There is nothing unusual in the gradual building of human activity along Last Chance Run on the Henry’s Fork when winter finally nears an end at nearly seven thousand feet elevation.

It is normally April before snow bound water rested for nearly six months becomes the focus of angler attention as tall banks of white along the river’s edge recede to a level manageable for convenient access.

This is also the time when an urgency comes over the business end of fly fishing as the busy season is about to become ignited by the arrival of May. For this reason, it is rather strange to find fly shop owners, river guides, and others associated with the community’s primary industry included among those sampling the first hatches of spring.

Unprecedented are restrictions enforced in the interest of public safety that have closed the door on all operations pertaining to the services typically provided to a predominantly non-resident clientele. These state government ordered limitations exist as a response to the threat posed by the COVID-19 epidemic that has paralyzed most of the entire planet.

Most crippling to operations like TroutHunter is a current rule suspending the issuance of non-resident fishing licenses, followed closely by the requirement of a fourteen-day quarantine for any visitor from outside the state of Idaho. Other temporary regulations placed on food and liquor sales will impact all potential patrons of the TroutHunter Bar and Grill, as well as other providers of these services within the community.

On a positive note within the gloom of current disruption is a plan that would gradually lift restrictions beginning May 1 and reaching completion in late June, if all conditions of recovery are met.

With this hopeful light at the end of the tunnel, the late awakening of the 2020 fishing season may represent only a minor delay in the return of life as normal on the Henry’s Fork. Certainly, this is the hope of fortunate residents who will not be deprived of the wonderful fishing that currently is being enjoyed.

In the interim, it is a rare treat to be fishing in the company of those that, otherwise, would be preoccupied with the scramble of preparing their business for the prime season. Together, we look forward to a season of promise with respect to the quality of fishing along with reconnection with those whose return to the Henry’s Fork is being delayed. With luck, the crisis will end soon and we will again be sharing time with the full complement of friends that is currently is missing in this time of uncertainty.


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