Three Rivers Ranch’s Newsfeed

Thank you for visiting our newsfeed.  You’ll find the latest news on the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River, fishing news from around Idaho, and other news from Three Rivers Ranch.


High turbidity and sediment event during Memorial Day weekend

The main message: Spring of 2018 brought the highest runoff event in 7 years to the upper Henry’s Fork watershed! Our network of water quality monitors showed that these flows were strong enough to provide a major springtime sediment flush--a natural rhythm of our local hydrology that provides significant benefit to trout and aquatic insect habitat. These favorably high natural flows came in two periods during April and May of this year. Unfortunately, the second period coincided with Memorial Day weekend—a reality that put a murky, cloudy, and disappointing damper on dry-fly fishing. So, why did this high flow and high turbidity event coincide with the Memorial Day weekend? Island Park (IP) Reservoir was already full when the watershed received over an inch of rain on May 23–24. The resulting increase in inflow was necessarily passed through IP Reservoir. For better or worse, IP Reservoir was not designed to discharge over the dam. Thus managers lack even the operational and mechanical option to pass the necessary flow over the dam. (Also this would flood the road over the top of the dam.) Bottom release does deliver more turbid water, but also much cooler water than from surface release. As many

High turbidity and sediment event during Memorial Day weekend 2018-06-09T08:08:07+00:00

Hydrology and Water-Management Course: Year 14

In 2005, when I was a professor at Idaho State University, the Henry's Fork Foundation Board of Directors asked me to present an overview of hydrology and water management in the upper Snake River basin. Since then, the hydrology and water-management short course has taken on a life of its own, and I give this presentation in some form or another a few times each year. Every time I give the presentation, I update it with new information, particularly as related to climate change and the rapidly changing work of water management and admininstration. My favorite version is the full 3-hour course I give to Idaho Master Naturalist chapters. The 3-hour version allows time for small-group activities and discussion. I taught the course to the Idaho Falls chapter last night, and the group was energetic and engaged. We all had a great time discussing current topics in Snake River water management. A pdf version of my presentation is linked here.

Hydrology and Water-Management Course: Year 14 2018-05-15T20:06:17+00:00

New City, New Water: an angler moves to Boise, Idaho

After living, fishing and guiding in the front range of the beautiful state of Colorado for 16 years the family and I thought it was time to leave the craziness of the Denver metropolitan area. Time to leave the crowded waters of the South Platte drainage. Time to leave the crowded race track and endless traffic jams of the I-70 and I-25 corridor. We thoroughly enjoyed the Colorado lifestyle and have cherished memories and friends there. We set our sights on something a little slower paced. As a family, we decided on the Boise area. It was smaller than Denver, and we had visited a few times and believed it would be a great place to raise our family of 3 kids. Plus we had friends who already lived here that had moved from Denver 6 years earlier. I was excited about our new family adventure and to be hitting new water! The moving truck came and went, and we found ourselves settling into a friendly neighborhood in Eagle, Idaho. Very close to the north channel of the Boise River. The river winds its way west from Lucky Peak through downtown Boise, thru Eagle and eventually running into the Snake

New City, New Water: an angler moves to Boise, Idaho 2018-05-04T18:01:00+00:00

Boise River Fly Fishing Report – May 4, 20187

Boise River – In Town Fishing Report Flows remain a little high, but they are dropping. If you do decide to fish, use caution where you get in and out, but it’s fishable. Streamers can work well when the water drops this time of year.   So try throwing Coffee’s sparkle minnow, Sculpzilla, Shiela’s sculpin, or your favorite sculpin pattern in natural colors. Best time of day is in the evenings. Mid-day will be good too if you’re nymphing. Try a jig-head pheasant-tail, zebra midge, prince nymphs, or copper johns. The river is still pretty high, and the water is cold, so use extreme caution and be careful! The South Fork of the Boise is closed until Memorial Day weekend.   Stop by or call our Boise Fly Shop for up to date information on where to fish and what to use. (208) 939-6065 Boise River Fish & Game Regulations Boise River – (lower) from the mouth upstream to Lucky Peak Dam Section: From the downstream side of the East Parkcenter Bridge to the upstream side of the West Parkcenter Bridge Trout limit is 2, none under 14 inches All other sections of the lower Boise River – Southwest Region general

Boise River Fly Fishing Report – May 4, 20187 2018-05-04T18:01:08+00:00

Owyhee River Fishing Report – May 4 2018

Flows are stable at 180 CFS. We think it will stay at this flow or even drop a little due to the non-existent snowpack in the Owyhees. Whatever storage they have they need to save for irrigation this summer. The steady flows mean that PMD’s are just around the corner. We’ve seen a few adults, but we’ve seen mostly caddis and also midges popping in the late afternoon to mid-evening. Blue-winged olives are still around but with the warmer temperatures will slowly fade away. If you do not see anything on top, try a dry-dropper setup with a caddis, parachute Adams, skwala, beetle, or any stimulator pattern on top. Subsurface you’ll focus on variations of zebra midges; black, red, etc., small pheasant tails #18-20, soft hackles, or little baetis nymphs #18 & 20. Streamers can be productive too; white, olive, white/black. Have fun and stop by TRR Outfitters in Eagle to stock up on some flies and to purchase your Owyhee fishing license. Owyhee Reservoir Levels Owyhee River below the Dam Owyhee River near Rome, OR The post Owyhee River Fishing Report – May 4 2018 appeared first on TRR Outfitters.

Owyhee River Fishing Report – May 4 2018 2018-05-04T18:01:13+00:00

Henrys Fork, SF Snake, & Teton Fly Fishing Report – May 3, 2018

Finally!  We are progressing into spring and as most of you, I am chomping at the bit to get out there more often.  In most areas in the West, we are definitely in the middle of runoff and many rivers, both large and small, are high and off color. That being said, the name of the game right now is the Henrys Fork of the Snake River.  Although the water has been increasing both out of Island Park Reservoir and Ashton Dam, the fishing has been fair to good.  Recent reports show large caddis flies and blue wings popping around 1 pm to 2 pm.  The good news regarding is that it usually turns on early in May, and the Henrys Fork Salmon fly hatch is right around the corner. The Teton River has experienced an early runoff as well and is flowing high and off-color.  The good news is that if the warm weather continues, we will conclude the spring runoff earlier this year than in many previous years.  There are people floating and wading the Teton and the ticket has been large flashy streamers and large flashy nymphs like bright pheasant-tails and pink and red worms. The South

Henrys Fork, SF Snake, & Teton Fly Fishing Report – May 3, 2018 2018-05-03T23:47:59+00:00

Henry’s Fork Dodges a Rain-on-Snow Bullet

Despite a forecast for conditions that could have resulted in large loss of snowpack yesterday, atmospheric conditions lined up just right to not only avoid the loss but actually gain a very large amount of snow-water-equivalent (SWE). Read on for the details, as well as for an example from the spring of 2010 that illustrates a very large rain-on-snow event. May 2010: What an extreme rain-on snow event can look like As we anticipated the possibility of a rain-on-snow event earlier this week, Ron Abramovich from the Natural Resources Conservation Service reminded me of a large event in the spring of 2010. To give you some idea of the magnitude of that event, the White Elephant SnoTel site received 8.5 inches of precipitation from May 24, 2010 through June 7, 2010. SWE at that site dropped from 13.8 inches on May 24 to 0 on June 2. This means that a whopping 22.3 inches of total water ran off into the upper Henry’s Fork over that two-week period. The spike in streamflow from that event is readily apparent in the following graph, which shows this year's natural flow to date, average streamflow, and that in water-year 2010, which was a

Henry’s Fork Dodges a Rain-on-Snow Bullet 2018-03-23T20:06:44+00:00

House Bill 496 and Harriman State Park

  For those following House Bill 496, here is a brief review and update.   The concern, as brought to our attention by the Friends of Harriman State Park, is that House Bill 496 could potentially violate the Harriman Gift Agreement (HGA, or "Agreement") condition that requires the Idaho Department of Parks and Recreation staff be chosen based on merit. House Bill 496 would shift the authority to appoint the directors of the departments of Parks and Recreation, Transportation, and Corrections from a Board to the Governor of Idaho. The Idaho State Attorney General has reviewed the bill and has released a legal opinion stating that the bill does not violate the Harriman Gift Agreement. However, as with most legal matters, other opinions are possible.    The bill is currently in General Orders where House members will work together until there is a majority consensus to amend it, move it, or vote on it. Because other legal opinions may differ on whether the bill violates the Agreement, we think it prudent that the bill be amended to remove all reference to the Department of Parks and Recreation.​​​​​​​     If You'd Like to Get Involved If you are a resident of Idaho, you may contact your representatives directly by phone or email to

House Bill 496 and Harriman State Park 2018-03-08T08:06:41+00:00

Long-time Watershed Council participant Stan Clark passes at age 89

The Henry’s Fork Watershed Council, as well as the larger water-management community in Idaho, lost long-time participant Stan Clark, who passed away in his sleep on February 9 at age 89. Stan at a Henry's Fork Watershed Council meeting in 1995. Stan grew up on the family farm south of Ashton, where he subsequently farmed, ranched, and raised his family. Active in water management until the day he passed, Stan participated in the Watershed Council since its inception in 1993 and was a former member of the Committee of Nine, the advisory body for Water District 01. He also served as Chair of the Marysville Ditch Company and was appointed in 2000 by then-Governor Dirk Kempthorne as liaison between the governor’s office and the Idaho Department of Water Resources. More recently, Stan was active in the Eastern Idaho Water Rights Coalition and served on the board of Recharge Development Corporation.     Stan was known for his thoughtful, respectful, and insightful input at Watershed Council meetings and other venues. Always an optimist, Stan brought a smile, years of experience, and humorous accounts of earlier days to every meeting. I knew Stan for over 20 years and considered him a mentor. Stan’s

Long-time Watershed Council participant Stan Clark passes at age 89 2018-02-13T08:10:10+00:00

A Warm Winter

  It’s no secret that 2018 has been much warmer than we’re used to (in January, 5 degrees F warmer than normal across the whole watershed and as high as 7 degrees F above average in Island Park). At the same time, HFF has been reporting SWE (snow-water equivalent) numbers at 96% of average at the end of January (as high as 103% of average this past week), above average streamflow, and near average precipitation across the watershed (not to mention 111% of average Jan. precipitation at Island Park). If you’re looking out your window in Island Park right now, you’re probably wondering, “How is that possible?”   Here’s the deal. This is a good news, bad news situation. The short version is: 1) we’re concerned about early runoff on the Fall and Teton Rivers (what’s so special about those two?); but 2) there is a good amount of moisture up high (that SWE number) AND 3) these high winter flows and warm temps are just about the most ideal conditions you could ask for in terms of overwintering survival of juvenile trout (READ: we should have a banner recruitment year in 2019). Let’s work through this in chronological order.

A Warm Winter 2018-02-09T20:08:19+00:00