From all of us at Henry’s Fork Anglers we wish you all the very best of 2016. May it be the best year yet! If it can be as good as 2015 we’ll be happy as our customers and guests experienced some of the best fishing overall we’ve seen in quite some time.
As we move into the New Year there are several highpoints you should be aware of. First off is our sports show schedule. Last year we exhibited at the Fly Fishing Show in Denver and the Somerset Show in New Jersey. Both shows were great and we definitely plan to be a part of these shows in the future. Due to budget and time restrictions we can’t do the same shows every year. Since we are only able to exhibit at a few shows each year we like to move around.
This year we will start our show schedule out in Boise at the Western Idaho Fly Fishing Expo on January 9th and 10th. We haven’t done this show for many years. One reason is because it falls on the same weekend as the Denver show. We have so many great customers and friends in the Boise area that we felt it was time to change venues. If you live in the Boise area make sure to put January 9th and 10th on your calendar. We’d love to see you there. Todd Lanning and I will be manning our booth and we will also do a slide presentation. For more information check out the website http://www.bvffexpo.com/.
We will also exhibit at the Fly Fishing Show in Pleasanton, California February 26, 27 & 28. Way back when we always exhibited at the San Mateo Sportsmen’s Expo. I did lots of presentations at that show. At one time it was the best fly fishing show in the west. Today, most of the fly fishing attention has migrated to the Pleasanton Show. We exhibited there a few years ago and we are looking forward to being back again. If you live in the Bay area please come to the show and visit with us. Todd Lanning and Andy Jenkins will be there for sure. I’m still working on my schedule and if it works, I’ll be there as well. We will make a presentation at the Destination Theater each day of the show. For more information go to the Fly Fishing Show website.
We also expect to be involved with the Eastern Idaho Fly Tying Expo on April 22nd & 23rd in Idaho Falls. This is a great show with anglers and fly tiers from all over the country. I’m not sure at this time if I will personally be there. I like turkey hunting almost as much as fly fishing and the show is in the peak of the turkey season. However, you can count on Henry’s Fork Anglers supporting this great event. We are also considering attending the Wasatch Fly Tying and Fishing Expo in Salt Lake City in late March.
I will also be doing a presentation in Spokane on February 13th for the Spokane Fly Fishers. I will do a fly tying session at 3 PM with a slide presentation to follow. If you live in the Spokane area I’d love to see you. If you aren’t a member of the club they will welcome you to visit or better yet, join the club. The meeting starts at 7 PM. Not many years ago I was on the road doing presentations almost every weekend during the winter months. Now I only do a few each winter mostly because traveling isn’t much fun and I hate leaving Sheralee home alone.
The New Year will also bring changes to our website. Those of you who have ordered from our online store know we’ve got problems. We expect to have a new website with a fully functional online store before the end of January. Our new website will also work very well on cell phones and tablets. We can’t wait to get this done.
Another item of great importance especially to local anglers and visitors traveling here in the off-season has been a significant change in fishing regulations on the Henry’s Fork. Public meetings were held last spring and summer by the Idaho Department of Fish and Game to collect public comment.
Most significant are changes with sections of the river that were previously closed to year round fishing. This includes the stretch from the Vernon Bridge upstream to the Ashton Dam. Fishing will now be open year round with “catch and release” from December 1 – the Friday prior to Memorial Day. The other section that will be open year round is the stretch from Riverside Campground upstream to the south boundary of the Harriman Park. Current restrictions including no bait, barbless hooks, and catch and release will remain in effect year round on this section.
We’re especially excited about changes in harvest restrictions. All sections of the river that were previously 2 trout over 16 inches have been changed to 2 trout of any size with no harvest of Cutthroat Trout. We like this because the 16” minimum has been difficult to enforce. We’ve seen a lot of trout harvested that we know were less than 16 inches. We would also rather see anglers keep a couple of twelve inchers than two over sixteen inches. Another major change in harvest is that the section of the Henry’s Fork from the Del Rio Bridge downstream to the confluence is now limited to 2 fish rather than the previous limit of 6 trout of any size. It’s about time. Studies reveal that this section has the lowest trout population per mile on the Henry’s Fork. It never made sense to me to allow the most liberal trout harvest on the entire river. Also, I’m excited because this stretch runs through my property near St. Anthony.
Some of the changes were a bit controversial. Most who were not in favor of the changes are only here in the summer while those who are here year round were more supportive. You can check out the changes on the IDF&G website. From my perspective there is no justification for closing sections of the river during the winter months. I remember an outcry a few years ago when the section from the upper parking of the Harriman Ranch upstrream through the Box Canyon was opened to year round fishing. The negative impact to the fishery predicted by the doomsayers never materialized. Over 25 years ago the Madison River was closed on a year round basis from Squaw Creek to Wolf Creek for several years, a distance of almost 6 miles. Yet after no fishing there was no significant change in the fishery. The Idaho Department of Fish and Game will monitor these new year round sections closely but my prediction is it will not have a negative biological effect on the fishery while allowing additional fishing opportunities.
In the old days the section above and below the Ora Bridge produced awesome midge fishing. It will be good to have this opportunity again.