Cardiac Canyon on the Henry’s Fork

by | Jun 6, 2018 | henry's fork | 1 comment

It would be a big fat lie if I said I wasn’t tired from my four day carp event when Granny and I decided to head for the Henry’s Fork and TroutHunter for dinner last night.  But TOO tired for the Henry’s Fork in June?  Not a chance.  We had a nice meal and a few beers with our Henry’s Fork friends and got up early this morning to hit the river with my carp tourney partner Ben Smith.


Ben guides for TroutHunter here on the Henry’s Fork.  That’s why I truly won’t see him much this summer.  This weekend their season kicks off full blast and Ben is guiding nearly every day until mid-September.  When he said we should fish together today it was a definite.  And when he suggested to float a section of the Henry’s Fork I’ve never laid eyes on in my nearly 40 years of fishing the Henry’s, Granny beat me to it with a firm, “Yes.  Let’s do it!”


We floated Cardiac Canyon.  Cardiac Canyon is the section of the Henry’s Fork almost no one ever sees.  It’s the six mile stretch of river from below Lower Mesa Falls to the Stone Bridge.  It’s not reachable by roads but rather one steep treacherous knee-wrenching hike.  And you’re wondering about the boat?  We slid a raft down the 50% grade of loose rock with wood beams and water bars to help with erosion.


The only issue with Ben’s awesome idea to show us this piece of water was that Granny and I only had flip flops.  We planned to fish the Last Chance area in our waders.  Let’s just say our hike/slide down on our butts was ruthless!  But we can’t complain because Ben managed the raft slide entirely by himself.


To say it’s gorgeous on this under fished section of the Henry’s Fork is an understatement.  It’s nice when there’s not a house, a road or another angler for that matter when you look around.  Furthermore, June in the Yellowstone Country is thick in rich green vegetation.  The mountain ash, native chokecherry and serviceberry are in full bloom.  That’s not to mention the wildflowers.


Cardiac Canyon recently had its salmon fly hatch and now the slightly smaller golden stoneflies and even smaller yellow sallies are starting.  On most rivers the fishing traffic is so big these days the fish are alert that most of the big foods they eat have a hook in them and fishing isn’t always so great.  Not here.  These fish are as wild and fresh as can be and we tied on big dry flies just like the old days.


I normally don’t mention lesser fished places on my blog.  I’ll tell the story but never the location.  But Cardiac Canyon isn’t going to get bombarded.  The hassle of sliding a raft and the hike eliminate most.  Even more intimidating is the whitewater.  Many rafts have been overturned and $1000 rod, reel and line outfits have been flipped overboard.  Today we found half of a canoe.  Where it was smashed into the bank was far too dangerous to pull out the camera.  I was holding on!


We caught a ton of fish.  Granny caught so many she moved from the front of the raft to the back and enjoyed the scenery before noon.  I believe there was a tallboy in her hand as well.  Ben and I took turns rowing and fishing.


We never caught a fish bigger than 15” and only this one brown.  But it’s the action on big dries that made this day.  And imagine not seeing another angler on a stretch of the Henry’s Fork – today was pure Idaho heaven!


I’m probably grounded with catching up on art, writing and yardwork for the rest of the week.  I also need to prepare for a rare June speaking tour.  This tour will be to Georgia where I’ll speak to Atlanta Fly Fishing Club June 13, Cohutta Fly Fishing Company June 14, Unicoi Outfitters June 15 and the Fish Hawk on June 16.  But the blog will not be boring.  I will be fishing every day and should have some fantastic warmwater adventures to share.


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing

1 Comment

  1. Lance Tomar

    Blisters & butt rash.. True adventure you can’t pass up!! Unlike you to be unprepared?? We will blame Granny for not taking care of everything for you.. sounds like a busy June schedule.. got in the way of the “The Henry’s Fork Marathon” this year. Like to make one of those one of these years. Keep up the great blogs, I’m living through you as I sit in front of this darn computer!!

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

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!