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This was our 11th arrival at the Fork, each one sweeter than the last. It's always my brother John, and sometimes my brother Pete. This year Pete couldn't make it.
The first time we saw the Henry's Fork was on a swing through Idaho hitting as many of the famous trout rivers as we could. We started at the South Fork of the Boise, hit the Big Wood and Silver Creek, and then got to the Henry's Fork.
It blew us away. It also humbled us. We decided then that we'd keep coming back until we got it right. And even if we never got it right.
I don't know if we can say we've got it right, but we're veterans now, and we know how to find the big trout, stalk them, and sometimes catch them.
Maybe that's why we love this river so much: you can have enough success to feel fully satisfied, and still go home with enough unfinished business to keep you awake nights until the next time.
We converge on the Henry's Fork. I come in from the far west--Washington--and John comes in from the far east: Maine. While I was making the eleven hour drive from home, John was flying into Salt Lake City and driving up from there.
He got there first. But when I finally pulled into the parking area at the Last Chance stretch he had just gotten into his waders. I quickly followed suit. It was close to sundown, but when you get to the Fork with any daylight left you get out and see what's what.
We headed down the old familiar trail and took a look.
Some bugs. But no fish rising.
But space, lots of space.
And silence. Lots of silence.
We weren't in Kansas anymore.
We reminded each other of the good reports we had been hearing about the Fork, and speculated on what we might find come morning.
That was enough to get us heading back to the cars, eager to set up camp, get a good night's sleep, and wake up bright and early with four whole days ahead of us with nothing to do except find those fish.