A Letter from the Spoon

Rick reports from the Spoon where he is sheltering in place:

I want to take a moment to thank those individuals who are potentially risking their own health in order to make ours safer and more tolerable during these difficult times. First and foremost, the medical community who are on the front lines battling this pandemic every day. Also, I would like to acknowledge the incredible job our grocery store employees are doing. Without their commitment and hard work none of us could survive. Kudos to the grocery store workers of Idaho and all over this country.
The following are a few suggestions to help pass the time while sheltering at home and to prepare for the coming season. Use this time to clean and organize your gear. In the past two weeks I have cleaned and greased all my reels, replaced old worn out fly lines with new ones, cleaned lines that did not need to be replaced and wiped down my rods. If you find that you need to replace a few lines and don’t have any laying around the house give us a call. TroutHunter is not open to the public for over the counter/in store sales but someone is in the store on a daily basis. We would be happy to take your order and get it shipped to you ASAP. Over the years people have asked how I clean and maintain my fly lines. Simple, I take a clean paper towel, dampen it with a little warm water, apply a small amount of everyday dish soap to it and then pull my entire line through the towel. Then I pull the line through a damp paper towel minus the soap. Finally, I pull the line through a dry paper towel. I do this after every three or four outings during the fishing season and I am convinced I get better performance and greater wear out of my lines because of it. In addition to fly lines you can also take this time to clean up your fly rods. I pretty much follow the same steps as above. I run a damp paper towel with soap over the blank and reel seat, follow with a damp paper towel with no soap to remove the soapy residue and follow with a clean dry paper towel. In addition to wiping the rod and reel seat down I use an old toothbrush and clean around each guide. Finally, I apply a little paraffin wax to the male section of the ferrules.

Now let’s talk about flies. If you are like me every year about the first of December I gather and organize my fly tying tools and materials in preparation to begin tying the flies I will need for the next season. And, if you are like me, by the time the fishing season arrives you are lucky if you got half of the flies tied that you needed and intended to tie. Under the present circumstances we really don’t have any distractions (March Madness, NBA playoffs, Hockey games, MLB, golf, you know, the important things) to keep us from our intended goal. And, as I mentioned above, if you find yourself short of a few materials give us a shout we would be happy to help

I might also suggest during this shelter-in-place time you could catch up on some reading. If you are a Henry’s Fork regular or someone who has never been here but has the river on their bucket list, I highly recommend Rene’s book “Learning from the Water “and John McDaniel’s “Fly Fishing the Harriman Ranch”. Both books are must reads for anyone fishing the Henry’s Fork. And, yes, we have both books in stock and would be glad to send you one if need be.
Finally, in the way of a fishing report, I have been staying in touch with the guys from the shop via e-mails, text messages and phone calls. I am happy to report that the fishing has been decent on both the upper and lower river on midges and Baetis. The midge fishing has been very good at times using pupa and emerger patterns fished on or just under the surface. There has been some success at times fishing single adult and cluster patterns especially on warm/cloudy days. The Baetis hatch is still in its formative stage so the fish are more tuned in to the drifting and emerging nymphs than the adults. Using Baetis nymph and emerger imitations have brought more fish to hand than high riding adult patterns. Over the next few weeks as the hatch progresses the dry fly fishing will get better and better. For those who don’t mind a little adventure the fishing down in the “Box Canyon” has been very good especially for those individuals who enjoy Czech/Euro nymphing.

In closing I would like to report that I am seeing more and more Bluebirds around the house and yesterday I saw my first Robin of the season. These are sure signs that Spring is here and better times are just around the corner. Keep practicing social distancing, stay close to home and be safe. I hope to see you all on the water sometime soon.