Let it be known. The curse has been lifted.
I finally got a "real" fish out of the Henry's Fork.
One fish is no big deal for the fly fishing luminaries out there who stack twenty inch rainbows like cord wood. My light doesn't glow so bright.
With clouds forecast for the day I made a run for Last Chance. Overcast summer days are a rarity out here. I hoped the fish and the bugs that they dine on would like the forecast as well.
A cloudy day invariably feels a hell of a lot more comfortable than a sunny one with similar temperatures. The only issue is that the glare on cloudy days gives me fits. Sunglasses don't help. There's no best angle to look at the surface of the water either. There's a uniform funky brightness caused by light reflecting from clouds to water surface that makes it virtually impossible to see and track a fly. So, I squint a lot, guess where my fly is based on water speed and basically fish by braille. I make a point of lifting ge…
I drove down to the Henry's Fork yesterday and spent a few hours poking around and taking pictures. Here's the first PMD that I've seen this year. I've tried to get a handle on cripple type patterns for a long time but couldn't quite grasp the half nymph, half adult part of the imitation. Well, this particular bug shows the justification for tying two toned cripples. If anything, I've found that perhaps I should be tying the back end even darker.
I'll start this post with a scene to warm the holiday season. A summer pond reflection from near Cooke City, Montana. Only the mosquitos are missing.
The year started and ended frosty. Sub zero temperatures in January and December bookended the year. Other than minor inconvenience, the cold weather was short lived and offered a brief respite from fishing.
I've grown to prefer fishing midges. Often, they're a most reliable hatch. And, mid-winter, the only game if one desires casting to rising trout. Thankfully, February and March were both nice and offered several pleasant days and opportunities for squinting at the waters surface. Midges continued to fish well into May.
In spite of declining visual acuity, fishing with twenty-two's became routine. I comfortably ventured into the use of 7X and now view 6X as a luxury. Five X is nearly suitable for dredging up halibut.
Lucy, the matriarch of the sofa claiming dog clan made it beyond sixteen. She left behind …
Yesterday was a perfectly wonderful day. I hit the road early to make the hundred plus mile drive to the Henry's Fork. We'd had a few cool wet days this week with snow in the high country. This would be the first "improving" day with some sunshine and warming temperatures. I got to Last Chance a little after eight. Low clouds and fog hung over the river. There was no hurry to get going, the bugs would take their time today. I piddled around, poured a cup of coffee, got my gear together, eventually pulled on waders and prepared for a long exploratory walk. Across the river, coyotes howled, then a bull elk bugled. Meanwhile, various waterfowl did their thing, honking, quacking, flying up and down the river.
The clouds would be slow to depart but added immensely to the now autumn sky. The distant Tetons gradually appeared as the clouds lifted. Mostly, I reveled in the sounds and scenery. There was no wind either! This was the first day that I'd wear my sil…
Just a few images from a winter trip to the Henry's Fork in Idaho. The Henry's Fork is not a winter fly fishing destination. The area is normally buried under many feet of snow which makes it a haven for folks on snowmobiles. This was a near perfect winter day. Overcast, comfortable, calm. The midges were out. The blue-winged olives didn't come out to play. And the trout? They came out too, and played, a little.
I fished until late afternoon.
The tally for the day was twice my last outing.
Where did the time go?
I've used this quote before, but am compelled to use it again as it sums up the day perfectly.
"I wondered for quite a while about the fascination of fly fishing. Why is it that I can wade into a stream at 10 in the morning, look at my watch in a "couple" of hours, and find out that it's late in the afternoon"........by Gene Hill from A Listening Walk and other stories.
I know that I'm not the only one that feels the seasonal sense of urgency. All of us who live in northerly climes know it. The clock is running. The big W is around the corner. We can't keep it at bay, but we can sure make the most of the remaining days.
September? Glorious. There's just not enough of it. Bob Garnier recently posted about it on his great little blog, Trout on Dries. But then, as an Albertan, he knows about urgency and winter. As a Montanan, I appreciate Alberta. Heck, they send us weather.
No matter. Back to September. It's an embarrassment of riches. Back when I bowhunted avidly, I'd spend weeks wearing out boot soles by chasing elk in the high country. Now, other vices have supplanted the pursuit of elk.
There's birds and dogs to chase, high and low. Trout to catch that now revel in the cooling water. Just pick a river to fish. And, heaven forbid, steelhead, if.....
So far we've spent a day in the high county where th…
It only took forty years, but I finally did it. I drove to Island Park, Idaho and, instead of just looking at the water, I wet my line in the storied Henry's Fork. Known for tremendous insect hatches, it's regarded as some of the finest dry fly water in existence. It's a spring creek, a very big one at that. A hundred yards wide in many places. Size wise, it's quite a change from the Paradise Valley spring creeks that I'm accustomed to fishing.
I started off by getting a day pass to access Harriman State Park (available at park headquarters). Then, wanting to fish the middle section of the ranch, I backtracked and parked at the appropriate access point along the highway. From there, a pleasant mile long morning walk along an old ranch road led me to the fabled waters. It was quite a sight.
Bugs were starting to hatch when I walked up to the stream. I can't say that it was a huge hatch though. A few clouds of tricos, some blue-winged olives, a very few …
Took a road trip one day last week. The valley, a little off the beaten path, was still green. The intent was to fish, which I did. But the scenery and profusion of flowers captured most of my attention.
By mid-day it had grown quite warm. Make that hot. So, back over the pass I went. Still early, there was time to drive over to the Henry's Fork. After nearly forty years in Montana, and having driven through the area countless times, I've yet to fish this storied trout water.
I stopped by the Henry's Fork Angler, picked up a copy of Mike Lawson's book, and purchased an Idaho fishing license. If you ever want to throw the shop guys for a loop, just ask for a steelhead permit too! I may have been the first, last, and only person to ask for one. Not too many steelhead in this neck of the woods, but I'm ready if one ever shows up.
I then drove home, still not having fished the Henry's Fork.