Streams Outside of Yellowstone National Park
.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park


Henry's Fork of the Snake River - Part Seven

By now I think you see why the river is such a great trout stream even though we are
still near the beginning of the river. It has great lake fishing, great rough and tumble
pocket water (Box Canyon)  and excellent, unsurpassed smooth flowing spring creek
fishing (Harrimon State Park) and we have not left the upper portion of the river. Many
anglers think that what I have outlined so far is what the Henry's Fork has to offer. I
think that comes from the fact that it is about all anyone is capable of seeing on a week
or two trip to the area, yet some of the best water the river has to offer is below the
ranch. Maybe it is because the area at the Ranch is called "Last Chance". I promise as
far as trout fishing is concerned, it isn't the last chance.

I will return to fishing the ranch and the box canyon. It took some time but I did learn to
catch trout in the smooth water. The best part of fishing has so far been only
mentioned. The hatches of aquatic insects in the fertile water adds greatly to its quality
of fishing.

Below the Ranch section the river again changes character. It turns into faster flowing,
water with long riffles and runs. Fishing in this area is similar to fishing in the box
canyon area.  It is approximately six or seven miles downstream from the end of the
Ranch section to Riverside Campground. I haven't fished this area of the river between
the Ranch and the campground yet. I say yet because I think ignoring it may be a

Below the campground the river flows into another canyon. This one is called Cardiac
Canyon. You can probably guess why. I have fished this section without having a heart
attack. Some people consider it to be the best water the river has to offer. One reason
is that the fact that it is not nearly as heavily fished as the Box Canyon or the Ranch
section. Another reason is that the access to this part isn't all that great. It is a deep
canyon. Part of it can be floated in a drift boat and you can get to the stream on foot in
a few places. Hatchery Ford is one easy to get too area. Even if you have your own
boat, I would suggest that you not float this section without first doing so with someone
experienced in floating this particular section of the river.  You cannot float father
downstream of the Hatchery Ford area.  By the way, don't get the idea from the name
"Hatchery Ford" that this river is stocked. It is not. That would be a big insult to the
Henry's Fork.

You have to get to the river below Hatchery Ford by hiking in. It is fast, rough pocket
water. There are also some water falls downstream including Upper and Lower Mesa
Falls. Fishing is great between the falls as well as below and above the falls. You just
have to get there on foot. This is a very deep canyon section but it is well worth the
effort it takes to fish it especially if you are there during a good hatch. I understand it
has some huge trout although my personal experience hasn't proved they are any
larger than they are in the Ranch section. The canyon ends at the confluence of the
Warm River.

I will pick up there tomorrow.

Copyright 2008 James Marsh     
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