Night Fishing the Salt

I recently attended the IFTD/ICAST show in Orlando. I wisely took a few hours at the end of the trip to de-stress and wind down from some very long intense days of meetings with the industry on behalf of TU. With the help of Mike Hodges (author of  On the Fly On the Bay) and TU’s national comms director Chris Hunt (author of Fly Fishing Idaho’s Secret Waters) – we managed to get some dock fishing in after the show with Capt Ethan Kiburz on Tampa Bay. We got into lady fish, speckled trout and I got some very nice reds, but the Snook weren’t biting. We saw some BIG snook too.

Hunt wrote about the trip in detail for Hatch magazine which you can read here.

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Henry’s Fork

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About a month ago, I was blessed with the opportunity to visit with some of TU’s most important donors at the Henry’s Fork Lodge in Idaho. Ah, the famed Henry’s Fork. The stuff of fly fishing dreams, and nightmares if you’re a nube on Harriman’s Ranch. Our trip, brilliant calculated, ran just a week or so before the Harriman State Park opened and so thankfully we were spared the hordes of anglers who regularly make the pilgrimage to the state park’s opening. I was fortunate enough to float the box canyon stretch of the north fork of the Snake River twice, once with the famed Mike Lawson’s Henry’s Fork Anglers, and again with the young upstarts from TroutHunter.

Two great floats, two very different trips. The first float with a Lawson’s guide name Smitty was on a bluebird day requiring going deep with a two nymph rig, small flies and carefully fishing the slots. The second float was a race against a big front that produced fewer fish but more drama.  And later on my trip I hiked into a lower stretch of the Henry’s Fork below Mesa Falls for a long and grueling afternoon of hike/fish/hike action.The hike was worth it (even the sprained ankle) to get the sense of isolation and beautiful wild rainbows.

Perhaps the best part about the trip, was the chance to fish mammoth dry flies as the famed salmonfly hatch was slowly progressing up the river. Low flows may have had some of the guides grumbling, but for a relatively new to the West angler, casting size 8 and 10 salmonflies to big willing rainbows was pretty much the pinnacle of my fly fishing career to date.

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