The Henry’s Fork – A Photo Essay

Flowing over an ancient caldera, the Henry’s Fork of the Snake River lures anglers with prolific hatches and the challenge of wary big trout. We find ourselves drawn back to the Henry’s Fork to spend time with friends, to fish to selective sippers, and to remember fishing friends lost too soon.

But to me, the impatient angler who craves non-stop action, picky fish who consistently snub my offerings, do not hold my attention for long. For this trip, I decided to relax and enjoy the unique beauty of the river and its inhabitants.

Golden Mantle grooms on a Idaho State Park fence post by the Henry's Fork of the Snake River

A Golden Mantle Grooms on a Weathered Fence Post

August Mornings on the River

While clouds of tricos shimmered in the early-morning sunlight, I grabbed my camera and walked the angler paths along the river. Osprey hunted overhead as the cool waters slid by silently under a layer of low fog.

A fleet of pelicans slips into fishing formation working their way upstream, while a distance splash draws one’s attention to see an osprey emerge successfully from mid-river with a trout in its clutches.

Morning Fog on the Henry's Fork River

Morning Fog on the Henry’s Fork River

Pelicans on the Henry's Fork River in Last Chance Idaho

A Fleet of Pelicans Fishing the Henry’s Fork

Anglers of the Henry’s Fork

The Gravel Pit is a popular camping spot on the river for those “in the know”. Accessed from the Mesa Falls Scenic Byway, the Gravel Pit is an abandoned pit that features a dusty road leading to the river.

There are no amenities here. It’s free to park in this sage meadow just steps from the water’s edge. Neighboring campers are anglers as well.

As the sun rises, the Tetons come into view, adding to the grandeur of the scene. The smell of coffee wafts through the encampment followed by friendly chatter before the struggle to don waders begins.

A Heron fishing the edge of the Henry's Fork in early August

A Heron Fishes at River’s Edge

Pelicans on the Henry's Fork River in Last Chance Idaho

Casting to Sipping Trout on the Henry’s Fork

Trout Under the Scum Line

Near the Gravel Pit, several springs pump frigid water into the river system. Located close to shore in what looks like slow backwater, fish cruise beneath the scum that extends from shore.

Safe from overhead predators and humans, trout hang in these cold-water havens waiting for bugs to emerge-hatch-die or just float by.

How do I know this? I sent my cameras in to watch. #fishcreeper

Trout and the scum line on the Henry's Fork

A Rainbow Swims Under the Scum Line

A Large Henry's Fork Rainbow Trout Underwater in the River

A Large Rainbow Glides Past the Camera on the Henry’s Fork

Snubbed By Ants

Part of the attraction to the Henry’s Fork in August is the emergence of the Honey Ant. Normally arriving the first half of August, the Honey Ants change the demeanor of the trout.

Trout morph from selective sippers to voracious consumers of the sized 14, honey-colored ants. As the ants appear in the late morning, trout stop what they are doing (being picky eaters) to take advantage of the tasty meal.

But not this year. Another casualty in a Covid year? Perhaps.

Henry’s Fork Resources

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