The Henry’s Fork was voted #1 out of the top 100 streams in the country by Trout Unlimited. This is a special place on hallowed water and a must for any serious trout angler. Henry’s Fork Lodge prides itself on world-class service, inviting and cozy lodging, all thoughtfully and tastefully orchestrated for fly anglers looking for a unique and upscale trout fishing holiday in the shadow of the Rockies.
You couldn’t find a better location to build a fly fishing lodge! The legendary Henry’s Fork flows right behind the lodge offering guests classic fly fishing a few steps away. One of the most famous stretches of trout fishing water in the world, the Railroad Ranch is just 2 miles upstream, and the renowned Box Canyon stretch is 10 miles away. This is technical dry fly fishing for big wild trout and for some the epitome of fly angling.
Expect world-class lodging at Henry’s Fork Lodge. Henry’s Fork Lodge is an absolutely gorgeous, timber-framed structure, specifically designed for anglers, and its use of natural wood and panoramic windows set the tone for a relaxing and catered to fly fishing holiday. Whether relaxing by the fire with a good book, or sharing stories over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the expansive porch with views of the river, it’s the perfect place to unwind at the end of the day. The lodge features six guest rooms, including two deluxe suites with oversized fireplaces and spectacular views of the Henry’s Fork. The dining room is the renowned throughout the region for gourmet cuisine. Adjacent to the main lodge are eight cottage suites, all with separate bedrooms, sitting rooms, and cozy fireplaces. We don’t know if we have ever been to a more nicely appointed and welcoming fishing lodge, anywhere in the world.
The folks at Henry’s Fork Lodge are serious about fly fishing, providing an enjoyable and relaxed environment that supports like-minded anglers.
Reservations & Rates
Seasons at Henry's Fork Lodge
Henry’s Fork Lodge’s official season runs Memorial Day weekend through October. Anytime in that window is a great time to access amazing dry fly fishing, it just depends on what you are looking for in the type of water or what hatch you want to target.
A general guide to the season:
The legendary Henry’s Fork runs clear all season, and offers excellent dry fly fishing from right behind the lodge.
Memorial Day through July 15 is prime time for the Henry’s Fork, Firehole and Madison in Yellowstone Park. It’s the season of famous hatches – green drake, brown drake, gray drake and salmon fly, and attracts the most anglers to the area.
Mid-July through mid-September is when the lower Madison, South Fork of the Snake, the Yellowstone, Lamar and Slough Creek in Yellowstone Park, and most of the area lakes come into prime time.
Mid-September through October is when all of the waters are at their peak, the crowds thin, the wildlife is out in force, and the temperatures cool.
Late May into early June is a quiet time when the Henry’s Fork is already in its prime, but uncrowded. Thanks to its volcanic geology and spring sources, the Henry’s Fork doesn’t suffer the runoff and high, murky water of other rivers in the Rockies.
The salmon fly hatch progresses up the river from Ashton toward Box Canyon for several weeks, followed by a month of the golden stones, offering a great opportunity for very large fish on a dry fly.
The Harriman Park section of the Henry’s Fork opens June 15, but the rest of the river is open the entire month and the less visited lower river often provides outstanding dry fly fishing. Good caddis hatches attract large fish to the surface throughout the month.
In about the third week of June, the famous green drake hatch begins on the Harriman park waters, followed closely by the brown drakes. Early in June, the Madison may be impacted by runoff, but by the third week the salmon fly hatch begins its move up-river from Ennis to Quake Lake. The Firehole and Madison in Yellowstone Park are at their prime during this time, with good hatches of pale morning duns.
Most of the freestone streams will be impacted by runoff during at least part of June.
The green drake hatch will be winding down, but the evening brown drake hatch will continue bringing big fish to the surface of the Henry’s Fork. Smaller mayflies such as the pale morning dun, and a smaller version of the green drake in the afternoons also sustain excellent dry fly activity in the Harriman Park section for most of the month. Box Canyon fishing, including dry fly, also remains good.
The salmon fly hatches on the Madison and South Fork of the Snake will continue up river during early July, and fish continue to take salmon fly imitations for a good week after the flies have stopped hatching. The caddis and mayfly hatches, along with terrestrials like hoppers, beetles, and ants, will sustain the fishing in the South Fork and Madison for the remainder of summer.
The Madison and Firehole in Yellowstone become too warm for good fishing after early July, but the Yellowstone, which opens July 15, Slough Creek and the Lamar are great alternatives for large, native cutthroats. Henry’s Lake hits its peak during the damselfly hatch of early July, and the famous gulper fishing on Hebgen Lake begins toward the end of the month.
August is ant, beetle, and hopper season on the flatwater sections of the Henry’s Fork. Patient anglers will be rewarded with plentiful rising fish and thinning crowds. Box Canyon remains good, primarily on nymphs.
This is prime time for the lower Madison (Quake Lake to Ennis) with a variety of mayflies, caddis, grasshoppers, and other terrestrials providing good dry fly fishing. The Yellowstone and Lamar and Slough Creek in the park are also at their prime in August. Lake fishing, particularly for the “gulpers” of Hebgen Lake and on Island Park Reservoir also remains at its peak, with good hatches of still-water mayflies.
Early September typically sees a continuation of August conditions. Around mid-month, weather conditions cool, with nighttime freezes not uncommon and less afternoon wind. Cooler weather signals renewed hatches and increased fish activity, so virtually all of the rivers become good this time of year. As most tourists return home, fall is the time for serious anglers and wildlife lovers. The aspens will be turning to gold, the bull elk will be bugling, and the waterfowl will be in full flight.
The Henry’s Fork offers good rise activity to a variety of small mayflies on the Harriman Park section and the big fish in Box Canyon will also become active. The upper river above Island Park Reservoir will see runs of big rainbows. The lower river, below Ashton, will come alive with rising fish. Spawning runs of big fish out of Hebgen Lake make the Madison in Yellowstone an ideal choice for streamer fishing. Fall mayfly activity and cooler water also re-energize the dry fly fishing on the Madison and Firehole in the park, and other Yellowstone streams also remain good. Snow flurries are always a possibility, but typically don’t interfere with fishing for more than a day.
The weather grows steadily cooler and the chances of snow increase as the month progresses, but October is still a prime month for serious lovers of the outdoors. The scenery and wildlife are especially striking in the fall light. The excellent September fishing conditions continue through October, but with fewer anglers. Many local residents turn their attention to hunting, leaving the waters for anglers to fish in solitude.
October is an ideal time to use a streamer or big nymph to catch a trophy fish from the Henry’s Fork or South Fork of the Snake, or a really big Brookie from Henry’s Lake. Dry fly fishing continues to be good to hatches of small mayflies. We typically see a period of returning summer temperatures back up in the 70s during early October, but the weather is predictably cold by the end of the month.
Getting to Henry's Fork Lodge
The Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA) is an 80 mile drive away from HFL (Henry’s Fork Lodge) and is serviced year-round with daily flights by Allegiant, Delta and United. The airport is a full service facility with rental cars and regular shuttle service to Island Park.
There is also a small airport in West Yellowstone (WYS), about 50 miles away from HFL. Both airports require a connection in Denver, CO or Salt Lake City, UT.
Henry’s Fork Lodge offers complimentary airport shuttles to and from Idaho Falls or West Yellowstone from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. every day of the season.
A majority of guests prefer to rent a car and make the drive to and from the lodge on their own. It’s nice have a vehicle for mobility to explore the local sites and engage in some non-fishing activities. Your guides will provide transportation to and from the Lodge on your fishing days.
Normal check-in is any time after 2:00 p.m. and check-out any time before 11:00 a.m., although special accommodations can be arranged for when needed and requested.
Lodging at Henry's Fork Lodge
Designed by award-winning architect (and avid fly fisherman) Joseph Esherick, Henry’s Fork Lodge perfectly complements the beauty of the natural surroundings and the big west. It’s a lodge where guests are welcomed like family, many returning year after year forming close bonds and friendships with the staff.. Whether it’s reading a good book by the fireplace, or sharing the day’s fishing stories over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres on the veranda overlooking the river, it’s the perfect retreat to unwind and reflect on the day’s adventures and those to come.
The main lodge features six individually appointed guest rooms, including two deluxe suites with oversized fireplaces and spectacular views of the Henry's Fork. Gourmet meals, served in the dining room, are renowned throughout the region with most ingredients locally sourced. Adjacent to the main lodge are eight cottage suites, all with separate bedrooms, sitting rooms, and cozy fireplaces.
Fishing at Henry's Fork Lodge
The diversity of trout waters accessed from Henry’s Fork Lodge is extensive and there’s something for everyone.
The Henry’s Fork has rightly been called the greatest dry fly stream in the world for its big wild rainbows, tremendous insect hatches and spectacular alpine setting. It offers at least 50 miles of the most varied water in the Rockies, including miles of beginner-friendly water that has offered many of our guests their first catch and triggered a lifelong love
of fly fishing.
The famed Harriman State Park section, known worldwide as The Railroad Ranch, is one of the icons of fly fishing. Its seven miles of gorgeous, wadeable spring creek flows and large free-rising rainbows provide a true test of angler skill, persistence and knowledge.
The lower Henry’s Fork is a place for everyone, with browns and rainbows much more susceptible to taking your fly. Fishing from a drift boat is the primary way of covering the water and makes for much less demanding angling skills.
The prime time for the Railroad Ranch water is June until mid-July, and again from September through mid-October. Hatches and fishing remain good through the middle of the summer, so the Ranch is always a great choice. The lower river is good throughout the season, but May to early-July is best for the famed salmon fly and golden stone fly hatches; and from September on, the big browns are on the move and eager to take your fly.
The Madison originates in Yellowstone National Park from the confluence of the Gibbon and Firehole Rivers. In the park, it has the quiet character of a spring creek, and you may be accompanied by bison, elk or swans as you wade for browns and rainbows. Outside the park, the river flows for more than 40 miles of boisterous, non-stop riffles, reminding you you’re in Big Sky country.
South Fork of the Snake:
This huge river south of the lodge holds the largest population of trout in Idaho, and is home to native cutthroat. The South Fork is roughly ten times the size of the Henry’s Fork and is fished almost exclusively by floating. Prolific cutthroats and browns, and less demanding casting, make for ideal conditions, especially for less experienced anglers.
The Teton is a lesser known, but high quality fishery that we’re very fortunate to have in our area. The upper sections are like a miniature Henry’s Fork, fed by springs and populated by rainbows and cutthroats that rise to abundant hatches. The middle and lower sections have rougher water and canyon stretches that hold large cutthroats.
Firehole and Gibbon:
These two streams in Yellowstone National Park are largely spring-fed, and fish very well into early July and again in the fall. While fishing you can expect to see bison, elk, hot springs and geysers.
The Gallatin is a mid-sized river that flows along the road to Bozeman, and offers cutthroats in its upper section in Yellowstone National Park. Rainbows can be found in the middle canyon section, and browns in the lower valley section. The Gallatin offers excellent non-technical fishing, making it a great place for those anglers that like to wade fish and sharpen their fly fishing skills.
Slough Creek, Lamar, Soda Butte Creek:
These three streams in the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park are great native cutthroat streams, offering sizable fish right along the road. You can find greater solitude by hiking away from the road to gorgeous meadow stretches.
This large freestone river (the longest undammed waterway in the lower 48) is one of the last strongholds of the Yellowstone cutthroat, the native fish of the Rockies. Fishing the Yellowstone is experiencing the essence of the park – grand vistas, abundant wildlife, and large native trout.
Sometimes overlooked are nearby lakes that produce both big fish and surprisingly good dry fly fishing. Among the best are:
Nearby Henry’s Lake is Idaho’s most popular fishing lake and produces huge rainbow/cutthroat hybrids and the state record brook trout.
Hebgen Lake is a fantastic dry fly lake with “gulpers,” large rainbows and browns that cruise and gobble-up prolific mayfly hatches all summer.
Quake Lake is another great dry fly lake with a huge variety of hatches in a truly magnificent setting.
Private water fishing:
Sheridan Ranch has a spring creek and lake, both of which hold abundant big rainbows. Access is by fee and is limited, but can be arranged for. Its highly productive fishing and has been the highlight of many trips to the lodge.
What Makes This Destination Special and Unique?
• EXCELLENCE - Nelson Ishiyama, owner of Henry’s Fork Lodge, is a serious extremely competent and passionate fly fisherman. He built the lodge because of his absolute love and fascination with the Henry’s Fork River and surrounding trout waters. That passion for fly fishing and total commitment to offering first-class service trickles down into everything HFL does. We feel you couldn’t be in better or more competent hands than that with Nelson and his talented staff. You won’t have to worry about a single thing while fishing with Henry’s Fork Lodge, they have it covered. Just kickback and enjoy the ride.
• VARIETY - The sheer variety of water and types of fly fishing Henry’s Fork Lodge offers is mind blowing. It would take months worth’s of fishing to see and experience all they have within easy striking distance of the lodge, both wade fishing as well as fishing from a boat. Variety keeps your interest peaked from the first to the last day of fishing. You’ll not only see and experience a different piece of water each day, but you’ll learn a ton of new skills, in a short amount time, and ultimately leave Henry’s Fork Lodge a better angler for it.
• LOCATION - With Henry’s Fork Lodge, being literally a stone’s throw from the river, we couldn’t think of a better location to fish from for a week. You are minutes from some of the most famous waters on the Henry’s Fork as well as within easy striking distance of many of the trout fisheries in Yellowstone National Park, as well as the Madison in Montana. Less time traveling to and from the fisheries, means more time on the water and more world-class fly fishing for trout.
• LODGING & DINING - The emphasis at Henry’s Fork Lodge is 100% on fly fishing. However, it doesn’t hurt to also have world-class lodging along with gourmet dining to round out a terrific fly fishing holiday. We don’t know of a nicer and more elegantly appointed purposely built fly fishing lodge then Henry’s Fork Lodge. The meals are legendary, the accommodations luxurious and the personal attention and old-world customer service is refreshing. You can rest assure that you’ll get a good night’s rest and be ready for the next day’s fishing sortie, satiated with fine dining. Plan on being spoiled and don’t plan on losing any weight on this fly fishing holiday!