Frigid, Winter, Windy Brutalness

by | Oct 26, 2019 | Henrys Lake | 4 comments

winter-fishingI said I was tired last night.  And man I must have been.  At 6 AM a wall of wind rolled down from Raynolds Pass on the Idaho Montana border and overtook Henry’s Lake.  It wasn’t an ordinary blow but rather a thunderous gale of 35 mph.  Two of our three boats were beached in front of our rental house on the lake.  While I remained in a “sleep-coma” in the back of my Explorer, the guys jumped from their cabin beds and ran out in the dark to check on the boats.


Grand-Teton-Fly-FishingIt was too late to slide them up on land with manpower only.  Each was swamped with water and pinned to the beach.  Scott Smith, owner of Grand Teton Fly Fishing, was quick to maneuver his pickup down the front lawn of our place and using a tow strap pulled each boat safely out.


henrys-lake-fishingWhen I’m over tired I have trouble sleeping.  But once I’m asleep it’s over.  I didn’t budge until 8 AM.  Then I was awoken by the windstorm and my shaking vehicle.  It was bitter cold too so I slipped on my pants and ran the short jaunt from the truck to the house.  Boy did that first cup of coffee taste good.


winter-fishingHenry’s Lake looked like the North Atlantic.  The guys were all up and asked me what I thought with a chuckle.  At first I didn’t know what to say.  I’d been looking forward to fishing Henry’s since we made these plans a month ago.  I’ve fished in horrible weather before so finally I answered, “Looks like I’m fishing from shore”, their chuckles turned to laughter.


I wasn’t kidding.  There was no way I wasn’t going to try.  However I had an issue – I didn’t bring my waders.  I had muck boots for fishing from the boats but no waders.  Luckily I had my Simms Rain Bibs with and they fit snuggly over my boots.  After breakfast I’d soon learn I could fish.  As long as I didn’t go too deep!



Despite laughing at my fishing plan, four of the guys came with.  We fished right by the wind protected boat ramp.  The guys waded out and fired casts.  I did my best while trying to keep water out of my boots.  It was so cold that after only five casts the guides were clogged with ice.  Turns out that at this particular time it was 12° F!


josh-gallivan-fishingWith my tennis elbow, no waders, wind and ice I was struggling.  I didn’t hand in the towel but thought about it.  But then Josh hooked up and landed this fantastic cutthroat.  One problem however, he hooked it in the tail.  The handsome fish made for a good hero shot nonetheless.


winter-fishingWe continued to fish but conditions became more horrendous.  The wind grew stronger and temps plummeted more.  Josh was first to give up.  I was about too but then one of the guys hooked up again.  This time the catch was legit.  After he released the small cutty his hands were so cold he too called it quits.


winter-in-yellowstoneIt was down to three of us but five minutes later another gave up.  Josh, and the two honked and waved from their warm truck and headed back to the house to watch football.  Man, their move was tempting.




It was down to two of us, me and Chris Reinking.  Chris worked for me back in my fly shop days in the mid 90’s.  Chris has been out visiting from Georgia so he’s not used to this kind of cold but he also wanted to avoid a skunk as bad as me.  Eventually he too returned to the car.  Problem however it was my car and you know me, I stubbornly kept trying.  All I wanted was one fish.


Somehow my body adjusted to the miserable cold.  It must have been my Wisconsin ice fisherman blood that reared.  I fished hard for more than two hours.  The end result, my second worst skunking of the year.  (The worst was in South Africa last February).  At 3 PM I broke the ice from my guides and reeled it in.


Chris-Reinking-fishingEight of us hung in a cabin on Henry’s Lake for the rest of the day and night.  We watched college football, the World Series, ate and drank like it was Thanksgiving Day.  Honestly it was a blast.  It was so out of the ordinary that we all loved it and it was so good to spend time together.


As of now, it’s nearly midnight, I’ve decided that the 6° F outside is too cold to sleep in the back of the Explorer.  I’m taking a warm couch in the cabin.  In the morning we’ll cook a massive breakfast then its back to Victor.  The wind is still howling!


I’m going to remind folks every blog – don’t forget to add a little “Currier” under the Christmas tree – My Webstore has gifts for the angler that has everything!

Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Lance Tomar

    Jeff..I’ll give it to you that you don’t act your age!! Get in the warm cabin if it’s there and revel in a good skunk-in once in awhile.. Just got done freezing my butt off on the San Juan too, so kind of need to follow my own advise on freezing and skunk-in’s..

  2. Jeff

    Lance, there’s a lot of truth in the DNA thing. I just can’t stop. I can’t wait to sweat soon. My shoulder surgery grounding ends on Saturday. . . . .

  3. Dan Yeast

    Sounds like a fun trip. I’ve been debating rain gear and if yours handled that, wading included, looks like my son and I need to get Simms.

  4. Jeff

    Dan, those bibs are a top investment. I use them way more than I expected as you probably notice in my blogs.

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!