Mini Marathon on the Henry’s Fork

by | Oct 6, 2018 | Uncategorized | 2 comments

Jeff and Granny Currier fly fishing the Henry's Fork Three days ago today’s forecast caught my eye.  Overcast, drizzly, 45° and zero wind.  In October this means an insane blue wing olive hatch on the Ranch of the Henry’s Fork.  Granny and I headed over this afternoon to fish till dark and camp near the Trout Hunter so we could enjoy dinner and beers with friends.


flyfishing IdahoWe hit the water about 1 PM.  There were only a few bugs drifting down but the hatch was building.  We wandered the banks hoping to spot a big fish but early on only small fish were rising and we passed them up.


rising trout on the Railroad RanchBy 3 PM the hatch I expected came to fruition.  We had a blanket blue winged olive hatch.  Like Mother Nature hit the switch, there were big rainbows rising everywhere.  Granny and I went into action.


Granny Currier fly fishing the Henry's ForkMy favorite Blue Wing pattern is a size 20 Olive Comparadun.  I set Granny up with my new Winston 4-weight Pure and off she went.  The fish of the Ranch are spooky in general but in October when it’s calm you really need to put on the sneak.  Granny did a good job getting into place but after about ten casts to her fish with a long 18 foot leader, she complained how she couldn’t see her tiny fly.


Jeff Currier and Simms Fishing Products on the Henry's ForkIt is tough to see a minuscule fly and further difficult when it blends in with the millions of natural insects on the water.  I got in the game myself while Granny spectated and despite having amazing eyesight, the eyes flat out aren’t what they used to be.  I struggled for over an hour before finally tagging this scrappy 15 incher.




Jeff Currier on the Ranch of the Henry's ForkMy second rod was the 5-weight Pure.  On it I had a size 18 Parachute Hares Ear.  This is a superb Blue Wing pattern most rivers, but often with the persnickety fish of the Henry’s Fork it doesn’t get the job done.  But after getting frustrated again over the next hour not seeing my Comparadun I decided to give the parachute a try.


Winston Pure fly rod and Jeff CurrierTo my surprise and delight, not only could I see my parachute, but the fish loved it!  The very first pig I cast to sucked that dry fly down like it was better than the real bugs.  And like all Henry’s Fork rainbows do, he smoked me nearly to the backing on my Bauer before I finally slid him to the bank.


Bauer Fly Reels, Scientific Angler Fly Lines, Winston Rods and Jeff CurrierI didn’t key into the parachute until around 5 PM.  Granny was freezing prior to this and had already headed for the long walk back to the car.  It’s a shame because the very next fish I cast to crushed the parachute as well.  It seemed I cracked the code!


rainbow troutIn nearly 40 years of fishing the Ranch I’ve had my share of great days.  But my great days typically occur on my Henry’s Fork Marathon in late June.  I attribute this to having 16 hours of daylight to fish and because large green drakes and brown drakes hatch in June and get the fish in a frenzy.  But today’s mini Marathon was special.


Henrys Fork River sunsetIn the last two hours before dark I landed nine hefty Henry’s Fork Ranch rainbows.  Unheard of!  And that’s not to mention the other ten that got off after a series of amazing leaps.  Hands down, this was my best October Henry’s Fork day of all time!


Idaho catch and releaseI fished right till black dark.  I couldn’t leave not only because of the fish but also the sunset and the bugling elk.  Right in the end I had a bull elk chase a cow right down to opposite bank of the river where I was fishing.  It was a little hectic but the bull finally spotted me and took off for the forest.  October on the Henry’s Fork – what can you say!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Tyler Congleton

    Awesome. Never fished the Ranch in October but on my to do list. You’ve inspired me yet again Jeff.

  2. Jeff

    Get it while you can! Oct is the best time in my eyes Tyler.

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!

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