Fishing The Henrys Fork - Box Canyon
It is easy to get intimidated by world class rivers.
I guess the Henry's Fork was a little intimidating to me.
With the old rule of thumb being that "eighty percent of the fish are caught by twenty percent of the fishermen", I was pretty much convinced that at least for this trip I might fall into the "eighty percent" of fishless fellas category.
Nonetheless-- being the supreme optimist that I am-- I was up at 4:30 a. m. and heading upstream to Box Canyon. This is a stretch below Island Lake Reservoir, that is classic "tailwater" and a good place to fish with nymphs.
Now for those of you not familiar with the term "nymph fishing", I don't want you to race to the Henry's Fork with your Armani waders and Italian leather fishing vests--because you might be a tad disappointed to find mainly a bunch of fish crazed males when you get there. Nymph fishing is the term used for the stage of life, when an aquatic bug is residing beneath the surface of water, usually on the bottom.
If that gets you excited--then you have potential to be a fly fisherman. But leave the Gucci duds at home!!
I followed my map to the place where the guide shop had directed me, and took a short hike to the river. Water looked good, but I always get a little suspicious when I am not competing for fishing space with other fishermen. Especially on an easy access spot on a world famous river!!
My suspicions were justified, as I ran the leech/bead head combo through several riffles and pools and came away with bupkiss. I fished for an hour and decided to move downstream to Box Canyon campground.
I still hadn't seen another fisherman out on the water and it was about 8 o'clock by now. I walked downstream from the campground for about 3/4 mile and never saw another soul. Unless you count the two rather angry Ospreys that were giving me an earful as I stood below their nest. They, of course, had some luck that morning and were chowing down on something. The water was moving through the canyon here at a pretty good volume and I had to look hard for a spot to fish.
I finally found some water that looked good and fished a tiny pocket where I got a hit right away. I casted again to the same spot and....... seven monsterous inches later I had my first Henry's Fork trout. Hey, a fish is a fish, and at the current "fish story" growth ratio of 1 inch every 3 months-in two years he would become a 15 incher!!
That was it though, another hour went by and no more strikes or fish.
It was starting to warm up by now and I headed back to my truck--stopping to antagonize the Osprey--who were now also laughing at me --due to my lack of fish catching ability.
I considered painting my head white, climbing up the snag to the Osprey nest and stealing their fish-- but lacking some of the other attributes of the Bald Eagle--like wings and beak-- I opted to just slink out of the forest and let the Osprey gloat.
Oh well, that evening would be a different!!
to be continued.....
A. J. Klott
Author, writer of fishing humor, and "fly tack" peddler. A. J. writes about the people, characters and modern day events that surround the fishing world. His first book is due out in December of 2005.