Hatchapalooza on the Hank

So, here’s a quick question?  How many bugs hatch on the Henry’s Fork during a hatchapalooza?



Answer:  All of em.

Braxton and I decided to go out and check out some spots.  After I convinced him to not fish the Salmon Flies on Fall River, we decided to go hit the Hank.  Nothing against Fall River, but I think the risk/reward is just so much greater on the Hank.  We would not be disappointed.

We got there, and started fishing, and not long into it I hooked into a NICE brown throwing meat.  Shortly thereafter, Braxton caught not one, but 3 nice fish nymphing.  And then…. it happened.  Bugs. Lots of them. Every shape. Every size.  Seriously.  Small black caddis, huge brown caddis, march browns? brown drakes? Pmds?  I swear they were all coming off and the fish were starting to feed.  This was late afternoon, and just a surprise.

I spotted a rising fish eating repeatedly at the tail end of a rock.  It was a tricky cast. I put streamers right in front of his nose, and finally had to call Braxton off of the 12″ rainbows he was wrangling one after the other on caddis.  He threw the caddis over and over, sometimes just perfectly.  The brown (come to find out there were at least two feeding there) was not interested, and yet he kept feeding.  I decided to trek all the way across the river to get my dryfly setup, and try my luck.  I get back, and the brown still hadn’t taken.  I try my luck from a different angle to no avail, and then all I hear is a splash.  Braxton says, “I don’t even know what happened, but I got him.”  The fight was on, the current is swift, and neither of us have a net.  Braxton fought the fish near perfectly and I, standing below him, hand line the beast into my leg and lift him out of the water triumphantly.  I reach down to unhook the fly (brown drake for those wondering) and with one flick of his tail, he was gone.  No pics. But the satisfaction was real.  Oh, also, Braxton’s brown drake is still in the fish’s mouth.  Oops.

I love that stuff.  When you can see the fish you are trying to catch, and then figure it out and catch that exact fish.  AWESOME.

We decide to head down river, and I throw streamers along the bank all the way down, not turning another fish.  Maybe an hour has passed and I decide to go back to the rock.  “Welcome to the Rock,” said in my best Sean Connery. (which is spot on actually).

Anyway, at the rock, I see 2, maybe even 3 more browns feeding in that same exact spot.  Braxton is down river still, killing it on rubberlegs and so I decide not to tell him.  I throw on a brown drake, because, why not?  3 casts is all it took and I was hooked up.  I finagle this beautiful specimen over to some shallower water behind another rock and am able to get Braxton’s attention to get up here, because low and behold.  There is Braxton’s fly, and my fly, in the corner of this brown trout’s mouth.

I have caught fish with flies in it before, but never targeting it twice.  I was amazed that this fish went right home and back to his feeding.  How cool.  We got some pics this time.  The fish we both caught.  Some might say I got Braxton’s sloppy seconds, some might say, I wouldn’t have had to if his knot had held. (look closely at the fly with no knot on it).

Hope you enjoy these pics.  I know I did.


Thems bugs on that thurr water.


Fatty bow eating nymphs.


2 flies, one mouth.  Look closely, no knot. LOL

P1010956  IMG_1476 IMG_1478

The beast in all its glory.

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5 Responses to “Hatchapalooza on the Hank”

  1. Sander Says:

    Fly fishing can be hard for beginners. When I tried fly fishing the first time, I was really bad at it. But then I searched the internet for guides on how to improve my fly fishing skills and it brought me to Loveflyfishing guide! With their detailed guide, my fly fishing skills improved almost overnight. You can do this too!http://bit.ly/1HxTeZa


  2. Loomis Dude Says:

    “When you can see the fish you are trying to catch, and then figure it out and catch that exact fish.” – Nothing better!


  3. Varyhelp Says:

    Wow! What a great post and precious fish. I really love the fish and fishing. I have enjoyed a great celebration of fathers day. Thank you for sharing this precious news!


  4. Bruce Hedgepeth Says:

    That’s a terrific “fish” or should I say “fishx2″ story. It’s like a twice baked potato (how does that actually work anyway?). Felt like I was there with you–or wishing I was for sure. Seems like I’ve been in that same predicament many times trying to get a known eater to eat. One difference between you and me though is when my friend calls me to help land a fish, I just ignore him and keep fishing. I always say I couldn’t hear him; my bad ear was facing him; too much loud music as a teenager; youthful Bose 901 speaker attraction; jack-hammering indoors with no ear protection; etc., whatever excuse seems plausible at the time, and one he hasn’t heard in awhile. Oh and as truth would have it, I’ve tied that same knot that Braxton did (or didn’t). I need help too.
    Tight lines and sturdy (sturdier)knots.


  5. Jay Says:

    This is a thrilling article – well written and allowed me to live vicariously through you lucky guys!

    I am hoping to get out there (from Indiana) late next June into July for a couple of weeks and try my luck.

    Really feel like I lucked into a treasure by finding your blog.


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