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
The beast in all its glory.