HENRY'S FORK ANGLERS - LAST CHANCE, IDAHO

 

HENRY'S FORK ANGLERS - LAST CHANCE, IDAHO

Mike and Sheralee Lawson’s roots are five generations deep in Henry’s Fork Country. In 1976 they started Henry’s Fork Anglers just upstream from the Harriman Park section of the Henry’s Fork on Highway 20. Henry’s Fork Anglers is a stand-alone fly fishing shop and outfitting business. This gives them the advantage to objectively tailor fishing packages with a variety of different accommodations to meet the needs and requirements of the most discriminating angler. The original shop stood for thirty years. By 2005 they had grown out of the old building and a new building was constructed in 2006 at the same location with four times the floor space of the old shop. The shop is loaded with merchandise and flies from the biggest names in the fly fishing industry.

Typical Length of Stay

Packages start with three days fishing and four nights lodging. Single day trips are also available. Please check with Yellow Dog for custom pricing for any length of stay.

Accommodations and Lodging

Henry's Fork Lodge Dining RoomThe Henry’s Fork Lodge offers the finest accommodations in the entire Yellowstone region! Designed by award-winning architect Joseph Esherick, the lodge has been nominated for architecture awards for its distinctive combination of elegance and comfort. Whether it’s a hearty breakfast, a gourmet picnic lunch, or an elegant dinner, their restaurant has gained a reputation for the finest cuisine in the Yellowstone area. Located on a high bluff overlooking the Henry’s Fork, the scenery from the deck of the lodge is simply breathtaking. The Henry’s Fork Lodge is located just 6 miles south of the Henry’s Fork Anglers fly shop.

Elk Creek Ranch, situated on 500 acres, features a sparkling, private, trout-stocked lake just 30 minutes from Yellowstone National Park. Quiet and secluded, the ranch is a perfect home base to enjoy all that the region has to offer. Elk Creek Ranch is located six miles north of Henry’s Fork Anglers. Guests of Elk Creek Ranch enjoy three meals a day. Start with a hearty farm breakfast, pack a delicious sack lunch for the middle of the day and settle in for a warm family style meal back at the lodge in the evening. Elk Creek Ranch is the perfect spot for a large group of anglers or an angler with a non-fishing family.

The Pines at Island Park offers an amazing resort experience with friends and family. They are the perfect lodging option for those looking for adventure and a quiet getaway in Island Park, ID. You’ll stay in one of the luxurious log cabins secluded within the Targhee National Forest for maximum privacy and relaxation. All of the cabins feature hot tubs, satellite TV, and full kitchen and dining facilities. Also, enjoy the other conveniences the resort offers such as their charming lodge, fully stocked bar, and Lodgepole Grill. Guests enjoy their own private cabin to sleep 2, 4, 6, or more. The Pines is located just 6 miles north of Henry’s Fork Anglers.

The Henry's Fork Ranch is a 500 acre working cattle ranch located at the end of a paved county road near Chester, Idaho. The ranch is available to a very limited number of guests. Located on the banks of the Henry’s Fork, the ranch offers 2 miles of private access to the Henry’s Fork. You haven’t experienced quiet until you’ve stayed at the Henry’s Fork Ranch. The ranch is the perfect location to fish the lower Henry’s Fork early or late in the season. The fishing is exceptional just in front of the cabin from February through June and again in the autumn. The cabin is best suited to accommodate up to 3 anglers or two couples.

Food and Beverages

All meals are included with the Henry’s Fork Lodge package. Upon your return from a day of fishing or outdoor activity, you will find a selection of tasty hors d’oeuvres along with a superb array of fine wine and cold beer set out on the bar of the River Room. Their menu changes daily to reflect what’s fresh and in season. They also adjust meal times to “match the hatch,” so you never have to choose between dinner and the evening rise.

Elk Creek Ranch includes three home cooked meals with the package and all non-alcoholic beverages. Dinner and breakfast are served in a "family style" setting in the main lodge dining room.

The Pines at Island Park features the Lodgepole Grill and offers fine dining with a fully-stocked bar. An allowance for dinner is included with the package, and lunch will be provided by Henry’s Fork Anglers. Guests are on their own for breakfast. The cabins feature great kitchen facilities and there are some excellent restaurants nearby that serve breakfast.

The Henry's Fork Ranch package does not include breakfast or dinner, although meals can be arranged at an additional cost. Henry’s Fork Anglers provides a great streamside lunch. The cabin has great kitchen facilities and there are several good restaurants close by.

Fishing Information

Expert InstructionIt’s a good bet that you won’t find a more knowledgeable, experienced group of fly fishing pros anywhere on the planet than the guides that work for Henry’s Fork Anglers. Mike Lawson started his career guiding for Jim Danksin in West Yellowstone. He became an outfitter and opened Henry’s Fork Anglers in 1976. Early on Henry’s Fork Anglers built a reputation for the finest fly fishing guides in the business. The guide staff is anchored by Bob Lamm, Curt Barker, Mark (Smitty) Smith, Dom Traverso, and Tom Grimes with a total of 175 years of experience. They are mentors for all the guides and their leadership has set the highest standard of excellence in the industry. All guiding operations state that they are the best in the business but Henry’s Fork Anglers can prove it. Henry’s Fork Anglers’ guides not only know the water and how, where and when to catch trout, they also understand the needs and expectations of their customers. They will accommodate your wishes whether you want to take on the large, selective and difficult trout of the Harriman Park or if you want to get some kids into some fast action.

Henry’s Fork Anglers has outfitter license #222 in Idaho with special use permits with the Bureau of Land Management, Caribou/Targhee National Forest and the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation. Mike Lawson has held Montana outfitter license #292 since 1973 with special use permits for Yellowstone National Park, the Gallatin National Forest and Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. These licenses and permits provide guiding access to some of the finest trout waters in the country including the Henry’s Fork, South Fork of the Snake and the Madison rivers along with lots of lesser known waters. There are also some great stillwater fly fishing opportunities on Henry’s Lake, Hebgen Lake and Island Park Reservoir. With so much great water your odds are good of getting into some awesome fishing no matter when you plan your trip.

The Henry’s Fork River has close to 80 miles of incredible fly fishing water. It’s like having five rivers in one. The upper section above Island Park Reservoir is managed for family fishing. It is easy to wade with good hatches and large numbers of eager trout. In the fall and early spring, large trout move into this part of the river to provide an opportunity for bigger fish that move up from the reservoir. Below Island Park Reservoir the Box Canyon is well known for its strong healthy trout. The big rainbows are hard to land because they know how to use the heavy fast currents and rocky substrate. The Box Canyon provides consistent nymph fishing throughout the season with good dry fly fishing during the stonefly hatches early in the season.

Volumes have been written about one of the most famous river stretches in the world, the Harriman Sate Park. The spring creek water meanders quietly throughout 8 miles of open meadow where mayflies, caddisflies, and other aquatic insects entice big trout to the surface on a daily basis. The rainbows are wary and difficult. The Harriman Park is one place where the perfect presentation with the perfect pattern is not only important but necessary. Yet it is a place every angler should experience at least once in a fly fishing lifetime. Below the Harriman Park the Henry’s Fork slices through a basalt canyon where it drops over 1000 feet in just 20 miles. While some of the whitewater is navigable, there are three major waterfalls that prohibit boat traffic. The river breaks out of the canyon at the confluence with Warm River and becomes a classic western river with lots of nice pools, runs and riffles.

The Ashton Dam provides a nutrient enriched tailwater fishery that produces some of the fastest-growing and strongest rainbow and brown trout in the entire Yellowstone region. After the Henry’s Fork passes through the town of St. Anthony it braids through deep stands of cottonwood trees until it reaches its confluence with the South Fork. The Henry’s Fork provides at least ten different float sections to meet the needs and interests of every fly fisher.

The South Fork of the Snake is Idaho’s finest tailwater fishery. While the river has almost 70 miles of good water, Henry’s Fork Anglers’ guides usually focus on the lower forty miles. The river is loaded with browns, rainbows and cutthroat trout. A typical day on the South Fork involves casting large high-riding foam dry flies along the banks and stopping to fish smaller dry flies to rising trout in the shallow riffles and runs. One of the best attractions of the South Fork is the variety of fishing. There are large selective trout that will challenge the most experienced dry fly angler yet you can be assured that even the most inexperienced novice will hook some nice fish.

The Madison River is one of the most revered trout streams in the country. Mike Lawson holds one of the oldest outfitting licenses in the State of Montana. Many of the guides at Henry’s Fork Anglers started their guiding careers on the Madison River in Montana. All of the guides at Henry’s Fork Anglers fish the Madison on a regular basis. They know and understand the hatches, the trout and the fly patterns to catch them.

Yellowstone National Park provides great fly fishing opportunities on a variety of great waters throughout the season. The Firehole, Gibbon and Madison provide early season dry fly action from the Memorial Day weekend until early July. Later in the summer the best fishing is to the north and east on the Yellowstone, Lamar and Slough Creek. All of the waters of the park offer great fishing in the fall. The only problem with that is everywhere else is good at the same time.

Still Water Lakes - Henry’s Fork Anglers guides pride themselves in their knowledge and ability to fish still water including Henry’s Lake, Hebgen Lake and Island Park Reservoir. These lakes can produce fast action for some of the largest rainbow, brown, cutthroat and brook trout in the region, depending on the time of the year. To sum it up, you could fish a lifetime within a 50 mile radius of Henry’s Fork Anglers and never completely cover all of the water.

Boats and Equipment

The guides at Henry’s Fork Angles use several different types of boats, depending upon the type of water to be fished. River drift boats are used by all of the guides to float the more than 30 different float sections on the Henry’s Fork, South Fork and Madison Rivers. Twin pontoon catarafts are used to float the whitewater canyon of the Henry’s Fork. Some of the guides also use powerboats for the lakes where they can move and maneuver quickly from one spot to another. The 6500 square foot fly shop has hundreds of fly patterns suited to the area and is usually well set with the latest and greatest hot patterns. The shop is also well stocked with the biggest names in fly fishing gear, outdoor clothing, waders and other fishing supplies. They also have rod and reel combos and waders to rent if you don’t bring your own.

Non-Angling Activities and Options

Sunset on the Harriman RanchThere are great non-fishing activities in the Island Park area and while the fly fishing opportunities are endless, even the most crazed addict needs to take a day off now and again. West Yellowstone is 35 miles straight north up Highway 20. From there you can spend an entire day in Yellowstone Park or take the long loop and go out through the south entrance, through Grand Teton National Park to Jackson and back to Island Park. There is wonderful sight-seeing closer to home. The Mesa Falls Scenic Byway frames the Grand Tetons traveling south from Island Park to Ashton. You can stop and visit Upper and Lower Mesa Falls along the way and stop and feed some giant trout after you cross Warm River.

The Harriman State Park has miles of trails to hike, bike or ride horseback. The scenery is pleasant and there is plenty of wildlife to watch or photograph from tiny song birds to elk and moose. There are several unique golf courses nested in the trees and hills in the Island Park and Ashton region. No trip should be complete without a short drive to Big Springs, the source of the Henry’s Fork and the historic Johnny Sacks Cabin. Henry’s Fork Anglers guides are licensed for hiking, backpacking, mountain biking and photography. They will be happy to combine a scenic drive to split with your fishing in Yellowstone or the Island Park area. Henry’s Fork Anglers can also arrange horseback trips.

How To Get There

The Idaho Falls Regional Airport, 80 miles away, provides the best and most reliable airline service and the best options for airline carries, car rental and shuttle service to Island Park. There is also a small airport in West Yellowstone, about 50 miles away. Almost all destinations require a connection in Denver or Salt Lake City at both airports.

Arrival and Departure Details / Times

Henry’s Fork Anglers can arrange shuttle pickup and delivery to and from the airport at an additional fee. Most customers prefer to rent a car so they can enjoy the luxury of sight-seeing and other non-fishing activities. Guides will happily pick up and deliver their fishing customers to and from their selected accommodation.

2013 Fishing Package Rates

All rates are per person and based on double occupancy. A trip of any length of stay can be arranged. Off-season package pricing is also available. Please call Yellow Dog for details.

Length of Stay 2 Per Boat
2 Per Room
Henry's Fork Lodge Package
4 Nights / 3 Fishing Days $2,565.00
6 Nights / 5 Fishing Days $3,655.00
Elk Creek Ranch Package
4 Nights / 3 Fishing Days $1,227.50
6 Nights / 5 Fishing Days $1,972.50
* The Pines at Island Park Package
4 Nights / 3 Fishing Days $1,367.50
6 Nights / 5 Fishing Days $2,182.50
** Henry's Fork Ranch Package
4 Nights / 3 Fishing Days $1,165.00
6 Nights / 5 Fishing Days $1,875.00

* The Pines at Island Park Package does not include breakfast.
** The Henry's Fork Ranch Package does not include breakfast or dinner (f
ood can be arranged at an additional cost.)

* Remember that Yellow Dog's services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter.

What's Included

  • Number of nights lodging as specified in package
  • Number of days of guided fishing as specified in package
  • Streamside lunch each fishing day with non-alcoholic beverages
  • All meals are included at Henry’s Fork Lodge and Elk Creek Ranch. Dinner is included at the Pines at Island Park
  • Transportation to and from your lodging facility to and from your fishing location

What's Not Included

  • Gratuities for guides and Staff
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Breakfast is not included at the Pines at Island Park. Breakfast and dinner are not included at Henry's Fork Ranch. (food can be arranged for an additional cost)
  • Fishing equipment and all flies (available for sale at the fly shop)
  • Idaho and/or Montana state fishing licenses and Idaho sales taxes
  • Transportation costs to and from lodge and the airport (can be arranged for an additional cost)

Travel Arrangements

Yellow Dog has a full in-house travel and reservations system, and can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact us at 888-777-5060 or info@yellowdogflyfishing.com for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services and trip insurance.

Other Information

Most of the water on the Henry’s Fork and South Fork is open for fishing on a year round basis. Some of the best dry fly fishing of the entire year on these rivers is from late February through early May. There are good hatches of midges throughout the period. Reliable hatches of Blue Winged Olives occur from March through April. April and early May produce great hatches of Mother’s Day caddisflies and Western March Brown mayflies. If on rare occasions the bugs aren’t hatching, the fishing is good with nymphs and streamers. The period from the middle of June through July is by far the busiest time of the year at Henry’s Fork Anglers. During that period availability of guides and accommodations can be very limited. Guides and accommodations are almost always available during the late winter and spring.

The fishing season on the Harriman State Park is open to fishing from June 15 through November 30. There is almost always something hatching every day of the season. The fishing season in Yellowstone Park opens on Memorial Day weekend and continues through the first Sunday of November. Some waters, including the Yellowstone do not open until July 15. The Upper Madison in Montana below Quake Lake is open from the third Saturday in May through the end of February.

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