Fishing gets better with the weather during Henrys Lake opening weekend
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Mother Nature took control of Henrys Lake’s opening day of fishing disappointing many fishermen on Saturday, May 24. With 40 mile per hour winds filled with snow and/or rain, few fish were caught on Saturday but on Sunday and Monday, the fishermen won.
“On Saturday we battled the wind and cold as I was dressed in my ice-fishing clothes,” said Mike Bruton on Rexburg. “But on Monday we caught about 20 fish with the largest going about five pounds.”
“We caught more fish this year than last but the size was smaller,” Alton Hansen, Bruton’s fishing partner added. That was the consensus of most the fishermen that I visited with after the first three days. Two-year old cutthroats dominated the catch with a few large hybrids and a few mixed sizes of brook trout mixed in.
Mike Wilson at the Drift Lodge invited fishermen to bring their largest fish to be weighed at his shop. The largest hybrid brought it was just under 12 pounds at 11-15 with the largest brook trout being six pounds, five ounces and most cutthroats being around four pounds.
“The thing that surprised me this year was the number of big fish we saw, I really didn’t expect to see that many,” said Wilson. “We had a feeling that there would be a lot more fish caught and last year we saw a lot of fish over 10 pounds. I was surprised at the number of seven- and eight-pounders caught. Last year we saw very few from five to eight pounds.”
It appeared that most of the fish between 16 to 18 inches were still hanging around the shoreline, while many of the larger fish were taken in the deeper water. Trolling Jakes-spin-a-lures and Purple Showgirl fly produced well in the middle of the lake or by anchoring near a weed patch, using a fast sinking fly line with a flashy fly like an Electric Black Leech worked well for others.
For bait fishermen the best bait was small pieces of sucker meat.
“On Monday I started with a large piece of sucker meat and got hits but could not hook them,” said Bruton. “So, I went to a smaller hook with a smaller piece of meat and instead of just getting hits, I started landing the fish.”
There were a lot of boats fishing all over the lake on Monday with the Cliff area the busiest as 67 boats were within 200 yards of the shore. As of Thursday, there were still a lot of fishermen on the lake with a few large fish still being taken.
Usually right after the opening weekend the weather turns warm and the dreaded “snow-fly” hatch begins. As of Thursday, only a few were hatching. Fishermen heading to Henrys this weekend may want to be prepared to keep these non-biting bugs out of their ears, mouth and nose. Last year the insects were hatching on Memorial Day.
It looks like there are plenty of fish in the lake to catch this year and don’t tell the kid who caught a 32-inch hybrid that there are no big fish there; he knows that there are and there will be more to catch.
You can get an up-to-date fishing report about the famed lake by calling the Drift Lodge at (208) 558-0172. They stay in touch with fishermen on the lake and the conditions there. Good Luck and stay safe and enjoy the great outdoors.