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denduke

Henry's Fork?

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We have a trip in June around Ashton, Idaho. Need some advice on flies, techniques? Wanting to swing streamers in the current target larger fish. Figure some stone fly nymphs, maybe hoppers... Thanks for any suggestions. Never fished out west...

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We have a trip in June around Ashton, Idaho. Need some advice on flies, techniques? Wanting to swing streamers in the current target larger fish. Figure some stone fly nymphs, maybe hoppers... Thanks for any suggestions. Never fished out west...

Check out Rene Harrop patterns

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Check out world cast anglers. Also check out www.jeffcurrier.com. Early for hoppers I think of them later in the summer.

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I am no expert on Henry's Fork. The one time I fished it, trout were rising all around me, and the air was filled with insects (you had to keep your mouth closed), and I failed to catch anything. I don't even think I got a bite. A couple of the guys with me did manage one or two, but nothing of size. Very humbling. We were fishing just a short distance down stream of Rene Harrop's place.

 

Anyway, Aston has several fly shops in it (google "fly shop Ashton ID"). I'd suggest you contact one of them and get the hatch chart and fly recommendations for that time of year. It is an expense, but consider hiring a guide for 1/2 a day. He/she will educate you on the correct flies and techniques for the stream. Do that on your first day and you'll catch a lot more fish during your stay.

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I predict that the Henrys Fork at the Harriman State Park/Railroad Ranch will be one of the most difficult, if not, the most difficult fishing you have ever experienced. Only Silver Creek, Idaho in my experience is a tougher overall fishery.

 

http://www.flyfisherman.com/west/idaho/idahos-henrys-fork-rebound/#ixzz27aXdNSor

 

A downstream parachute cast. is the must learn technique when the fish are feeding on a hatch on the Henry’s Fork.

47459519851_08cc747427_z.jpg

 

https://books.google.com/books?id=V8KYqVlOpjkC&pg=PA33&lpg=PA33&dq=gary+borger+parachute+cast&source=bl&ots=a2xP64n3ZK&sig=cPWClD9TAAmb5mLn4QoKOMlAL0U&hl=en&sa=X&ei=M2hlT_3aCYOSgwfahvyjAg&ved=0CDkQ6AEwBA#v=onepage&q&f=false

 

When the trout are feeding on gin clear slow water on weedy spring creeks, the down stream slack cast is the best way to catch fish.

 

In freestone streams I generally fish dries upstream but when fishing to very spooky trout with a lots of time to inspect a fly, a downstream presentation may be the ONLY way to catch fish. This is the favored method in Henry's Fork if you believe the 3 greats of Earnest Shweibert, Andre Puyans and Rene Harrop. It was true in 1975 and it is even more true 42 years later.

 

”… a downstream cast is best. "Exactly," Rene Harrop went on. Up stream presentation usually spooks these Henrys Fork rainbows no matter what tippet diameter you use.”

 

Ernest Schweibert wrote, ”My favorite technique this time of year is one that I developed over the years I fondly call my pontoon boat downstream drag free drift. My good friend Mike Lawson made this technique popular back in the late seventies and early eighties on the fabled waters of the Railroad Ranch section of the Henrys Fork River in Idaho. Mike discovered that the super selective rainbows of the Ranch had become so conditioned to seeing leaders in the gin clear water that they were virtually impossible to catch from a "below the fish approach". The conventional technique of casting upstream to feeding fish and letting the fly drift back downstream to obtain a drag free drift would render nothing but rejections. The fish on the Henrys Fork actually became so leader shy they would even spook and leave at the sight of a leader.”

 

The Fall River in California is one of the most difficult trout streams in the West. The technique below is called the Fall River Skate

 

”In order to present the fly so that it comes into the view of the fish before the line, you point the rod downstream, and then wiggle the tip while at the same time feed the line through the guides at a rate that is equal to the river’s flow. The fly will then drift downstream, hopefully in a dead drift. Wiggling the tip to feed the line has worked well on other spring creeks that I’ve fished such as Hot Creek, where drifts are relatively short and the weeds are often on the surface, but as long time guide Carl Jaeger explained to me “on the Fall River you are trying to effect drifts of twenty feet or more and each wiggle has the potential to create hesitation in the fly’s drift which will eliminate its chances of it being grabbed.” He showed me a better way to feed the line that was specifically suited for attaining the desired longer drifts. He explained that rather than wiggle the rod tip to help feed the line, you should roll the tip which will allow you to feed two to three feet of line each time and for fishing dry flies, this was the most important technique that I learned.”

 

Here's a reply I wrote on another BB on how to do a parachute cast, my favorite method for delivering a fly absolutely drag free from the upstream approach.

 

"If micro-drag is the problem, the goal is to remove all drag. The easiest way to remove drag and place the fly accurately into the feeding lane of the fish is with a parachute cast from the upstream position. It is also the easiest way to time a fly so that it reaches a rhythmically feeding fish.

 

You must be able to get upstream of the fish and into casting position without spooking it. This can be directly upstream of the fish but more often it is upstream and across so that you can stay out of the direct feeding lane but still do a reach mend to place the cast into the feeding lane.

 

One caution is that when you approach these fish from above you need to stay OUT of the current seam that the fish is in. These weed beds often occur in silt bottom slow flow spring creeks, and any approach from above kicks up the silt and alerts the fish that something has entered the river upstream. Fortunately, if you stay in another current seam, the weed bed between you and the trout's seam will help keep the silty water in your current seam and away from the fish.

 

From the upstream position cast downstream to the feeding fish so that the fly lands upstream and outside the window of the feeding fish. Stop the rod high so that the line drapes down to the water like a parachute cord (this is where the name of the cast comes from). You can jerk back on the rod tip as the leader unfolds to give you more slack line and leader and place the rod in a more vertical position at the end of the cast.

 

Aim your cast beyond the feeding lane of the fish. Then you can skate the fly directly into the feeding lane. The fly, line and leader are still outside the window of the feeding fish. When the fly is in the right place and at the right time (for a rhythmically feeder), lower the rod tip as the current takes the fly to the fish and the fly will enter the fish's window before the leader and without drag. If you time it right, the fly will arrive just as the fish is rising to feed again, and the fish will choose your fly from amongst the others because yours is arriving at the right time. If you need more slack than just lowering the rod will provide, pop the rod tip up and down while releasing line to stack mend line into the drift.

 

When the fish takes, delay just a bit until the mouth closes and the head goes down before you lift the rod to set the hook. If you set too fast. you will actually pull the fly out of the fishes mouth before it closes. The hook set is delayed a bit when you are upstream of the fish compared to a downstream position.

 

If the fish does not take, gently move the rod to the side so that the leader goes to your side of the fish without disturbing the surface too much. Gently pick up and do your false cast to the other side of the river so that you don't spray the water over the fish and then try again.

 

For fish that are feeding selectively and rhythmically by holding close to the surface there is no better method. They have a small window so you can get closer than a fish that is holding deeper. Trying to remove all drag with a slack line, being highly accurate, and timing the fly for a rhythmical feeder is nearly impossible when casting from below the fish.”

 

 

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100% with what Silvercreek says. I suggest you keep up with Henry's Fork Anglers fishing reports as the time approaches for your trip.

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Gonna be challenge even for me....my party are not great fly fishers. Are there some areas around a dam that has stockers too? Thought I read that somewhere....they more into stripping streamers or watching a strike indicator drifting midges/ nymphs? Dry flying gonna be new save for some hopper dropping in the Arkie tailwaters in the past...We sposed to have 2 mi of stream kinda between Ashton and Chester...single cabin at a ranch. Obvious all new and I'm researching...I'm excited about the dry opportunities!

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Silver that is just a tour de force presentation about Presentation. Thank you. I never cease to be amazed at the quality information you provide. Gives me confidence to try fishing the South Platte river, when I can.

 

DenDuke, I am not sure how close you will be getting to the South Fork of the Snake or what your budget might be. There are a remarkable number of fine guides in the area. From a drift boat, it is a very user friendly river for a less experienced fly angler. The fly shops in Jackson, WY can help, fine places in Idaho, too. Incredible tailwater below Palisades Reservoir and huge cutthroats and great numbers of fish, that like those big streamers you wish to swing. Plus, it will not be blown out by late spring runoff from the massive snowpack thus far. Jackson Hole also has a vibrant entertainment scene that will be starting to go in mid-June. Glad to help anyway I can, friends with about 6 families that live there...

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Thanks fellas, got a while to figure this out, work in progress. Appreciate the wealth of knowledge here. Very helpful Siver Creek especially. Done scart my pards a lil...

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Gotta agree with Kudu....World Cast Anglers is awesome....check out guide Eric White

Good to know, the Harriman is on my list, but will need to work on my casting - a lot - Mel Krieger video didn't cover enough and my kayak and local rivers have spoiled me, too much.

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[snip] We sposed to have 2 mi of stream kinda between Ashton and Chester...single cabin at a ranch. Obvious all new and I'm researching...I'm excited about the dry opportunities!

That's considerably downstream of the stretch everyone here is talking about. I am hardly an expert on those waters, but the time I did fish that stretch just below Ashton Dam I found the fish to be quite cooperative and the water is not particularly technical. When someone says "Henry's Fork" they usually mean the run upstream near Island Park (aka "The Ranch"), which is really just a small section of the North Fork of the Snake.

 

Did not try streamers when I was there, but I would contact Jimmy's All Season Angler in Idaho Falls because they like fishing streamers and probably spend more time on the lower section than the shops up above. Good luck.

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The guides in Last Chance, Henry's Fork Anglers and Trout Hunter, guide a lot between Ashton and St. Anthony, ie, the so-called lower river, as well as the Box Canyon and the Warm River to Ashton section. The lower river ordinarily fishes well in June and dies off in very late June or first few days of July. It has some wading access at various places. The difficulty of the fishing on the lower river is much reduced from the Ranch section, but there are lots of nice fish there including plenty bows and browns over 20 inches. Not pushovers but catchable. Inexperienced fishers will find the Ranch very frustrating. For that matter people who fish it many days every year also find it challenging. The whole river from the Box Canyon a few miles upstream of the Ranch down to St. Anthony is a true national treasure for fisher folks. (By the way i am not sure when the original poster is going in June; the Ranch does not open til -- i think this is right -- June 15.)

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...and one other comment: Silver's explanation of the technique typically used on the big, spooky, heavily pressured, wild fish on the Ranch is really excellent. If you did not read it carefully, read it again. It is so good an explanation in fact it almost makes it look easy! -- when in fact it takes a bit of trial and error! For folks who have not tried it, it is worth learning. It provides a very useful alternative to casting upstream, over the top of rising fish, in many circumstances.

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