Hitting Our Stride On the Henry’s Fork

We’ve all settled in and had several days of fishing on the Henry’s Fork and surrounding waters. Honestly it’s been a mixed bag. Several of the folks in our group have been pretty hard on the fish and the fish have been pretty hard on a few folks, but everyone is having a great time.

Henrys Fork Red Sky

Red sky in morning, fly fishers take warning

This photo was taken right at sunrise, only minutes before a short hail storm heralded the arrival of a strong front. Fishing was actually pretty good in most locations, but winds of 25 mph and with a few gusts higher made fly casting somewhat difficult at times. Our group was spread out pretty evenly across the region with several of us on different stretches of the Henry’s Fork and another pair on the Madison (which sounds like it fished pretty damn good in spite of fierce wind).

Cardiac Canyon

Charity and I floated Cardiac Canyon with one of Trout Hunter’s guides, Phil Sgamma. This is a technical whitewater run as well as a cool place to catch trout. The most impressive part of the day was when Phil skidded the raft close to 1/4 mile down a steep mountain slope just to get it into the water.

Cardiac Canyon Hook Up

Cardiac Canyon is full of fish. Most are actually very similar to the size of trout we catch back home in the Smokies with some bigger fish around 14″ and larger in the mix. It was a great day for us not only because we caught a ton of fish with some good ones in the mix. It was the first time in years Charity and I actually got to fish at the same time from a boat. One of us is usually rowing while the other fishes so it was a real treat to have Phil on the oars while we got to fish.

We always try to fish new waters around the greater Yellowstone region every year while we revisit others. This year we found an interesting piece of water on the map that just seemed to beg us to explore it. It wasn’t big water and was about as far from civilization and famous trout water as you could put a stream in this part of the country.

Secret Creek

It wasn’t large water, but when you come from the Smoky Mountains you generally feel at home in small water

You can spend all your time on the famous water and do pretty well, but there’s nothing quite like going out on a limb and risking a day of your vacation to explore and see what happens. It could be a bust, it might be exactly what you expected, or it might be nothing like what you expected.


Grayling! Who would’ve figured?

There was an excellent population of relatively large grayling. We’ve caught these fish before inside the national park, but almost all were relatively small. These were pretty chunky and very colorful. But that’s not the only surprise this small piece of water yielded. There were some cutthroats as well….

Massive Cutthroat

Surprise! Charity lands her largest trout ever on a dry fly

Yes, good things often come in small, unknown, and best kept secret packages.


  1. Thanks for the great trip guys!! I had a ball.

  2. Absolutely gorgeous grayling and so big! Notice that you don’t mention the name of the stream–are you keeping secrets? 🙂 What a wonderful cuttie, too. Phil is a great guide–hope you enjoyed your day with him and said hello for me.

    • We know a few folks who might cut our tongues out if we say! It really is way out of the way, literally in the middle of nowhere.