It looked to be a good day to stay inside and get some artwork done, rig some billfish flies for Baja and perhaps a little yard work, that was until Josh Franco, former Jack Dennis Fly Shop fishing guide called me, “Jeff, let’s go hit the Ranch. Should be some bugs coming off” he said. He was definitely right. It was raining lightly and about 45 degrees. Near perfect conditions to produce mass baetis hatches on the Henry’s Fork.
Feeling as though we are running out of time in October, my favorite fishing month, I said let’s go. It was a great decision. We arrived on the banks of the Henry’s Fork only to see nice fish rising everywhere! As expected, the baetis mayflies were hatching thick on the slow waters of the lower Ranch. When I say lower, I mean below Osborne Bridge. In fact, we were at my favorite Fall spot, the gravel pits. For me, the best imitation for the baetis is the smallest gray mayfly that I can see. Not only see on the water, but that I can tie on to 5X. My eyesight isn’t the best these days and I’m being a bit stubborn on getting glasses. Today, that fly was a European CDC posted parachute in a size 18. It’s body was of very thin profile with a gray chunk of CDC. Not much to be impressed by really, but boy do these things work. At first my fly seemed too big. It dwarfed the real bugs on the water, but on my first presentation to about a 16″ rainbow, my fly was absolutely crushed! The fiesty fish leaped several times and then ran entangling my line in heaps of weeds. Luckily my RIO 5X tippet held on and I landed the gorgeous bow. During the next 3 hours I landed 5 rainbows from 15″ to about 17″. They were not the hawgs the Ranch is famous for but for a 3 hour fishing adventure, I’ll take it any day!