current outflow is approximately 1260cfs. The elevation is currently 6527.83ft which is approximately 7.04ft from full. NRCS’ current snow pack is 91% of average for Madison river basin. This compares to 4/18/2011 as follows: 6525.27ft elevation, 1095cfs outflow, and snow pack of 120% of average ."
As you can see, snowpack is slightly below average from last year. But, last year was a very wet and long winter and spring. This means that spring runoff should not be as bad as last year, which means a potentially very rewarding fishing season! Book your fishing trip Today!
Here is a picture of Robinson Creek at Three Rivers Ranch last spring.
As you may or may not know, the fishing in September is usually very good on all rivers throughout East Idaho; including the Henry’s Fork, South Fork, and Teton Rivers. This season was a little bit late, due to the amount of snow and rain we got this winter and spring. We are expecting the fishing to continue to be amazing until late October. September in October!
We are extending our fishing season until October 31st. If you’ve been wanting to experience the amazing fall fishing experience on our blue ribbon trout streams, now is the time! We are filling up quick, but, still have some open availability in October.
Don’t Wait, Book Now! Call (208) 652-3750 or email us your reservation today!
Three Rivers Ranch guide Todd Allen with Peggy P., spring fly-fishing on the Henry's Fork of the Snake River in Idaho. Peggy sent in this picture in and said, "It was a great day, especially for me. I don't think I have caught that many fish in one day over 20 inches anywhere, excluding Alaska, but then that doesn't really count."
The lower section of the Henry's Fork has been fishing good. The stretch from Ashton Dam below Vernon Bridge is currently closed until memorial day and the confluence of Fall River at Chester Dam is dirty due to runoff. Right now you can try a Blue Winged Olive, Midge, or a Streamer. The Caddis and March Browns are right around the corner!
See this story on Orvis News: Women in fly fishing! >>
Water flows at Irwin are at 13,600. There is dry fly fishing in the soft spots and on the gravel banks. The water is pretty dirty but as it clears fishing should explode! The best technique would be a Golden Stone with a nymph below, a Yellow Sally, or a streamer. Fish on!