Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Big Trout on Henry's Lake

I headed out to Henry’s Lake today with friend and quality lake fly fisher Dan Oas.  Dan is a long time Jackson Hole guide for WorldCast Anglers and one of the top competitive members of Team USA Fly Fishing.  We’ve been talking about hitting a lake together for about two years and somehow we’ve not pulled it off.  Last week Dan rang me and we both decided it was a must before the ice settles in.  Today was the day.

Although the nights finally dip down below freezing, the daytime temperatures remain unseasonably warm.  The forecast for today was an incredible 57º with light winds.  Of course, that was for Victor, IdahoHenry’s Lake tends to muster up its own weather and up there it was more like 45º with steady strong winds.  Wisely, Dan has an excellent windsock and we both know that windy days on lakes are far better for fishing than the calm ones.

Both of us use three flies spread out on a nearly 20 foot level leader.  Today I used 0X Scientific Anglers Fluorocarbon tippet.  It’s my go to for dragging leeches or streamers on lakes where there’s big trout.  Each fly is approximately 6 feet apart and I don’t tie (I don’t advise it either) to the hook of each fly but rather use the hang from either a blood knot or in my case, triple surgeon knot with a half hitch in it (Catch me at a Show this winter and I’ll demonstrate).  My hang tags with the flies on them are about 6 inches long.

Dan not only guides around Jackson, Wyoming but also throughout Idaho and the Yellowstone Park Region.  He in fact guides on Henry’s Lake on occasion and for that reason I took an interest in the sinking line he was using as well as his fly choice.  I generally start any lake situation with a Scientific Anglers intermediate sinking Stillwater fly line WF6I.  Dan started with a Type 3 sink WF7S.  He caught two fish on our second drift while I didn’t have a bump.  I could have continued to try with my line but what’s the sense?  I immediately changed over to a Uniform Sink Type 5.

By the time I switched over Dan had at least another two fish, all of them ate a white leechy looking concoction of his.  He gave me one and I tied the fly on as my top fly.  That made all the difference in the world.  Ten minutes later I too had several nice hybrids that Henry’s Lake is famous for.

For the next five hours we pumbled the fish of Henry’s Lake.  However, it wasn’t without effort.  After our first hour of fun our fishing stopped.  Most anglers would’ve been satisfied and assumed the fish were done feeding.  But we weren’t.  On lakes fish often switch to feeding on something else.  We changed flies and found out they were done eating white and changed their tastes to flies of olive.  Again we smacked the fish continuously including this impressive brook trout

Lately every trip involves moose.  It seems like I see an impressive bull moose daily.  Today we had a huge bull stalking a cow through the shallows.  We motored as close as we dared and I got some nice photos without a zoom lens!

To say we put a spanking on the fish of Henry’s Lake today would be putting it lightly.  Honestly I’ll bet Dan landed a minimum of 25 fish and I more than 15.  Very few of these trout were less than 16” and the big fish was this gorgeous thick cutbow.  The most amazing thing about today was that we never saw anyone else catch a single fish.  It was our day!

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