Monday, August 10, 2015

Henry's Fork Report: Second Day

We were up bright and early on our second morning. With the Henry's due for a flush we had our sights and hearts set on the Teton River.

We loaded up my trusty van for the road trip. This would be our office//kitchen/living room for the next few days.

We made another stop at Henry's Fork Anglers to glean whatever free advice they might have on fishing the Teton. After determining, in consultation with a couple of their guides, that we would go clear up to the meadow section, one of them said, "Hey, if you're going up there be sure to show 'em a Purple Chubby."

I bit. "What's that?" I asked.

They showed us. John turned and started for the door. But I went against type for once. We were on an adventure, after all. What better time to get wild and crazy? And, you know, (as they used to say in the movies) it's just crazy enough to work! So, even though I am not a foam fly kind of guy, I sprung for a few, tucking them away in my terrestrial box.

Then we were on the road. To Ashton, then on toward Tetonia and Driggs, as the Teton range loomed closer.

We stopped for a minute to look at Bitch Creek. There were some guys gearing up when we arrived and we watched them wend their way down to the water. It looked good, but it just made us more eager to get to the Teton.

It wasn't long before we were parked by the river. We weren't the only ones there, so we headed cross country paralleling the river.

We cut over through the trees, parted the screen of tall grass, and stepped into the river of our dreams.

The sprightly current made a wide sweeping turn here forming a long, deep run along the opposite bank.

We didn't waste any more time. We fished.

John hooked up first.

We caught small brookies, rainbows, and cutts, every one glittering like a jewel in the sun.

We worked up and down that section discovering more and more about the river with each pass.

One thing we discovered was that it was a popular floating river. Most of the floaters were courteous and thoughtful, and knew enough about fishing to try to give us ample room. We returned the favor. We were having too much fun to be cranky about sharing the river.

We took a break at the van for lunch, relaxing in our front seat easy chairs in the shade, then headed back to the river. The afternoon swept along like the river, carrying us along in its shifting current.

We fished on top, with little PMD's and caddis, ants and beetles. Most of the fish we caught were small, but once I hooked up with something that broke me off.

The afternoon wound down, and we took another break for a snack and a stretch. We debated whether to stay here or try another place. We decided to see whether there would be a good evening hatch here before deciding to go someplace else.

When we got back to the water the Tetons were bathed in evening light, and the air was full of bugs. The hatch was on.

It seemed like Purple Chubby time. I tied one on and began to work the bank, letting it drift and swing. My expectations were high, but after twenty minutes of rejection I began to feel embarrassed and switched to a cdc PMD.

I was catching fish on that, and thinking about the fish that had broken me off earlier, when John called to me. I hurried upstream and found him hooked up with a good fish. A very good fish. He had been standing in one spot at the bank for the last half hour working an elusive riser moving lots of water, and his work had paid off.

What followed was what we come for, and what will always keep us coming back.

We fished a little longer, but everything was an anticlimax now. So we packed it in, sadder but wiser, and eager to get back in the morning.

We drove through the dark thinking about supper back at the campground. It was late, and would be later still when we got back. We were tired, and neither of us was in the mood to cook.

We turned down Ashton's main street, and there ahead, at the junction with Highway 20, looming into the night sky, was a great big frosty mug of root beer. The Frostop Drive-in!

And a new tradition was born: Cheeseburgers every night.


  1. The Frostop looks like an old A&W. Hope the burgers were good. Oh yeh, nice fish.

  2. Great stuff Jim! That video was pretty amazing, the numbers of fish that were still feeding on top while you were battling that fish was just crazy. Looks like a little piece of heaven right there...