Henrys Fork / Madison River – 2015/05/23

Hoping that the salmonflies had moved up river, today’s destination was the Box Canyon. The big bugs were everywhere on the banks, but weren’t very active. I fished a big dry with various droppers, but nothing. This stretch of the Henrys Fork is a tough nut to crack. The previous time I’ve fished it, I didn’t have any luck either. If I had waited for the day to fully warm up perhaps the salmonflies would have gotten more active, but my frustration got the better of me, and I decided to head to the Madison a little early. As soon as I crossed Raynolds Pass into Montana, I realized that might have been a mistake. The wind was howling and a steady drizzle was falling. After waiting for a few hours, the wind finally died down, so I got a few hours fishing in. Of course a downpour started soon after I got out. I caught three small browns, lost two good rainbows, broke off a big brown, and missed/lost a few other small fish. Most of the action was on a rubberlegs, but a few took the small BWO trailer. After losing three or four double nymph rigs, I tried a streamer for a bit and didn’t get a good hookset on what I think was a big fish. Not quite what I had hoped for, but still a good day.

Henrys Fork

The challenging Box Canyon of the Henrys Fork.

Henrys Fork Salmonfly

The bug and its imitation.

Madison River

Some lovely weather on the Madison.

Posted in Caribou-Targhee National Forest, Idaho, Montana Tagged , , , , |

Henrys Fork – 2015/05/22

After leaving work early, I was on the water at 3. Hoping to still find salmonflies, I thought the Hatchery Ford stretch would be a good bet. I was right; the big bugs were everywhere, including a lot on the water. Most of the action was small fish, catching a handful. The only fish of note were a 14″er and an 18″er brought to the net, and a big fish (~20″) that threw the hook in fast water. All of the action was on various salmonfly dries. There were a lot of boats and a few other wade anglers, which is to be expected with the salmonfly hatch. Thankfully the weather held out until I got back to the car at 8.

Henrys Fork

Tough hiking and wading, but some great water nonetheless.

Henrys Fork Rainbow

A hard-fighting football of a rainbow.

Henrys Fork Rainbow

The fish of the day.

Posted in Caribou-Targhee National Forest, Idaho Tagged , , , |

Green River – 2015/05/16

Despite the forecast, I decided to hit up the Green and check out a new stretch of the campground water. The majority of the time I nymphed with a rubberlegs and a worm trailer. I caught eight or so on this setup, broke off one, and lost a few more. As the weather got worse, blue-winged olives started to emerge, so I switched to head hunting with a BWO cripple. I caught five on the dry and broke one off. The two that broke off and one of the ones lost were over 18″, otherwise everything was 16″ and smaller. The snow started in earnest at about 4. I was back to the car, which said it was 35°, at 5:30.

Green River

A little more scenic than the stretch I usually fish.

Green River Brown

Fell for the rubberlegs.

Green River Brown

The biggest caught on a dry fly.

Green River Brown

The biggest landed of the day.

May Snowstorm

Some of the fattest flakes I have seen.

Posted in Wyoming Tagged , , |

Henrys Fork – 2015/05/12

Even though the best salmonfly fishing was likely on the Warm River to Ashton stretch, Mike and I walked upstream from Warm River. There were two reasons for this thinking: the lack of public wading access and the potential for the salmonfly nymphing to be great above the confluence. Unfortunately it was not. After losing many flies, all we had to show for it was a nice rainbow Mike lost on his first cast, a small rainbow I landed, and another nice rainbow I lost. Mike was the first to switch tactics, changing to small mayflies to target the infrequent risers we were seeing. He fooled quite a few, the majority of which were small, though he lost a good rainbow, broke off another, and landed a hard-fighting 14″er. I decided to try out a streamer and managed to catch an 18″ rainbow and a 12″ brown. When we got back to the car, I convinced Mike to fish the water downstream of the put-in to see if we could find anything looking up for the big bugs. Mike didn’t have any luck, but I found a 16″ brown that crushed my big bushy pattern. The Hank has never lived up to expectations, especially with salmonflies, but I keep going back. I was just glad I could say I caught a nice fish on a salmonfly dry.

You can read Mike’s report from the day on Stream & Trail, Mike and Katy’s site.

Henrys Fork

Mike throwing a heavy nymph rig.

Henrys Fork Rainbow

Hammered a white streamer behind a log jam.

Henrys Fork Salmonfly

Trout candy.

Henrys Fork Brown

What I had hoped the day would be filled with. Nice trout crushing salmonfly dries.

Posted in Idaho Tagged , , , |

— Creek – 2015/05/03

With pretty much all of the rivers running brown, I was hoping — Creek might still be fishable. It was off-color, but only “green”. I started out using a stimulator, covering most of the water, and managed to bring up three. When I reached the point where I started back downstream, I tied on a small, heavy sculpin pattern. On the streamer I caught another dozen or so. Of the 15 or 16 landed, only two were bigger than 12″. Interestingly, I caught a rainbow at the Gros Ventre/– Creek confluence. Thankfully the weather cooperated until I was driving out.

-- Creek

A favorite stream.

-- Creek Cutty

The first fish of the day hammered a yellow stimulator.

-- Creek Cutty

Colored up nicely.

Posted in Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming Tagged , , |

Green River – 2015/05/02

Having had some previous, though limited, success on the Green when it was off-color, I (partially) persuaded Mike and Katy to hit it up. The water was definitely off-color, and we definitely only had limited success. Mike fooled a nice 14-15″ brown, and I caught a lanky 12″er. Small fish made up the bulk of the action with Katy catching two and Mike and I each catching one. I lost two other fish, likely decent, while a few others were probably missed between us. All of those fooled were on nymphs, mainly hare’s ears, or worm patterns. The forecast was supposed to be perfect, but some threatening clouds, brief rain, and strong winds chased us off the water around 4. It was a decent day considering the state of most of the area streams.

You can read Mike’s report on their site, Stream and Trail.

Green River

Katy working a tailout.

Green River Brown

Took a worm pattern of some flavor. Thanks to Mike for the picture.

Green River Brown

Mike’s nice fish.

Posted in Wyoming Tagged , , |