View Full Version : Henry's Fork vs South Fork

04-27-2007, 03:06 PM
I am looking for opinions, maybe from some who have fished both rivers. We are going for a week the end of June and want to do a float. Thinking the South Fork cuts and maybe browns sounds awfully good, but seem to read more about the Box Canyon Stretch on the Henry's Fork.. We can do one or the other, not both. Also thinking that we could walk into the box and fish it that way, but will not have that option for the South Fork. I figure the SF won't be quite as crowded either. Any opinions/info will be greatlt apprecited!

04-27-2007, 04:06 PM
Howdy John,
I've never fished the South Fork, but I have driven the area a few times. I have however fished Henry's Fork. Where is base camp for your trip? Which part of the South are you thinking about? And what type of fishing are you looking for?

The portions of the South Fork that I've seen are very pretty, however I'm partial to Henry's Fork. It was the first really famous river I fished, so it holds a special place. Its so many different types of water rolled into one.

I've never fished the Box with a guide but I have waded it. Its pretty fast shallow water, with a lot of rocks. Unless you hit the stonefly hatches, its fishing a lot of big nymphs and streamers. Depending on when you go, it may or may not be crazy. I was out in Island Park a couple of summers ago, right around July 4th, and it seemed like most of the guides were working up on the Madison up around Ennis with the Salmonfly hatch.

Well thats a start. I'll gladly share any knowledge I can. Good Luck.


04-27-2007, 06:16 PM
Hey John.. I havent fished the South Fork myself.. I have fished the Henry's Fork at several locations however.. Have fished Box Canyon, the Railroad Ranch, and several other locations along Henrys.. The Box Canyon is fairly easily reached via a short hike from the parking lot.. The RR ranch section is also classic and is reached via a flat hike across a field.. As far as crowds go on Henrys Fork, you can fish during the week and avoid alot of people.. It will be hard to avoid people all together.. Its just too famous a river with alot of fans.. During the week you should be able to find a fair bit of solitude however..


David Knapp
04-27-2007, 07:02 PM
I haven't fished there so I can't vouch for the accuracy of this article, but here (http://flyfisherman.com/rmwest/mlsouthfork/) is a good read that covers the SF...

04-27-2007, 11:09 PM
Hi John,
I've had a chance to fish both rivers and I guess its really a question of how you want to fish, and what you want to fish for. The South Fork is mainly a cutthroat fishery, although i've heard that there are more rainbows now. The best I can tell, if your not fishing from a boat ,it's going to be tough to cover much water. We floated from just below Palisades Res. down to a place I want to call Cottonwood somethingrnuther access. Beautiful float. The Henry's Fork is more of a rainbow fishery that will have a lot of different types of water and more access. The river had its heyday back in the seventies I think, but the folks at one of the shops in Last Chance were mildly excited about how the fishery had improved recently. We were there last May on our way back to Salt Lake, but we didn't spend but a few hours on the river at Ashton. Both are beautiful areas. I heard the mtn. snows have started to melt a little early out there, so I don't know what shape the S.F. will be in at that time. Hope this helps!


04-29-2007, 10:59 PM
Hi Everyone,
Thank you for your feedback and keep it coming! We are going to stay three places while out there. The first couple of nights at the slide inn on the Madison, next in the park at Madison Junction Campground and last in Island Park for two nights. We will spend one day on the Henry's Fork at least, two if we float it. So far we are leaning toward the SFork. I have fished the Henry's Fork before. Back in 98 we spent a week in Island Park, thought it was closer to West Yellowstone than it actually was. Anyway I spent a few days on the Henry's Fork then, joined the Henry's Fork Foundation and have been a fan ever since. The Southfork sounds like a great float though. The HF may be a humbling experience..... but a learning experience. I caught some fish in 98, so I am hopeful for the trip and hope to catch the Salmonflys at some point during the week! I have always made this trip as a family vacation, this one will be with my brother-in-law and we will have nothing to attend to but the fish...........I'm wondering if I may actually get enough of it to sit back and watch the world go by (rather than just fish like a fiend!) while we're out there.
Plateau thanks I will read the article, and MStone who did you all fish with on the SFork? Would you use them again?

04-30-2007, 08:36 PM
we used guides from Jack Dennis, in Jackson Hole. That was my first experience in a drift boat, and with guides. One of the guys that invited me on the trip set this up. He had been out on the river before with these guys. We rented three boats......there were six of us. The deal was that this was the guides day off. They were doing this without the knowledge of their boss....you follow? They could keep us out on the river as late as we liked, they kept all the money they made that day. A lot of things happened that day on the river that normaly should not happen with customers but this was a different kind of trip. It was a good day, a long day. To answer your question, I would use guides from there again. The shop has a good reputation. It was along drive back to Jackson Hole that night. Good luck on your trip. Hope you post your experience here when you return.


04-30-2007, 10:49 PM
Thanks for the info. Sounds like that was a good day, don't think we have the relationship to anticipate anything like that.
Again thank you, I will submit a report when we get back.
Anyone else with input please send it, I will continue to monitor.