As July draws to an end, August marks a time on the Henry’s Fork that should be looked forward to. The bugs sort of slow down when the water gets warm, and the fish get sluggish. Just as the mayflies that once seemed so reliable aren’t so reliable anymore, it’s hopper season. The hopper fishing should really heat up in the coming weeks. In the meantime, up in the Railroad Ranch and Last Chance sections of the river, the cooler weather and the water surge from Island Park Reservoir have brought the water temperature down. The cooler temps have made bugs a little more active, and with that, the fish too. Rusty spinners in the evening have put a lot fish in the net over the past couple nights. The best bet on surface feeding fish is definitely the early morning and late evening, before or after the sun pokes out over the trees and warms up the water.
The Lower Henry’s Fork, starting at the Warm River confluence has begun to pick up as well. Hoppers have already started to move fish. A hopper dropper set up with a smallish light weight nymph can be hugely successful on this stretch of the river. Streamers have been the most consistent big fish getters, but as summer rolls along, terrestrials will fish better and better.
The river below Ashton Reservoir has been been spotty at best. Dry fly activity has been limited, and weeds in the river make nymphing a bit of a headache. That being said, streamers that are stripped fast enough to keep above the weeds have been hooking into some real monsters.
The flies to have for now and the coming weeks are hoppers from small to big, think size twelve on up to six. Also, rusty spinners in size sixteen and eighteen. With the rusty spinners, there may also be some spent caddis mixed in. A good pattern for spent caddis is the spent partridge caddis, also an X-caddis with the wing smashed flat will work. As for streamers, the smoke colored Coffee’s sparkle minnow with a smaller black leach pattern off the back is deadly.