The Fork Called Henry’s: A Photo Summary

There is a reason people from all over the world make the journey to Idaho to fish the Henry’s Fork.  Whether you want to fish a tailwater, a canyon section full of pocket water, or a spring creek, the Henry’s Fork has it all.  The lower river is predominantly brown trout, but as you work your way upriver, rainbows become the main quarry.  One of the main reasons I love the Henry’s Fork is because it consistently puts out solid fish.  It doesn’t matter what section of the river you choose the fish, you always have the chance of hooking into the fish of a lifetime.  The past few weeks of winter fishing have been phenomenal on the Lower Henry’s Fork, and things will only pick up as warmer weather begins to set in.  Spring is just around the corner.  Get out and catch some fish!

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“The Straight Arm”

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Pre-Spawn ‘Bow

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Chris With Another Quality Brown

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Seeing Double

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Buttery ‘Bow

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One Hander

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Nature’s Canvas

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Brownie

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Healthy ‘Bow

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Catch and Release

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Spotty

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Golden

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Chris With a Hog

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Chunk of Brown

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Gus With a Pretty ‘Bow

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Quick Release

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Beautiful Hybrid

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Long ‘Bow

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Daily Double

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Rosy Cheeks

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Chris With a Giant Brown

What Can Walmart Do For You?

After several years of use, my faithful Cortland Pro Cast finally bit the dust.  It was by far my favorite rod that I have ever owned and was responsible for helping me land some of the best fish I’ve ever caught in my life.  What is a fly fisherman to do when one of the most important pieces of their arsenal is no longer in working in order?  They are to head straight to walmart and pick up the best rod $2o can buy of course!  Well, maybe that’s not the most ideal solution, but Chris and I were short on time and wanted to make it to the river at a decent hour.  Carp were the species of choice, and not having my 8 wt was going to present a few more challenges than usual.  I quickly browsed the selection and after looking at quite a few different rods, settled with an Eagle Claw, Black Eagle model, 8.5′ 5 wt.  Far from what I would consider “good” for targeting carp, but it was better than nothing.  With my newly purchased rod, we were now ready to hit the river and hopefully catch a few carp.

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The Black Eagle

As we pulled up to the carp flat, it quickly became evident that we were going to have a pretty good chance at catching some early season carp.  Mud lines were easily visible and the carp were jumping everywhere.  Jumping carp aren’t really feeding, but it is a sign that there are other fish in the area that are sure to be feeding.  With the Black Eagle in hand, I slowly made my way out to a promising looking mud line.  A couple casts later and I was hooked up with my first carp of the day.  To my surprise, the rod did not immediately snap in two.  In fact, the rod handled the fish just fine and I was relieved to know I actually had the upper hand on these fish.  If you want your gear to really get put through the ringer, just go fishing for carp.  It’ll put any rod,line, or reel to the test.  The fishing was steady  enough to keep things interesting for the next couple of hours, and Chris and I continued to bring the occasional fish to hand.

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Carp are Slippery Buggers

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“Say hello to my little friend”

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Half Goldfish-Half Carp?

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Long Mirror

The sun slowly began to set and in turn the water temps began to cool down again.  The constant splashing of porpoising carp slowly lingered out, but not before Chris and I set into an awesome double.  I immediately knew I had set in to a good fish when he shot straight to the waters surface upon being hooked.  Chris also confirmed that he had latched into a dandy.  Both carp made their runs and we eventually were able to corral them into a small outcropping.  Before it got too dark to see anything, I was able to catch one more carp.  We decided it was time to call it quits on the carp game and go look for some hungry trout.

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Mirror, Mirror

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Peachy Common

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Awesome Double

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Last Carp of the Day

The transition from from carp to trout went smoothly and it didn’t take long to hook into some feisty ‘bows.  The $20 Eagle Claw had passed the test of handling every carp put against it, so I was curious how the rod would handle trout fishing.  I had to make a few adjustments to the way I normally fight a trout, due to the lack of backbone in the rod, but overall it held it’s own just fine.  The next few hours of darkness provided non stop action on small black and white streamers.  The fish seem to hold nothing back once the sun goes down, and that is one of my favorite things about night fishing.

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Wild One

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Chromey

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Another Colored Up Native

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The Rare and Coveted Brown

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Chubber

Fly fishing often presents us with unexpected challenges, but isn’t that part of the draw?  Who knew that a $20 fly rod from Walmart would save the day and make for such a memorable trip.  I definitely did not have much faith in the rod when I purchased it, and in fact was expecting it to be broken by day’s end.  In the end, it ended up helping me catch one of my biggest mirror carp to date, and also led to the most successful night fishing trip I have ever been on.  So, next time you are in need of a new fly rod, just remember to ask yourself, What can Walmart do for you?

Gear Review: RIO Indicator Line (WF5F)

When it comes to winter fly fishing, slowly bouncing the river bottom with nymphs is most often my go to method.  Over the past couple of months I have had the opportunity to use the RIO Indicator Line.  Nymping has always been one of my favorite methods of fishing, but I’ll be the first to admit, I never knew that a specialty line could make such a positive difference in the way I fish nymphs.

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The RIO Indicator Line

Line Specs and Features:

One of the unique features of the RIO Indicator Line is that the head section of the line is significantly longer and heavier than your typical WF5F line.  The longer head enables you to control your line with ease and makes mending and maintaining a drag free drift a much simpler task.  The heavier head is able to turn over a two-fly indicator rig with very little effort in comparison to your standard fly line.  Another advantage of having the thicker diameter of the RIO Indicator Line is it’s ability to cut through the wind.

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An Eastern Idaho Wild Rainbow Trout

RIO Products pride themselves for always offering their customers the newest advances in fly line technology.  The Indicator Line features RIO’s Agent X Technology, as well as their XS Technology.  Agent X Technology combines castability with durability, and the end result is a superior fly line.  XS Technology stands for Extreme Slickness, and who doesn’t want a slicker fly line?  Along with increased slickness, RIO’s XS Technology helps repel dirt and in turn keeps your line in great shape even longer.  RIO’s DualTone color system is another very useful feature.  Not only does the noticable change in line color help you know how much line you have out, it also helps you know the ideal loading zone of the fly line, and in turn helps your casts land where you want them to.  Last but not least, Welded Loops on both ends of the line make rigging up and changing your leaders a breeze.   All of these features put the RIO Indicator Line a step above the status quo.

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Field Testing:

One of the first things I noticed about the RIO Indicator Line is how easily it slid through the guides of my fly rod. The castability of your line is key to a successful day on the river.  Although most nymphing situations don’t call for extremely far casts, it is good to know that I can hit that stellar looking run on the far side of the river when the situation arises.  Floatability is also key to a good day on the water and once again RIO delivers.  The fluorescent orange tip is always easy to locate as it rides high, allowing you to keep your presentation at just the right level in the water column.

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Henry’s Fork Brown Trout

When it comes to winter nymphing, maintaining a drag free drift is very important.  Fish do not want to move very far to get a meal, and the longer your fly is in the zone, the better your chances are of hooking up.  Being able to mend line with ease, even with a lot of line out, enables you to maintain a drag free drift with very little effort.  I have never used a line that mends so easily.  Fishing the run on the far side of a boulder is no longer out of the question when you can mend over it and keep a perfect drift.  The heavier diameter of the head, combined with the longer than normal head section of the line makes this possible.

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Catch and Release

One of the most important attributes of a fly line is it’s durability.  I fish at least three times a week, and whatever gear I am using is going to take a beating over time.  I want a line that I know three months down the road, will cast as good as it did the first day I fished it.  Once again, the RIO Indicator Line has left me very impressed.  On top of the normal wear and tear that any line goes through, winter fishing presents other obstacles and is a perfect testing ground for a fly line.  Ice build up in the guides can scrape up line and easily damage it.  With the exception of a couple small nicks near the welded loop, the line is still in nearly perfect condition.  With that said, I believe ice in the top guide of my fly rod is to blame for that and it wouldn’t have happened under normal conditions.

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A Streamer Eating Henry’s Fork Rainbow

If versatility is an important part the way you fish, don’t be fooled into thinking that the RIO Indicator Line can only be used for nymphing.  If nymphs aren’t working, I will often throw on a streamer to switch things up and see if that will entice a strike.  Changing spools is time consuming, so knowing that the only change I have to make to my setup is tying on a heavier leader is a great feeling.

Conclusion:

Overall, I have been very happy with the RIO Indicator Line and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys nymph fishing.  By testing the line in some of the most extreme conditions, I can say with confidence it is the ideal line choice for most nymphing scenarios.  The one and only issue that I found with the line was that in extremely cold conditions, let’s say low teens or colder, the line would freeze up a little quicker than your typical fly line.  But let’s be honest, how many people really go fly fishing in the single digits?  This is not an issue that very many anglers will ever run into.  Once again, RIO has delivered a superior product and I look forward to using more of their specialty fly lines in the future.

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Beautiful Wild Idaho Rainbow

The RIO Indicator line has an MSRP value of $74.95.  Want to get your hands on some of your own or any of their other great products? Head on over to their website at rioproducts.com.  There you can find the closest line retailer in your neck of the woods.