SANTELLA GROUP TRIP REPORT
TROUTHUNTER | ISLAND PARK, IDAHO
A longtime Yellow Dog Flyfishing friend and client, Chris Santella, sent us in a great trip report from the Henrys’ Fork in Island Park Idaho. They fished with the great folks over at TroutHunter and experienced what the “Ranch” is really all about.
Chris is an accomplished freelance writer out of Portland, Oregon. He is also a frequent contributor to the New York Times and the author of 15 books, including the Fifty Places series. Two of his fly fishing books—Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die and Fifty More Places to Fly Fish Before You Die—are being developed for a TV series that will air on the World Fishing Network.
“In June, I had a note from a client (and friend) asking if I could arrange a fly fishing trip for a small group, including a member of the board of directors for his company. The board member – Dinty – is an experienced angler, and I like to think I am as well. The other members of party had either a modest level of experience or none at all. I reached out to Shaun Lawson at Yellow Dog and asked him to make some suggestions for venues based on four criteria: fishing possibilities that could appeal to anglers with a range of experience; beautiful scenery; comfortable but not opulent lodging; a turn-key package. Shaun suggested I look at Henry’s Fork and Trouthunter.
I’m so glad he did.
The Trouthunter experience exceeded all of our expectations. The Henry’s has so many different faces, I felt as if I were fishing a different river everyday…and despite the Henry’s “technical” reputation (well earned on the Harriman Ranch section), our less seasoned anglers found success each day. Way Cheng (our first-timer from Singapore) landed nine fish on her first day, and is a convert! (There was the option to fish the Madison or in Yellowstone, but as the saying goes, “Don’t leave fish to find fish!”)
I have to say that I did not have high culinary hopes for Trouthunter – after all, I don’t imagine gourmands being drawn to Last Chance – but every meal was carefully and creatively prepared (including the wonderful sandwiches for lunch; the preparers were even able to accommodate a gluten-free diet on the fly). The dining/bar area was a pleasant place to retire after a day on the water, and we took advantage of the outside patio overlooking the river on several evenings for happy hour. (Being right on the river is a nice perk too; if 8 or 9 hours of fishing isn’t enough, you can wet a line in shouting distance of the bar.)
I was most impressed with the guides that Trouthunter provided. We worked with four – Pat, Ryan, Travis and Phil – and all were eloquent, extremely hard-working and well-attuned to the needs of the angler. Dinty was a bit taken aback when Pat did not permit him to tie on a dropper while fishing the Ranch waters, but was tickled when he landed a 22” rainbow on a size 22 fly! Kudos to Phil for believing that I could actually haul a pontoon boat into the canyon above Mesa Falls – and haul it out again – without having a cardiac event! If Travis had spent another day guiding Way Cheng and Ali, he might have received a proposal of marriage, so taken were the ladies with his excellent teaching skills.
If you’re looking for a friendly, casual lodge experience with great fishing and good food at a very value-oriented price point, you should consider Trouthunter.”
– Chris Santella
Now is a great time to think about booking your US West trout vacation for this coming season to make sure and get your spot! We have seen a real increase in domestic bookings for this coming season here at Yellow Dog, and we are encouraging anglers interested in trout fishing the US West, Canada or Alaska to book early! Please contact Yellow Dog now for additional details about a package with the TroutHunter or any of the other destinations that we represent.