My friend Pete (from Laramie) and I just got back from four days fishing in the Island Park, ID area, mainly fishing the Henry's Fork. We took Pete's Air Stream up and camped at the Buffalo Run RV park in Island Park. Day one we hired a guide from Trout Hunters to float the north section of the railroad ranch. We found out quickly how difficult the fishing was going to be. Before we launched the guide told us that they measure a good day by each angler getting two eats (not fish landed). We each had numerous opportunities, casting 14 ft leaders with either 5x or 6x tippet depending on the fly size. The river this time of year is chocked with weeds, making it more difficult than it normally is. He told us the best time to fish the Henry's Fork is the June/July time frame, much more crowded but the river is in way better shape. Day two we hired a guide to go after gulpers on Hebgen lake in the am and then float the Box Canyon section of the HF in the afternoon. The last two days we fished on our own.
Here is a photo of Pete's Air Stream at the house all hooked up and ready to head north:
Getting the boat ready to launch on the HF, the guides name was Darby. He put both Pete and I on a bunch of fish, but trying to land those big guys on 5x or 6x in the weeds is pretty tough:
The Rainbow I landed:
Here is Pete in his gangster get up with his Rainbow:
First day float lunch break:
Here is a photo of the water taken the last day down off Wood Rd access, the quality isn't very good, but you can see all the weeds and all those specks are bugs on the water:
The last day we had overcast conditions and some light rain most of the day, had this little guy land on me, I think it is a BWO, there must have been a million of them on the water, it was truly amazing thing to see:
Day two up on Hebgen Lake going after gulpers. We launched from the north shore and saw 12-15 heads come up, motored over to where the guide (Joe Bare) from Henry's Fork Anglers liked the best, there was a very good Calibaetis hatch coming off, but by the time we started fishing, the heads all disappeared despite the nice hatch. So we switched gears and put on small streamers and started casting at the sides of the weed beds, I had a medium sized Brown follow my fly right to the boat then did a refusal and that was it for any action, so we got skunked on Hebgen lake. I will have to go back for a little revenge. Here is a photo of the north shore.
We then headed over to the Box Canyon for an afternoon float. Here is a photo of the dam at the top of Box Canyon and the staging of the afternoon tuber hatch. The guide told us we had the option to nymph for smaller fish or throw streamers at bigger fish. Pete opted to nymph fish, I wanted to throw streamers. Pete landed four fish, probably the largest was 15-16", I didn't take any photos as I was busy tossing streamers. The only action I got was just as I was lifting the fly out a big Brown trout grabbed the fly, he was on for maybe a second or two and just as fast as he appeared he was gone, not sure exactly what happened, but it was exciting none the less:
Here is a photo of the north shore of Hebgen Lake:
The last two days we fished the HF on our own. The guides told us there were bigger fish down off the end of Wood Rd, but they would be very difficult to land, so of course that is where we wanted to fish. Pete ended up landing two fish in the 14" range, we both had much larger fish on. I had a true monster Rainbow jump out of the water 4-5 times as he peeled off line headed down stream to finally break me off in the weeds. Pete had 4-5 big fish on but he had the same results.