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Why Henry’s Fork Anglers?

Mar 24, 2015 | Mike Lawson

We incorporated in November of 1976. From there Henry’s Fork Anglers built on a storied legacy as the premier fly fishing service in the region. Since that time a number of other good fly fishing outfitter and retail businesses have come and gone but Henry’s Fork Anglers has withstood the test of time. As the fly fishing industry grew most of the top names in the industry sought out Henry’s Fork Anglers as a dealer of their products. Many of them came and went, while startup companies like Simms, Sage, Columbia Sportswear, Rio Products, Smith Optics, Patagonia and others provided the footing to build the fly fishing industry into what it is today. Henry’s Fork Anglers partnered with these companies from the start to consult and provide needed assistance to understand the requirements and needs of the anglers we serve. We are proud to continue our relationship with these and other great companies.

Our retail shop began as a small 1500 square foot log building just across Highway 20 from the Henry’s Fork. Later on we had several opportunities to relocate across the highway on the river.  We chose instead to work with the Nature Conservancy to move our riverfront property into public ownership. This land is now connected to the North Access of the Harriman State Park just south of the irrigation diversion at Last Chance.

Preeminent Customer Service

In 2006 we moved our retail operation into a 6000 square foot structure built on the same property. This attractive log facility provides plenty of space to display our products, meets the needs of our retail customers, provides a meeting place for guides and clients, and offers a place to lounge and relax in the Liar’s Corner. We offer free Wi-Fi as well as a public computer in our upstairs mezzanine. You’ll likely not find a finer fly fishing specialty store in the entire Rocky Mountain West. When you step through the door you can expect to be greeted by a friendly member of our staff with a desire to provide you with the best customer service whether you are going on a guide trip, purchasing flies or other products, buying a fishing license for Idaho, Montana, Yellowstone Park or you just need some information or recommendations. By the way, we are the only Montana Fishing License Vendor in Island Park.


There’s no substitute for experience. Anchored by five men with more than 3 decades each of experience guiding on the Henry’s Fork and surrounding waters, our guide roster is the most experienced in the business. (Check out our April 2014 Blog or the spring edition of the Drake Magazine entitled Idaho Endurance.) This base of experience, knowledge and understanding has provided mentorship for every guide who has signed on to work with us since we first established our outfitting business nearly 40 years ago. Annual turnover is minimal. If you’re looking for a guide position with Henry’s Fork Anglers, you better be patient because you’ll likely have to wait in line. Our guides love what they do and they like working here. As a team, we’re only as strong as our weakest link and there isn’t a weak spot in our entire squad. We believe guiding is about more than just catching fish; it’s about making memories.

Operating Area

Idaho law requires outfitters to be licensed for each river in the state. Other state and federal agencies also require licenses and special use permits to offer guide services. No other outfitter in our region has a larger legal operating area than Henry’s Fork Anglers. Why is this important? All rivers and lakes experience peaks and valleys on the fishing Richter scale. Like the Henry’s Fork, some rivers fish best early in the season while, at the same time, other rivers run high and off-color due to snow runoff. With legal permits to guide on the Henry’s Fork, Madison, South Fork of the Snake, Teton, and all of the streams in Yellowstone Park, we can offer the best fishing opportunity no matter what time of the season. We also hold legal permits to guide on all of the great lakes of the Yellowstone Region including Henry’s Lake, Hebgen Lake and Island Park Reservoir. You don’t have to worry about the best time to fish with us. There will always be plenty of good fishing options no matter when.


Since the day we began we have always worked closely with associated businesses that offer lodging and dining. There are many great options to serve our customers from the best of the best to a simple quiet place to hang out and relax after a great day of fishing. In Island Park there is something for everybody. Without the motivation to fill our own rooms we can be totally objective to custom tailor your trip to meet your personal desires and needs. Check out all of the options for dining and lodging on the accommodations page of our website.

The roots of our family run more than four generations deep in the Henry’s Fork. We’re proud of our legacy. What a special place to grow up. We love our guides and shop staff. They are like family. Over the years we’ve made countless friends and neighbors through our business. We love what we do. There is no greater satisfaction than sharing what we love with others. At my age I am frequently asked when I plan to retire. Why would I do that?