Runoff has commenced, but we still have good things on the Henry's Fork
The Snake went into runoff around the 1st of May but there is still visibility on the foot and a half range, so some possibilities downstream of Pacific Creek as skwalas, midges, and even capnias continue to emerge throughout the drainage (and blue-winged olives on cooler, wetter days). The best action is coming on larger attractor patterns and on lightly weighted or unweighted stonefly nymph imitations, particularly at the head of riffles, in eddies, and in slow current side channels.
The tailwater reach from the Dam down to Pacific Creek has substantially more visibility and flows currently stand at just under 300cfs. Water temps are cool, so nymphs are your best bet. Go with smaller midge, and mayfly imitations and smaller attractor nymphs fished in the thalweg below the spillway and in eddies and seams. Streamers are working best in the spillway and from Cattlemen’s down to Pacific Creek. Go with slow retrieves and small to moderately sized baitfish imitations on floating, hover, or intermediate sinking lines.
Dry flies – Will’s Winged Chernobyls, Mary Kays, Circus Peanuts, Purple Bruces, and Chubby Chernobyls.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, Kaufmann’s Stone, 20-Inchers, Deep Cleaner Stones, Brillion’s Rabid Squirrel, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Keller’s Matte Deamon, Perdigons, and Zebra Midges.
Streamers – Chicklets, Kreelux, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Galloup’s Mini Dungeon, Booty Call Minnows, and Booty’s Tri-Bunny.
Flows from Palisades Reservoir are at approximately 11,700cfs. Less visibility on the South Fork than what we had a couple weeks ago but still some decent fishing with nymph rigs from the Dam down to Cottonwood and both nymphs and streamers from the lower canyon down to Lorenzo. Double and triple nymph rigs are working in dumping riffles, confluences and eddies at the tail of seams. Go with five to seven feet of leader from line/suspension device down to your trailing fly. If using a dry-dropper rig, go with four to six feet of tippet. Midge and stonefly imitations are out-performing other flies.
Streamers are working best when fished on intermediate sinking lines or sinking tips in the INT to 3ips range, although short lengths or T-8 or T-11 can do the trick in the morning hours before 11am. A wide variety of streamer sizes are producing. Use variable retrieves and target banks, submerged structure, seams, and riffle pools.
Dry flies – Barrett’s Ant, Chubby Chernobyls, Circus Peanuts, Winged Peanuts, and Fat Alberts.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, 20-Inchers, Flashback Rubber Legged Hares Ear Nymph, D Rib Stones, Peach Fuzz Jigs, Duracells, Perdigons, Zebra Midges, Ice Cream Cone Midges, Glo-Bugs, Veiled Eggs, Clown Eggs, and Otter’s Soft Milking Eggs.
Streamers – Galloup’s Sex Dungeon, Keller’s Nightmare, Booty’s Quad Bunny, Galloup’s Bottom’s Up, McKnight’s Home Invader, Mojo Minnows, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Booty’s Tri-Bunny, J.J. Specials, and Swim Coaches.
Caddis emergences are in full effect now and the Henry’s Fork is one of the best places to be at the moment. Surface fishing has been best from approximately 1pm until dusk and starts early by an hour or two on days with cloud cover. Fish both adult and emergent patters (intandem is best) and target riffles, submerged structure, eddies, bank edges with vegetation, and seams.
Nymphs (particularly stonefly nymphs as well as caddis larva and pupa imitations) are out producing everything else. Go with midge range lengths of leader in the four to range weather using double rigs or dry-droppers. Target the same water as you do with surface patterns mentioned above but concentrate on banks, riffles, and submerged structure.
Streamers are working best downstream of Vernon Bridge and from Warm River down to Ashton. Target banks, the inside turn of riffles, riffle current margins, and submerged structure. Moderately sized patterns are outperforming other sizes. Fish them on floating lines or sinking tips in the INT to 6ips range.
Dry flies – Circus Peanuts, Bart’s Lipstick, Stimulators, Elk Hair Caddis, Goddard Caddis, Mathew’s Sparkle Caddis, X-Caddis, Furimsky BDEs, Parachute Midges, and CDC Caddis Emergers.
Nymphs – Pat’s Rubber Leg, 20-Inchers, Kaufmann Stones, Chamois Caddis, Mercer’s Bead Tail Caddis, Mopscicles, Soft Hackles, Zebra Midges, and Ice Cream Cone Midges.
Streamers – Blondies, Beldar Buggers, Coffey’s Sparkle Minnow, Kreelux, Arum’s Lil’ Kim, Booty Call Minnows, and Rusty Trombones.