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Caddis Blizzard on the Henry’s Fork

May 3, 2013 | Mike Lawson

Caddis Blizzard on the Henry’s Fork

You know that it is spring time when the caddis have dawned the Henry’s Fork with their presence. I have found myself on the lower fork in the evenings a lot this last week watch the swallows chase down the caddis that are returning to the river to lay their eggs and just as they begin to swoop in the for the kill the fish begin to rise. If you have ever seen these fish rise during the caddis hatch you know that there is nothing delicate about it. You see the smaller fish making really splashy rises and the larger fish making swirls that resemble a toilet bowl flushing as they eat these spring caddis. The number caddis returning to the water to lay their eggs is staggering, hence a Caddis Blizzard. It is not uncommon to throw a double dry rig right now. The go to pattern seems to be the Spent Partridge Caddis in Peacock.

“Early May is the most difficult time for me to get anything done. When I’m not off turkey hunting I spend my time in my office trying to catch up on work. However, when I look outside and see the bushes and shrubs covered with caddisflies and March Brown mayflies on the windows I can’t resist the temptation to walk 300 yards down to the river with my fly rod in hand to “check things out.” Such was the case a few days ago. There were at least two dozen nice trout rising in a small side channel. I rigged up a size 16 Olive E-Z Caddis with a size 16 Olive Partridge Caddis Emerger as a dropper tied a foot below the dry fly. About 80% of the trout hammered the emerger. I had some extreme break offs including an 18” brown that dove between my legs hooking the top fly to the gravel guard of my waders. Several fish also stuck the upper fly into submerged sticks. I started with 8 Partridge Caddis Emergers and returned with one. Today, as I sit back in my office after a few days of turkey hunting in Northern Idaho, I look at the stack of paperwork on my desk and contemplate the swarm of Mother’s Day Caddis from my window. It looks like it will be another long night at the office.”

-Mike Lawson-

This is one of the hatches on the Henry’s Fork that flies a bit under angler’s radar. So add the mother’s day caddis hatch on the Henry’s Fork to you bucket list you will not be disappointed.


2013 Simms Ice Out

During the last weekend in April top guides from around the country descend on Bozeman, Mt for the annual Simms Ice Out. It is a three day event that consist of products seminars, guide product feedback, the Simms Shoot Out, Guide Olympics and of course a lot of fun. This year 600+ guides came to the Ice Out event.

The products seminars inform the guides about the new product coming to fly shops this spring and some great technical info on the performance of the new goods. The guide product feedback is a great opportunity for guides to let Simms know what they think about the performance of the current product line and to pass along some of the things that they have heard from you guys on the water about your likes and dislikes about particular pieces of equipment. So what these two things mean to you is better piece of equipment down the road for you.

The Simms Shoot Out is a short film competition put on by Simms. Four film makers have 60 hours to shoot and edit a short fly fishing film to try and win not only the honors but a little cash for their effort. They have a tough crowd to please because it is the guides in the audience that choose the winning film.

The Guide Olympics is a true show. There are four events that the guides compete in, casting, trailer backing, the cooler drag and rigging.


Braide Sessions Bombing a Cast Photo By: Brian Grosenbacher

The casting competition has two components. The main component is accuracy and the second is distance.


John Hudgens getting it done in the Trailer Backing Photo By: Brian Grossenbacher

The trailer backing competition is an obstacle course that tests trailer backing skills as well as a time trial.


John Hudgens and Devan Ence going Head to Head in the Cooler Drag Photo By: Brian Grossenbacher

The cooler drag consists dragging a large Yeti cooler full of beer and ice over a hardwood floor and through a pit of sand to the finish line with the fastest time.


John Hudgens going head to head with Rooster during the Rigging Comp Photo By: Brian Grosenbacher

The rigging competition is a speed and quality test. The competitor has to fully rig a rod with a dropper rig from start to finish (including a nail knot) as fast as they can and then they test knots for breaking strength.


The top competitors move to the final round to compete for the title and prizes in each event. As well as trying to have the best overall score for the all around title. Well we want to say congratulations to HFA Guide John Hudgens on winning the All Around title. John advance to the finals in three of the four events and placed well in two of the three as well as winning the rigging competition. We know that more of the Henry’s Fork Anglers guides are chomping at the bit to compete in next year’s Guide Olympics to give John some more serious competition.

John Hudgens Wins the All Around Photo By: Brian Grossenbacher

As you can imagine there were a lot of fish stories being shared amongst all of the guides and lots of fun at the hosted parties in the evenings.



Ice Out Photos By; Brian Grossenbacher
Be sure to check out his website