Monday, June 29, 2009

Something Wicked

Hemingway once wrote that he thought of the sea as “feminine and as something that gave or withheld great favors, and if she did wild or wicked things it was because she could not help them.”

I have always viewed Henry’s Lake in much the same way. Fishermen often discuss this stillwater in hushed terms, theorizing that there are actually only 7 gallons of liquid in the entire lake. The rest of the volume consists of piggish trout gormandizing on the vast amounts of forage the shallow weed beds constantly make available.

Like the ocean, Henry’s gives or withholds great favors. Gluttonous cutthroats, hybrids, and brook trout lurk beneath the surface. Few places in this geography offer a better chance at fish over 10 pounds, but the lake is a fickle and wicked mistress.

The term “hatch” cannot really be used to describe what happens from time to time on Henry’s Lake. A plague of biblical proportions comes closer. At times, untold billions of chironomids rise from the surface and blanket every square inch of real estate within miles of the lake. Such are the choking clouds of insects that the only way to avoid inhaling them is to breathe through clenched teeth, pausing every couple of minutes to wipe the protein sludge from your incisors.

Naturals can be so prolific that convincing a trout to accept an imitation is like peddling tofu at a Texas steakhouse. Favors this weekend were withheld, as billowing clouds of black caddis and chironomids broke like waves upon the shores. Masochistically I always return to Henry’s, hoping to find the wild instead of the wicked.

Ririe Reservoir produced good numbers of runty smallmouth bass, and the occasional fine spotted Snake River cutthroat.

The pups got some field time too, which they can’t get enough of. My Mom’s mastiff puppy Harley is now up to 65 pounds, which will likely be about 25% of his adult weight.

Next week, it’s off to the Boulders in pursuit of brook trout.


  1. Great report and good lookin dogs!

  2. That skeleton head is unreal! Perfect timing on your part.

    Is that all chocolate dog a cross between a choco lab and a weim? I have seen a similar dog at the dog park and love the look and coat. But please don't tell that to my chocolate lab.