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  1. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by schindlerpiste View Post
    Thinking of heading up to island park next weekend for a camping/fishing trip. Anyone know of good campgrounds in the area on or near HF that will be open next weekend
    What kind of campground are you looking for? Do you need hookups? If not there is a shit ton of BLM land, some literally right on the river, to camp on.

  2. #52
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    Nov 2008
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    The gravel pits is the spot traditionally used by folks who are in RVs. It's on scenic route 47, not far from the junction with hwy 20. Can't miss it really, see googleearth, appx 1 mile downstream of Osborne bridge.

    If its tent camping, be advised that all of island park is grizzly country and there are bears conditioned to elk hunting season, aka right now. Bear conflicts in the fall are an annual event in island park. Choose tent sites accordingly.

  3. #53
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    Sep 2005
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    Wasatch Back: 7000'
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    We're tent people; no hook-ups. I don't even need a toilet or running water.
    “How does it feel to be the greatest guitarist in the world? I don’t know, go ask Rory Gallagher”. — Jimi Hendrix

  4. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by schindlerpiste View Post
    We're tent people; no hook-ups. I don't even need a toilet or running water.
    It's the lack of toilets that keeps gravel pits mostly RVs, I think. Its got decent enough sites for tents and fire rings. it's free camping right next to the RR Ranch, featured in many a magazine and book. It's a place you'll encounter fellow pilgrims.

    Theres developed sites on the river at riverside, box canyon, mccrae bridge and coffee pot; those are all fee sites.

    Pretty much every gravel road off of hwy 47 is in the national forest. It's all fair game. Pole Bridge campground is over on the upper warm river, about 15 minutes from the RR Ranch.

    If the fishing sucks, a fun side trip is sawtelle peak road. It's the only place around here where you can drive up to the top of a big mountain, 10,000ft. There's places to camp about half way up to the top.
    Last edited by neckdeep; 09-09-2023 at 02:51 PM.

  5. #55
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    Aug 2013
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    We were just flogging around on the RR ranch earlier this week. That rain from last weekend had a ton of shit floating downstream, would have been better equipped with a stripping basket.

    Managed a couple small-medium sized fish on mahoganies. Fished to some true giants in skinny water but couldn’t hook up. Typical fare for up there.


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  6. #56
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    Apr 2008
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    78
    Need to go thru and read all the posts but, we have a group headed to Ashton (Renting one of those big houses) in mid May 24. Planning on floating most every day. Intel from Mike Lawson's shop suggested lower down on the river should produce the salmon flies by then? Any other intel we need? There'll be 9-10 of us, 3 rafts.

  7. #57
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    Nov 2008
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    Greater Drictor Wydaho
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    Salmonflies start when the water gets to 54. Some years that's May 15 and other years that's june 1. Snowpack plays a role but there isn't a lot of high elevation ground draining directly into the Henry's. The bigger factor is how warm and sunny the weather is in May. A string of hot days and unusuallly warm nights can bring it off early. Conversely, a week of rainy days and frosty nights can push it back to around memorial day.

    FYI, the early hatch between Ashton dam and the Fall river is a joke. That's a 5 mile long section and the big fish are concentrated in the green water. There's only 10 holes in that section so it's damn near combat fishing. People anchor up on a riffle drop off and camp on it for hours. Not my cup of tea. The outfitters work it in packs. One guide defends the drop off and the other two work the hole. Then they rotate the boats through the stations for two fucking hours and totally lock it down. I find it to be a frustrating and tedious waste of fishing time. Basically, the reputation was earned 25 years ago and things changed as the population swelled.

    I prefer fishing in the Gulch, even if that means fishing nymphs instead of dries. It's a hell of a lot more work, that's fer sure, but it's worth it. There's a short class III (surprise falls) that's the crux of the run. Most people run surprise falls river right and take the pour over instead of rock dodging river left.
    Last edited by neckdeep; 12-15-2023 at 01:44 PM.

  8. #58
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    Apr 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by neckdeep View Post
    Salmonflies start when the water gets to 54. Some years that's May 15 and other years that's june 1. Snowpack plays a role but there isn't a lot of high elevation ground draining directly into the Henry's. The bigger factor is how warm and sunny the weather is in May. A string of hot days and unusuallly warm nights can bring it off early. Conversely, a week of rainy days and frosty nights can push it back to around memorial day.

    FYI, the early hatch between Ashton dam and the Fall river is a joke. That's a 5 mile long section and the big fish are concentrated in the green water. There's only 10 holes in that section so it's damn near combat fishing. People anchor up on a riffle drop off and camp on it for hours. Not my cup of tea. The outfitters work it in packs. One guide defends the drop off and the other two work the hole. Then they rotate the boats through the stations for two fucking hours and totally lock it down. I find it to be a frustrating and tedious waste of fishing time. Basically, the reputation was earned 25 years ago and things changed.

    I prefer fishing in the Gulch, even if that means fishing nymphs instead of dries. It's a hell of a lot more work, that's fer sure, but it's worth it. There's a short class III (surprise falls) that's the crux of the run. Most people run surprise falls river right and take the pour over instead of rock dodging river left.
    Good info! Thanks. What about the Warm? And any intel on location of the "Gulch"? Is that the canyon section up stream by Is Park? I have fished Harriman Ranch and the section just above the bridge before.

  9. #59
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    The Gulch is Bear Gulch, so named after the abandoned ski area in the canyon. It's just the local name for the lower section of Cardiac Canyon below Mesa Falls. The access is at the back end of the Grandview campground at lower Mesa Falls. You have to drag the rafts down a hillside for 500 vertical feet. There two class II rock dodgers and surprise falls is an easy class III. The first half mile is continuous class II then you make a hard right and surprise falls is on the other side of a short pool. The next 5 miles is mostly class I. That said, I have seen wrecked rafts in those class II's so it's not for total noobs. Most of it is incredibly beautiful green water. Nice browns in there. It's easy to recconoiter with googleearth, the slide is easy to see as is surprise falls.

    The Warm river has a salmonfly hatch. It's usually a week or so before the Henry's hatch. It's mostly 3 or 4 weight fishing but you can run across large fish below the cataract at the railroad tunnel. Above the tunnel, its mostly 10 to 12 inch fish and an occasional nice one. The Warm river has the region's most generous harvest regs, easy ATV access and RV campgrounds so even though it has spring creek numbers of trout, big fish tend to get harvested. It could be one of the area's premiere spring creeks with different regulations, imho, but it's managed as a family friendly fishery.
    Last edited by neckdeep; 12-15-2023 at 04:27 PM.

  10. #60
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    Jan 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by neckdeep View Post
    The Gulch is Bear Gulch, so named after the abandoned ski area in the canyon. It's just the local name for the lower section of Cardiac Canyon below Mesa Falls. The access is at the back end of the Grandview campground at lower Mesa Falls. You have to drag the rafts down a hillside for 500 vertical feet. There two class II rock dodgers and surprise falls is an easy class III. The first half mile is continuous class II then you make a hard left and surprise falls is on the other side of a short pool. The next 5 miles is mostly class I.
    ^^ I think someone posted a TR about this section a few years back.


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  11. #61
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    Apr 2008
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    Found it! Thanks so much. If you're in the area you'll have to stop by for a cocktail

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry View Post
    ^^ I think someone posted a TR about this section a few years back.
    Here's JPCM dragging his raft down the home stretch of the slide. Just like a ski pic, its steeper than it looks. Plus it's loose dirt so the real takeaway here is avoid it in the rain and dont do it in sandals. Old felt soles are sketchy too. Surprise Falls is at the base of the big talus field where the river goes out of view

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    Last edited by neckdeep; 12-15-2023 at 03:53 PM.

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by neckdeep View Post
    Here's JPCM dragging his raft down the home stretch of the slide. Just like a ski pic, its steeper than it looks. Plus it's loose dirt so the real takeaway here is avoid it in the rain and dont do it in sandals. Old felt soles are sketchy too. Surprise Falls is at the base of the big talus field where the river goes out of view

    Click image for larger version. 

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    FKNA


    I should buy a raft

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  14. #64
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    Oct 2006
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    That section is dope. We can always rent rafts from the UoU outdoor program.


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  15. #65
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    Oct 2003
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phall View Post
    That section is dope. We can always rent rafts from the UoU outdoor program.


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    It is indeed. If we put a group together hit me up and will gladly drag my raft over.
    If anyone really wants some adventure there is another raft slide that is all time. Not throwing it out on the World Wide Web but hit me up if you want to discuss.


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    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  16. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by teleee View Post
    It is indeed. If we put a group together hit me up and will gladly drag my raft over.
    If anyone really wants some adventure there is another raft slide that is all time. Not throwing it out on the World Wide Web but hit me up if you want to discuss.


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    I wouldn't sweat it. Not much you can do that the local lodges haven't done for it already. Not to mention the two dozen youtube videos,...

    Its physical rigors and 1he robust population of rattlesnakes are what keeps people away, not secrecy.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by neckdeep View Post
    I wouldn't sweat it. Not much you can do that the local lodges haven't done for it already. Not to mention the two dozen youtube videos,...

    Its physical rigors and 1he robust population of rattlesnakes are what keeps people away, not secrecy.
    Yeah, I know and it bums me out. But in the corner of my tiny little brain I want to feel like I’m not contributing to the overrun. Thank god for the snake gauntlet and the ass kicking required to get down there.


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    Samuel L. Jackson as Jules Winnfield: Oh, I'm sorry. Did I break your concentration?

  18. #68
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    Dec 2019
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    That water was made for the Striker



    Quote Originally Posted by teleee View Post
    It is indeed. If we put a group together hit me up and will gladly drag my raft over.
    If anyone really wants some adventure there is another raft slide that is all time. Not throwing it out on the World Wide Web but hit me up if you want to discuss.
    I'm in...

  19. #69
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    Nov 2008
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    Greater Drictor Wydaho
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    https://www.trouthunt.com/blog/view/11659

    More weeping and gnashing of teeth up at the Ranch. Vanishing hatches, rampant weeds, pompous "regulars", a new crop of aggro guides who only float fish the wader's paradise, rancorous finger pointing, declining fish size, ridiculously low catch rates....take your pick.

    Folks should probably remove it from their bucket lists for the time being.
    Last edited by neckdeep; 05-03-2024 at 12:57 PM.

  20. #70
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    Apr 2008
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    78
    3 more days til we arrive!! OR, two and a wakeup to make it seem closer.

  21. #71
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    Dec 2016
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    In a van... down by the river
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    Quote Originally Posted by neckdeep View Post
    https://www.trouthunt.com/blog/view/11659

    More weeping and gnashing of teeth up at the Ranch. Vanishing hatches, rampant weeds, pompous "regulars", a new crop of aggro guides who only float fish the wader's paradise, rancorous finger pointing, declining fish size, ridiculously low catch rates....take your pick.

    Folks should probably remove it from their bucket lists for the time being.
    Looks like that website is currently broken...

  22. #72
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    Maybe it crashed from all the hits looking for info on the salmonfly hatch.

    It's the trouthunter site so probably be back soon. The tldr: some inside baseball. Waders vs floaters is becoming a thing. Some wading guides and ranch regulars want the park to ban boats for a variety of reasons. The outfitter from across the street came into the comments and basically said fuck off it's not happening and its you pompous schmucks who beat the fishery down more than my guides. Drama. All is not well in paradise.

    There's also some increasing frustrations being expressed that the HF Foundation has become toothless and maybe needs to do a bit less science and a bit more advocacy/litigating.
    Last edited by neckdeep; 05-13-2024 at 04:37 PM.

  23. #73
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    Nov 2005
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    Article link is working again. Its a good read and I appreciate the time and detail McDaniel put into writing that up. Interesting take in comments from the outfitter across the street… I remember popping into that shop a few years ago and the guys saying they don’t run float trips on the Ranch section. I guess things have changed

    I spend a good bit of time in the area, but over the years have only dedicated a handful of days to the Ranch. It’s a very unique fishery. While walking around head hunting isn’t my normal jam, I’ve had some stellar opportunities up there throwing dries to big fish. Most of which I properly fucked up. It’s pretty cool to find one of those big bows sipping mayflies. Sure would suck to have a bunch of boats floating through there constantly putting your fish down. But my guess is the low water years and poor flow management are probably the biggest factor in the decrease in insect volume/size Mcdaniels has observed.


    I’ll be up in the area Memorial Day weekend if anyone wants to connect for a float.

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpcm View Post
    But my guess is the low water years and poor flow management are probably the biggest factor in the decrease in insect volume/size Mcdaniels has observed.
    IDK. Can't be helping, that's for sure.

    The collapse of the mayfly hatches has been noticeable here for about 10 years, by my estimates. That includes wet periods too, so its probably not directly related to droughts. We had bad droughts in the past and never saw anything as catastrophic as what's happening now. Its happening over here too so it's not just about shit going wrong in IP reservoir or some silty canals. Its happening on the freestone tribs too.If I had to guess, I'd estimate the mayfly hatches on the Teton are about 10% of what they were 15 years ago. I can barely remember what a carpet hatch of bwos looks like.

    The last time I was genuinely excited about a bwo hatch on the Teton, the Cubs were in game 1 of the world series and I was torn between a river boiling with fish and seeing the most important Cubs game in a century. That was 7 and a half years ago. Ain't seen a bwo hatch worth remembering since then.

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by neckdeep View Post
    IDK. Can't be helping, that's for sure.

    The collapse of the mayfly hatches has been noticeable here for about 10 years, by my estimates. That includes wet periods too, so its probably not directly related to droughts. We had bad droughts in the past and never saw anything as catastrophic as what's happening now. Its happening over here too. If I had to guess, I'd estimate the mayfly hatches on the Teton are about 10% of what they were 15 years ago.
    It is apparent on the South Fork as well, the dry fly fishing is nothing like it was 10 years ago - and I don’t think that can be attributed to low flows.


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