I really wanted to photograph some bugs in the evening, so I didn't fish in the morning. Instead I got up early, broke camp, and hiked about ten miles out the well-maintained trail to the trailhead from 8:30 to 11:50 am. I stopped in a fly shop in West Yellowstone to replace a couple minor supplies, while trying to keep my breathing to a minimum in the crowded store during a pre-vaccine Covid peak. I would have good odds of surviving the virus, but it would have good odds of screwing up my fishing plans, so better safe than sorry.
I arrived at the famous Harriman Ranch section of the Henry's Fork around 3 pm, but nothing was really hatching until 5. As clouds rolled in, PMDs started hatching (Ephemerella excrucians
), followed eventually by Flavs (Drunella flavilinea
) and Gray Drakes (Siphlonurus occidentalis
), mixed with lots of caddisflies. I caught four small rainbows, then a 15-incher and a 17-incher (my best yet on this reach) that made a great cartwheeling leap high in the air. The bug collecting was even better than the fishing.