Salmon flies are mythical beasts of bugs in the fly fishing world. Measured in inches, these stoneflies migrate to the banks of some rivers in the greater yellowstone area, exciting fish and anglers alike. I've never properly fish a salmon fly hatch, always arriving too earlier or late to the scene. This year, due to an early emergence, I was on it. First fishing the Henry's Fork on Tuesday, then returning on a solo camping/fishing mission Thursday and Friday. It seemed my timing was right, fishing just above Ashton and catching fish on big rubber-legged nymphs and bushy dry flies. Did the hatch live up to its reputation? Well, yes and no. It wasn't exactly a fish catching free for all, but it was pretty good and has me yearning to go back. I'd say I had to work for my fish, but was rewarded plenty, especially when I hiked into a deep canyon away from the crowds and fished size 4 foam patterns to the browns and rainbows lying in wait in fast pocket water. Below are some pictures...
Salmonfly nymph found crawling to the bank. Unlike mayflies, stoneflies crawl to the bank before emerging.
A rainbow in the hand.
You can't fish this hatch without expecting some vistors crawling on you.
Rise and Shine. After spending the night in the back of the truck, I was up, making coffee and off to another stretch of water.
Sometimes the nicest fish lie tucked in on the bank awaiting a clumsy fly to flutter down. Unfortunately for this guy, the fly was fake!
The spots on a wild brown trout are unreal!
A view of the river. Getting down to it was the easy part. The trek out made the blood pump!
The getaway; this male brown trout was excited to get back to faster water.