Be Patient and the Witching Hour will Come

by | Jul 9, 2021 | fly fishing the Henrys Fork | 2 comments


Photo by Geoff Shirley

After our very successful film and photo shoot the last 36 hours on the Baez River, me and the Scientific Angler (SA) crew headed to my true home waters, the Harriman Ranch of the Henry’s Fork.  I knew fishing would be challenging.  The forecast was for 88°, 19 mph wind and gusts up to 28 mph.  But what the heck – it takes more than that to skunk me on the trout water I fish the most.


flyfishingWell, there was more to threaten a skunking than the wind and heat.  I didn’t know it, but on Wednesday Idaho opened up the Island Park Dam to let tons of water out.  Its all related to our terrible drought.  What this means is that the water level rose about 6” on the Ranch and the color of the Henry’s Fork was off.  When we arrived, things didn’t look good.



Photo by Geoff Shirley

We all knew one thing however, we had plenty of nice fish footage from yesterday.  So, if we didn’t catch a single fish today we’d be ok.  What SA needed most were more scenic photos and film.  I parked us at Millionaires Pool.  This famous fishing hole is one of the prettiest places on earth at sunset.


Jeff-Currier“At sunset” was key.  We arrived at noon so we had time to kill.  First thing at hand was a big lunch at one of the Harriman picnic tables.  On our drive up we stopped at Dave’s in Ashton and bought fried chicken and macaroni salad.  We were hungry and it seemed as delicious as a prime rib from the Ruth’s Chris Steak House.  DELICIOUS!


After, I kicked back in my Yeti chair alongside the river and had the easy job of being filmed.  I talked about the pluses of some of the new SA product including the strong and durable Absolute Trout leaders and Tippet.  All the time I was watching for a rise but there were none.


Reel-BeerTime flies and before we knew it 5 PM was here.  The heat still was too.  But the wind was dying.  I felt there remained time to waste.  I didn’t want us on the river before 6 PM based on the current conditions.  I knew that if the fish were going to rise it wouldn’t be until about 8:30.  That’s the witching hour on tough Ranch days in July.  We kicked around and drank a couple beers.  It was fun.



Photo by Geoff Shirley

At 6 we wadered up.  Special guest and fellow SA Ambassador Alice Owsley drove down from West Yellowstone and joined us.  Last time I fished with Alice was on Hebgen August of 2020.  Off we went on an upstream jaunt from Millionaires.



I have a few go to spots on the Ranch when the odds are against me.  We walked upstream about a half mile.  I grabbed a seat in the grass overlooking a long stretch of water.  I know the crew was wondering what I was doing but they gradually took a seat as well.  “We need lots of patience tonight folks”, is all I said.


rising-troutWe sat.  And we sat.  From about 6:45 until 8 I never moved.  The crew got a little restless after an hour.  I chatted with Alice and Joe.  At 8 the Miller Brothers had me do a few small things to film like tying on tippet and a fly and looking in my fly box – all the stuff photographers and film makers ask you to do when the fish aren’t biting.  But at 8:30 it began.  A few small trout flopped at caddis.  Then a few mediums.  I made my way out on the water.


Montana-firesIt was hard to see.  A big fire started in Montana few days ago and we could see it.  Smoke in the sky creates a horrible glare for seeing small rises from big fish.  But there he was.  About a 100 ft. downstream from where I was standing I saw a nose break the surface.  That was my fish.  Less than a minute later I was on him.  And a minute after that he was on my fly.  But after two jumps he was off.  ****!



photo by Geoff Shirley

Not to worry however.  If there’s one there are more and sure enough not too far from my casting range another bulged through the surface for a caddis.  One quick upstream cast and he was on.  It was a battle but Alice joined me with her net and soon we were admiring a beautiful 16” rainbow.  The drones flew overhead by now.



Photo by Geoff Shirley

I’d go on to stick two more heftier rainbows.  The next was huge but after one surge he was off.  About ten minutes later I found another.  This one I caught – again thanks to Alice for bringing her net.  And this fish was bigger than the first.  A mighty chunk of rainbow!


The long awaited Scientific Anglers shoot ended at 10:15 PM.  Man, I love a summer night.  There was no skunk on the Henry’s after all.  Years of practice and experience under all conditions imaginable I guess.


Scientific-AnglersIt’s been a great three days.  We are about to camp in the gravel pits then I’m headed home at the crack of dawn.  Time to catch up on things.  But I’ve decided I’m coming right back over here to do my Marathon on Tuesday.  Everyone is welcome to join!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Kristen Sorensen

    This story explains our few hours looking for rising fish on the Harriman Ranch Friday. You are patient. Looking forward to the film!
    I did land a 20” beyond Ora bridge on Thursday. Tough fishing but Dwayne from TRR Lodge spotted him and I caught him😀

  2. Jeff

    Kristen, my old saying is that it only takes one fish to make a day. I’m glad you got him! What a nice big trout! Even better that you saw him first then got him. Good work

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

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I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!