Rene Harrop Predicts Sweet Fishing on Henry’s Fork in 2012

All of you probably know that Rene Harrop is the man, an eastern Idaho angling legend who is indelibly tied to the Henry’s Fork River, including the famous Harriman/Railroad Ranch section that is, arguably, the best dry-fly trout water in the western United States.

I hear you Silver Creek and I do agree with you—but the masses typically name the ‘fork as the best, and if you hit it at the right time, during green drakes or brown drakes, it would be tough to argue against those voices. Especially if you were fishing with Harrop. I’ve peeked into his fly boxes and seen the classic creations he’s tied over the years, rows and rows of emergers, adults, and spinners. Caddis? Got them. Mayflies? Check. Ants? Beetles and hoppers? Oh yea, in precisely tied imitations that slay. Nothing too fancy with materials. Old standby classics and some super modern ties that still fool trout, not meant to dupe the newbie at the fly bin with some exotic flash of colors.

Harrop's caddis box.

Harrop puts those bugs to the test on the Ranch, downstream from Osborne Bridge, too, and even further downstream near St. Anthony, Idaho. I’ve fished with him in those places and known I was watching a master. That’s why I put so much credence in his opinion, which I’m about to share here. This comes straight from TroutHunter on the Henry’s Fork, which is co-owned by Harrop. I’ll point my rig toward Island Park and Last Chance this summer and it sounds like you should, too. Should be some great times, old fashioned Henry’s Fork experiences, to be had in 2012. See you on the water.

Note: threw some pics in here for you, too. Classic H-Fork experiences.

2011 In Review
By: Rene’ Harrop
Images: Bonnie Harrop

No year-end summary would ever be complete without describing how water, in its various forms, affected the fishing during a season that has just ended. On the Henry’s Fork it begins with the snow pack which combines with water carried over in the Island Park Reservoir to determine winter flows. These levels dictate the survival of young trout while influencing the overall health of the river. For more than a decade it has seldom been possible to report more than adequate winter flows, but that has changed in recent years.

2011 marked the third consecutive year of reasonably good carryover in the reservoir and a snow pack roughly equal to the historic average. With flows of 300 cfs through the harvest portion of the year, the continued momentum of a rebounding fishery seemed a certainty. In the local community optimism ran high as hatches of Baetis and Midges began to appear in March and early April. But as May approached snow continued to accumulate in the high country, and the weather stayed cold even on the lower river near St. Anthony. Precipitation in the form of snow is not uncommon at this time of the season, but last year it became the rule. Mother’s Day caddis and March Brown mayflies are seldom hampered by a spring rain which can often stimulate the action, but sustained freezing temperatures and snow fall are a different story. With dry fly fishing largely curtailed and our annual move back to Last Chance delayed until nearly Memorial Day, all bets were off with regard to the Salmon Fly hatch. But even early June would not see a significant change in a weather pattern that continued to build the snow pack to a near record level. Read More


Never know who you might meet on the 'fork during an old fashioned western rain delay. Good times are spontaneous.

Hanging with Whitfish Ed, sequins in the hood.


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