In The Loop-Monthly Musings from Henrys Lake Foundation
November 2020

Dry Fly Fishing on Henrys Lake

When I first arrived at Henrys Lake in late spring of 1961, one of the first things I was told about the lake was, “You won’t catch fish on a dry fly,” even though fish were splashing on the surface all around me. For the next fifty years, I believed that this was true, even though I often saw fish on the surface. Then, one summer day, I saw a fall of golden flying ants (the only time I have ever witnessed this), and the trout went crazy for them, taking them off the surface. That made it clear to me that Henrys Lake trout would take flies off the top. The next year, in late summer, I was fishing in the shallows at Timber Creek during a callibaetis hatch, and watched fish clearly taking flies off the surface. I switched to a floating line and was immediately rewarded with fish. From that day on, I have looked forward to late summer and early fall when the callibaetis hatch is in full swing, and most--though not all--years have provided great dry-fly fishing, which I have not seen utilized by anyone else
The best places for dry-fly fishing on Henrys Lake during the callibaetis hatch are the state park, Timber Creek and Duck Creek. Usually, this fishing is in shallow water of six feet or less, and if you watch the rise form closely, you can see when the trout are feeding on the surface.
I have also had occasional dry fly success during the caddis hatch in the Targhee area, but my results have been inconsistent, although occasionally very good. The trout at Timber Creek definitely take caddis off the top, but apparently only in very shallow water. I believe that more experimentation on fly patterns and presentations will prove that this also is potentially a consistently good dry-fly fishery.
Good luck and good fishing!

Stephen Snipper,
Board Member-Henrys Lake Foundation

Photo courtesy of Lorraine Snipper Photography
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