Streams Outside of Yellowstone National Park
.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park


Henry's Fork of the Snake River - Part Four

If all you have ever done is fish the fast, pocket water of freestone streams, you are
going to have a difficult time catching trout in the Harriman State Park section (Ranch)
of the Henry's Fork of the Snake River. If all you have ever done is catch stocked trout
anywhere, you are going to have a difficult time catching trout there. If you have been
fishing this section of the river for fifty years, you may still have a difficult time catching
them at times.

This section has often been described as being similar to fishing a flooded parking lot.
That reference is made in terms of being able to easily wade the stream. The bottom is
fairly level and the stream is usually quite easy to wade. Like any spring creek, it is full
of aquatic vegetation. This vegetation makes the smooth currents tricky, to say the
least. Getting a drag free drift can be a big problem.

The best way to catch the rainbows in this section is to find a trout feeding on the
surface and fish it. Random casting will get you very little results. You will spook far
more trout than you will catch. Finding a trout that is feeding on the surface is not
always possible, of course. Most of the time the trout are feeding on the surface, a
hatch of an aquatic insect is underway. Hatches are not always underway, even during
the prime season. When something is hatching, it occurs at a specific time of the day,
depending on the insect. About the only other time surface feeding occurs is during the
late summer and early fall when trout are feeding on terrestrial insects that fall into the
water. Another problem is that when some of the hatches that take place are occurring
there are several of them taking places at the same time. Multiple hatches are
common. You then have the problem of trying to determine which insect they are
taking. When these multiple hatches are taking place there is usually another problem
- a lot of anglers on the water.

The trout in the Ranch section are usually very selective. There is so much aquatic
insect life available to them, they can be very selective and still eat all they want to eat.
There is never a shortage of food. That is why the trout grow fast and grow big in this
great river.

About the only thing I have done so far is to point out the problems you face when
fishing the Ranch. Tomorrow I will get very "brave' and describe some specific methods
I have used successfully.

Copyright 2008 James Marsh     
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