Last Friday I was able to spend a day fishing Wyoming’s Green River near Pinedale, Wyoming. Although the fishing was a little slow, fishing the Green River was a great experience. I landed 4 Brown Trout that were all above 18″ and one that was in the 22″ range and probably weighed 3 pounds. Our guide, Travis Taylor (https://snakeriverangler.com/guides/), did a great job and was enjoyable to fish with. Travis had a good knowledge of the river and how to fish the various pockets of water. The big browns were mostly hanging out in shallow water searching for the meal of the day. There were a lot of Mountain Whitefish in the Green River and we were able to catch some of these bottom dwellers with dry flies.
For most of the day, a yellow sally foam imitation (small golden stonefly hatch) produced to most hook-ups but we did catch some on some hopper/crane fly foam imitations. From the casings on the shoreline rocks, we missed a decent stonefly hatch by about 3 weeks.
Saturday morning, at one of the Green River public access points, I caught one more 20″ brown on a green bead head woolly worm. We never say another fisherman on either section of the Green River. I can’t even imagine the battle that occurred on the South Fork of the Snake River. It looked like there were over 100 drift boats on the river as we drove by headed for home. I will take the solitude of the Green River over the South Fork battle any day.
We also fished a little on the Hoback River as we traveled back home. In one hole I hooked up with 8 Snake River Cutthroats. Two were 14″ cutthroats but the rest were in the 8-10″ range. The Hoback River is beautiful but a little too flat for my liking. There were only a few runs/holes deep enough to hold the trout.
Last weekend my friend Jared Stein and I hit the stonefly hatch on the Henry’s Fork’s Cardiac Canyon. Somehow we were blessed to dodge the thunderstorms that were rolling through the area and were able to have a decent day of fishing. The stonefly hatch was almost at its end in the Cardiac Canyon section but we were still able to catch a few hungry trout. I caught two brown trout in the 18-20″ range and some rainbows in the 15-16″ range. Jared landed a nice brown in the 20″ range along with some rainbows in the 16″ range. We didn’t get into any monsters but the brown trout put up a pretty good fight.
There were quite a few boats that were floating the river but they respectfully stayed on the far side of the river. The boat “ramp” (if you want to call it that) to access Cardiac Canyon is about 1/4 mile drop down a very steep incline so I was surprised to see so many boats on the river. The stonefly hatch motivates fisherman to brave even the most difficult conditions.
I gutted one of the brown trout and checked the contents of its stomach and found it full of adult stonefly nymphs (probably 15-20) and also 2 sculpin. Yes, this brown trout not only was gorging on stoneflies but was also eating other fish in between stonefly meals. It also had what appeared to be crane fly larvae in its stomach. Small crane flies were hatching early in the day. If you fish this section of the river after the stonefly hatch, you may want to bring some muddler minnows and a sinking line to try and catch the larger brown trout.
I caught my fish on a stonefly adult pattern and bead head prince nymphs. Jared caught his trout on an adult stonefly pattern.
Adult Stonefly Patterns (various)
Bead Head Prince Nymph, size 14
Cardiac Canyon is located between Lower Mesa Falls and where the Warm River joins the Henry’s Fork. It is fairly rugged and requires a lot of hiking to get to and from the river. The walk out after fishing all day can be challenging especially at the so called “boat” ramp, which could result in a “Cardiac” event if you are in poor physical condition.