Trip Overview 

Mike and Sheralee Lawson’s roots are five generations deep in Henry’s Fork country. In 1976 they started Henry’s Fork Anglers, just upstream from the Harriman Park section of the Henry’s Fork on Idaho’s Highway 20. Henry’s Fork Anglers continues today as a stand-alone fly fishing shop and outfitting business. This gives them the advantage to objectively tailor fishing packages with a variety of different accommodations to meet the needs and requirements of the most discriminating angler. The original shop stood for thirty years. By 2005, they had outgrown the old building and a new building was constructed in the same location with four times the floor space of the former building. The new shop is loaded with merchandise and flies from the biggest names in the fly fishing industry, and offers daily guiding and outfitting all throughout the area.

Destination Quick Facts 

Henry's Fork Anglers - Yellow Dog Flyfishing AdventuresLOCATION: Island Park, Idaho

SEASON: May through October

CAPACITY: Maximum of 30 anglers at any one time


TARGET SPECIES: Rainbow, brown, cutthroat, and brook trout

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: Idaho, Montana, and Yellowstone Park fishing licenses are available at the fly shop

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO     888-777-5060     INTL 01-1-406-585-8667       info [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com


Lodging Details
There are a number of great lodging accommodation options available for guests fishing with Henry’s Fork Anglers, from high-end guest lodge options to rustic cabin rentals.

Henry’s Fork Lodge
This is a famous operation that offers the finest accommodations in the entire Yellowstone region. Whether it’s a hearty breakfast, a gourmet picnic lunch, or an elegant dinner, their restaurant has gained a reputation for the finest cuisine in the Yellowstone area. Located on a high bluff overlooking the Henry’s Fork, the view from the deck is incredible. The Henry’s Fork Lodge is located just six miles south of the Henry’s Fork Anglers fly shop.

Elk Creek Ranch
Quiet and secluded, the Ranch is a perfect home base to enjoy all that the region has to offer. Their home-cooked country cooking in the family-style dining area is worth your visit. Elk Creek Ranch is located six miles north of Henry’s Fork Anglers. Elk Creek Ranch is the perfect spot for a large group of anglers or an angler with a non-fishing family.

Food and Beverages
There are a large variety of meal plans available, depending on where you stay. Lunches are always included with a guided day trip and there are different restaurants and dining options in Last Chance and throughout the area.

Typical Length of Stay
Standard lodge packages start with four (4) nights / three (3) fishing days. Single day trips through Henry's Fork Anglers are also available. Please contact Yellow Dog for custom pricing for any length of stay.

Non-Angling Activities and Options
There are great non-angling activities in the Island Park area, and while the fly fishing opportunities are endless, even the most crazed addict needs to take a day off now and again. West Yellowstone is located 35 miles to the north, on Highway 20. From there you can spend an entire day in Yellowstone Park. From West Yellowstone, you can drive through the Park to Jackson, Wyoming, winding past Old Faithful and other epic sites to Grand Teton National Park, and then onward to Jackson, Wyoming and back to Island Park.

The Mesa Falls Scenic Byway frames the Grand Tetons, traveling south from Island Park to the small farming town and world's Seed Potato Capital, Ashton, Idaho. Along the way, you can visit Upper and Lower Mesa Falls and stop to feed giant trout at the Warm River crossing.

Nearby Harriman State Park has miles of trails to hike, bike or ride horseback. The scenery is pleasant and there is plenty of wildlife to watch or photograph from tiny song birds to elk and moose. Henry’s Fork Anglers can also arrange horseback trips.

Internet / Communications
Wi-Fi access is available at Henry's Fork Anglers, and most cell phones work in Island Park.


General Information
It’s a good bet that you won’t find a more knowledgeable, experienced group of fly fishing pros anywhere on the planet than the guides that work for Henry’s Fork Anglers. Mike Lawson started his career guiding for Jim Danksin in West Yellowstone. He became an outfitter and opened Henry’s Fork Anglers in 1976. Early on, Henry’s Fork Anglers built a reputation for the finest fly fishing guides in the business. The guide staff is anchored by Bob Lamm, Curt Barker, Mark (Smitty) Smith, Dom Traverso, and Tom Grimes – a solid group with a total of more than 200 years of experience. They are mentors for all other shop guides, and their leadership has set the highest standard of excellence in the industry. Henry’s Fork Anglers’ guides not only know the water and how, where and when to catch trout, but they also understand the needs and expectations of their customers. Some of the most storied rivers in American fly fishing are available to anglers fishing with Henry's Fork Anglers, including:

Henry’s Fork of the Snake
Just across the road from the shop, the Henry's Fork offers close to 80 miles of incredible fly fishing water. Likely the most diverse river in the world, the Henry's Fork is like having five rivers in one. The upper section above Island Park Reservoir is managed for family fishing. It is easy to wade with good hatches and large numbers of eager trout. In the fall and early spring, large trout move into this part of the river to provide an opportunity for bigger fish that move up from the reservoir.

Below Island Park Reservoir is the Box Canyon, well-known for its strong, healthy trout. The big rainbows found here are hard to land because they know how to use the heavy fast currents and rocky substrate to their advantage.

South of the Box Canyon, the river slows down and meanders for miles. Volumes have been written about this area, one of the most famous river stretches in the world known as the Harriman Sate Park. Spring creek water settles quietly throughout 8 miles of open meadow where mayflies, caddisflies, and other aquatic insects entice big trout to the surface on a daily basis. The rainbows are wary and difficult. The Harriman Park is one place where the perfect presentation with the perfect pattern is not only important, but necessary.

Below the Harriman Ranch, the Henry’s Fork slices through a basalt canyon where it drops over 1,000 feet in just 20 miles. While some of the whitewater is navigable, there are three major waterfalls that prohibit boat traffic. The river breaks from the canyon at the confluence with Warm River and becomes a classic western river with lots of high rock walls, nice pools, runs and riffles.

Further south, Ashton Dam provides a nutrient-enriched tailwater fishery that produces some of the fastest-growing and strongest rainbow and brown trout in the entire Yellowstone region. After the Henry’s Fork passes through the town of St. Anthony, it braids through deep stands of cottonwood trees until it reaches its confluence with the South Fork. The Henry’s Fork provides at least ten different float sections to meet the needs and interests of every fly fisher.

South Fork of the Snake
The South Fork is Idaho’s finest tailwater fishery. While the river has almost 70 miles of good water, Henry’s Fork Anglers’ guides usually focus on the lower 40 miles. The river is loaded with browns, rainbows and cutthroat trout. A typical day on the South Fork involves casting large high-riding foam dry flies along the banks and stopping to fish smaller dry flies to rising trout in the shallow riffles and runs. One of the best attractions of the South Fork is the variety of fishing. There are large selective trout that will challenge the most experienced dry fly angler yet you can be assured that even the most inexperienced novice will hook some nice fish. Another stand-out feature here is the amount of land placed under conservation easement--anglers can float stretches of this river for miles without seeing a single home, an outstanding experience in our modern-day landscape.

Teton River
The latest edition to the Henry’s Fork Anglers’ operating area, this tributary of Henry’s Fork offers more than 75 miles of prime trout water. Mike Lawson knows this river as well as anyone as he grew up only a mile from it. The upper section located west of Driggs, Idaho offers more than 15 miles of meandering spring creek water. It’s loaded with rainbow and brook trout along with large cutthroat trout that will test the skills of the most experienced angler. The next 30 mile middle section is difficult to access where it flows through a deep whitewater canyon. Loaded with large trout, the best access is by dragging inflatable rafts 1,500 feet deep into the canyon. Floating from the failed Teton Dam access is also an experience to remember. The lower section encompasses more than 25 miles of water. Difficult to access as it mostly flows through private property, this section holds some of the largest trout in the entire region. One of the best attributes of the Teton River is it fishes well during late July, August, and early September when some rivers are in the summer doldrums.

Madison River
The Madison River in Montana is one of the most revered trout streams in the country. Mike Lawson holds one of the oldest outfitting licenses in the State of Montana. Many of the guides at Henry’s Fork Anglers started their guiding careers on the Madison, and all of the guides at Henry’s Fork Anglers fish the Madison on a regular basis.

Yellowstone National Park
Great fly fishing opportunities on a variety of great waters throughout the season. The Firehole, Gibbon and Madison provide early season dry fly action from the Memorial Day weekend until early July. Later in the summer the best fishing is to the north and east on the Yellowstone, Lamar and Slough Creek. All Park waters offer great fishing in the fall.

Stillwater Lakes
Henry’s Fork Anglers guides pride themselves in their knowledge and ability to fish still water, including Henry’s Lake, Hebgen Lake and Island Park Reservoir. These lakes can produce fast action for some of the largest rainbow, brown, cutthroat and brook trout in the region, depending on the time of the year.

Boats and Equipment
The guides at Henry’s Fork Anglers use several types of boats, depending upon the type of water to be fished. River drift boats are used by all of the guides to float the more than 30 different float sections on the Henry’s Fork, South Fork and Madison Rivers. Aire Super Duper Puma inflatable rafts are used to float the whitewater canyon of the Henry’s Fork and Teton Rivers. Some of the guides also use powerboats for the lakes where they can move and maneuver quickly from one spot to another. The 6,500 square foot fly shop has hundreds of fly patterns suited to the area and is usually well-set with the latest and greatest hot patterns. The shop is also well-stocked with the biggest names in fly fishing gear, outdoor clothing, waders and other fishing supplies.


How To Get There
The Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA), 80 miles away, provides the best and most reliable airline service and the best options for airline carries, car rental and shuttle service to Island Park. There is also a small airport in West Yellowstone (WYS), about 50 miles away. Both of these airports require a connection through Denver (DEN) or Salt Lake City (SLC).

Arrival and Departure Details / Times
Henry’s Fork Anglers can arrange shuttle pick-up and delivery to and from the airport at an additional fee. Most customers prefer to rent a car so they can enjoy the area sight-seeing and other non-fishing activities. Guides will happily pick up and deliver fishing clients to and from their selected accommodation. Anglers typically meet their guides at the fly shop between 8:00 and 8:30 in the morning.

Documents Required
Idaho, Montana, and Yellowstone Park fishing licenses are available at the fly shop, or by logging onto the following websites: 
Idaho Dept. of Fish and Game 
and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks

Travel Arrangements
Yellow Dog offers a full in-house travel and reservations system, and can assist with airline tickets, hotels, transfers, and all travel logistics for every destination that we offer. Contact us at 888-777-5060 or travel [at] yellowdogflyfishing [dot] com for more details on airfare ticketing, travel services, and trip insurance.


Package Rates
Remember that Yellow Dog's services are completely free! When you book a trip with Yellow Dog, you never pay more than when you book directly with the lodge or outfitter. We can arrange everything from week long stays at Henry’s Fork Lodge to single day fishing trips out of the fly shop. Package prices vary depending on type of accommodations, length of stay, time of year, and inclusions. Please call Yellow Dog for full details and custom pricing. Guided trips are for 1 or 2 anglers per guide. All prices listed below are in US dollars.

Guided Fishing Rates
November 1 - May 14 = $525 per guide / per day
May 15 - May 31 = $575 per guide / per day
June 1 - July 31 = $595 per guide / per day
August 1 - October 31 = $575 per guide / per day

$150 extra per boat / per day to inlcude all flies, tackle, and use of needed equipment

Lodging Rates
Henry's Fork Lodge = $570 per person / per night
Elk Creek Ranch = $135 per person / per night

What's Included

  • Number of nights lodging as specified in package
  • Number of days of guided fishing as specified in package
  • All meals at your chosen accommodations
  • Streamside lunch each fishing day with non-alcoholic beverages
  • Transportation to and from your daily fishing location

What's Not Included

  • Gratuities for guides or staff
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Fishing equipment, tackle, or flies (available for sale at the fly shop)
  • Fishing licenses
  • Sales taxes or lodging taxes
  • Transportation costs to and from the airport (can be arranged for an additional cost)
  • Teton slide trip surcharges

Most of the water on the Henry’s Fork, Teton River, and South Fork is open for fishing on a year-round basis. Some of the best dry fly fishing of the entire year on these rivers is from late February through early May. There are good hatches of midges throughout the period. Reliable hatches of Blue Winged Olives occur from March through April. April and early May produce great hatches of Mother’s Day caddisflies and Western March Brown mayflies. If on rare occasions the bugs aren’t hatching, the fishing is good with nymphs and streamers. From the middle of June through July is by far the busiest time of the year at Henry’s Fork Anglers. During that period availability of guides and accommodations can be very limited. Guides and accommodations are almost always available during the late winter and spring.

The fishing season on the Harriman State Park is open to fishing from June 15 through November 30. There is almost always something hatching every day of the season. The fishing season in Yellowstone Park opens on Memorial Day weekend and continues through the first Sunday of November. Some waters, including the Yellowstone do not open until July 15. The Upper Madison in Montana below Quake Lake is open from the third Saturday in May through the end of February.

Client Testimonials

"I first fished the Henry's Fork over 50 years ago with my Dad. My son and I fished together with a guide from Henry's Fork Anglers in 1984, and along with my fly fishing friends or my wife Joan, have been devoted to Mike's shop since that time. Their shop staff always provides personal and conscientious attention to their customers' needs. The guide staff is exceptional. Combine that with a fishery that has truly unmatched variety of fishing options and it has always assured us of a great experience. As I think back over the years, it is impossible to catalog in my mind the endless spots I have fished with Henry's Fork Anglers guides. And this year we will undoubtedly be introduced to some new water that I have not yet seen which will most assuredly produce some more memorable fish."

- Tom B. (Atherton, CA)

"This summer will be the 27th year that I and my various friends have been using the expertise of Henry’s Fork Anglers. Many times my friends have expressed to me not only the friendliness of the guides, but also their abilities in knowing the entire river and what successfully catches fish. I will continue to always recommend Henry's Fork Anglers to anyone I meet as the best and only guide service when they are wanting to experience quality fly fishing."

- Neil M. (Boise, ID)

"Henry’s Fork Anglers was originally referred to me by Jack Dennis of Jackson Hole, Wyoming and Mike Lawson got me started fly fishing. I have always found Henry’s Fork Anglers’ to be very professional, and very good at knowing what successfully catches trout under the different conditions. All the guides are fun to be with and very good in making sure that everyone has a good time while catching fish. My continued use of Henry’s Fork Angler’s for over the past 30 years should show how much I respect and enjoy fishing with them."

- Denny C. (Louisville, KY)

"Since being introduced to the Henry’s Fork River area about five years ago, my wife and I have fished almost exclusively with the folks from Henry’s Fork Anglers. The staff in the shop has consistently been helpful in assisting us with equipment needs and supporting our requests for arranging guided trips. Without exception, the guides with whom we have worked have been not only professionally exceptional but also extremely accommodating to our needs and delightful to spend time with on the river. They do a great job matching a client’s needs and skill sets with the wide range of opportunities."

- Mark and Janet R. (Los Angeles, CA)