We just finished several days of fly fishing the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. Last year, we arrived to fish the Brown and Green Drake hatches in late June. I’ll provide links to those posts at the bottom of today’s post. Our arrival was a couple weeks later on purpose. We watched the weather reports carefully for a couple of weeks and noticed the torrential rains Yellowstone Country received. The Henry’s Fork was spared for most of that, but it’s been wetter and colder than usual and the fishing reports from local fly shops stated the hatches appeared to be late.
We drove to an area where Brown Drakes hatched last year, hoping to see the bugs and fish rising to them. The image above shows two spinners I found floating down the river. So yes, there were bugs. We also found newly hatching insects floating by us. Here is one I caught.
And another Brown Drake spinner making rings on the surface of the river.
How about fish?
Yes, they were rising.
Here is one of them. Notice the flies above her head? Those are Brown Drakes.
Ok, it’s a little on the small side, right? Here are a couple we caught last year and more of what we were hoping for.
Besides Brown Drakes, we hoped for hatching Green Drakes too. We found them last year around the billboard in Last Chance, ID.
We drove to the billboard again, expecting bugs and fly fishers. Here are two similar images, one from a few days ago and the other from last year.
See any difference?
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. No fly fishers anywhere.
I’m guessing, but cold weather a couple weeks ago and increased water levels may have played a role. The charts below compare two weeks last year vs last week. We arrived on Thursday just as water increased to almost 1200 cfs.
In my experience, rising river levels are never good for fly fishing. I believe it will take a couple of days for fish to settle down and begin feeding
But cast we did, hoping to see a rise to our flies.
Changing flies is part of the game.
Karen was changing to another spinner fly pattern and we did coax a few beautiful fish up to our dry flies.
We found a few rising fish for close to 2 hours the last two days we fished the river.
I’m amazed at the size of these fish! Karen landed this 19+ inch fat fish. It was too wiggly for a better picture!
We ended up fishing only four days before heading over the mountain to the Madison River.
Most of the fish around the billboard were caught on a Compara Spinner (#14) fly pattern I’ve been tying.
Here is an image of one of the many pelicans found below Herriman’s Ranch.
The Henry’s Fork is a magical place with the mountains creating a valley for the river.
The mornings are spectacular as well, if you get up early enough.
As promised, here are the links to last years posts:
- Henry’s Fork of the Snake River – First week – June 2021
- Henry’s Fork of the Snake River – Second week – June 2021