Rene Harrop

About Rene Harrop

Yellowstone is a trout fishing paradise, and it’s here, just outside its eastern boundary, that you’ll find lifelong fly fisherman and fly tier Rene Harrop. An old school fishing pro’, Rene still runs the family guided fishing and fly tying business he set up with his partner Bonnie. Home is Henry’s Fork which lies close to the confluence of legendary rivers like the Madison, FireHole, Beaverhead, Missouri, Big Hole, Yellowstone, and the Snake. A fly fisherman from the age of nine, Rene is also an artist and fly fishing author of renown.

Brown Trout Fever – Rene Harrop

For a fly fisherman living at high elevation, mood is generally dictated by distinct seasons. The pleasant days of early fall seem created for still water, and I am constantly distracted by what might be happening at Henry’s Lake.

As the days begin to cool and precipitation arrives more frequently, Baetis hatches and rising trout will occupy my mind well into October. But when the days are shortened by a south sliding sun and temperature dips nightly to below freezing, my passion for streamer fishing and big browns can border on obsession.

Morning in the canyon.

Morning in the canyon.

Made gentle by the lower flows of autumn, the lower Henry’s Fork becomes as accessible to the wading angler as at any point in the year, and brown trout activity becomes ignited by the spawning urge.

On any day of reasonable weather, I will be found somewhere above or below Ashton Reservoir where brown trout will migrate toward prime spawning water much like steelhead.

With a history of producing browns approaching 30 lbs, I fish an oversize streamer on a sturdy 7 weight fly fishing rod in constant anticipation of something larger than I have ever encountered near my home in Idaho.

Madame Brown Trout.

Madame Brown Trout.

As is nearly always the case when the objective is the biggest fish in the river, the action is seldom fast. Though there are times when I come up empty, I expect to tangle with at least one brown of 24 inches or better on any given day.

My favorite water type is a long run of moderate depth and current speed. A floating line allows a systematic probing of likely holding water with a variety of presentation techniques, which vary from dead drift to a rapid retrieve of the streamer. Generally, however, the best results are derived from a pulsing motion administered mainly with the rod tip and aided by a series of mends that will keep the fly swimming throughout the drift. And there is no setting the hook with this type of fishing – the fish is just on.

A brown trout that fell victim to a big streamer.

A brown trout that fell victim to a big streamer.

While I am sometimes joined by wife Bonnie, son Shayne or another family member, I often find myself alone on water that is usually deserted at this time of year. As shadows engulf the canyon at day’s end and the line begins to ice in the guides, I think of a winter that can arrive at any time. But it is the fever for brown trout that keeps me internally warmed and looking forward to just one more day.

Rene’ Harrop

November 2015

Thin Water and The Elite Trout Taper – Rene Harrop

American river expert Rene Harrop goes back in time to the start of his season on the famous Henry’s fork river, to begin his year catching ultra picky fish with what has become his favourite fly line of all time.

Entering the second full year of fishing the Airflo Elite Trout line, I had come to believe there was little more to discover with regard to conditions that would challenge the performance of this remarkable new taper. That idea changed rather abruptly when fishing one of my favorite stretches of the Henry’s Fork that opened about a week ago.

October on the Fork.

Fly fishing on the Henry’s fork

Low water typifies the condition of the river just prior to release of water for irrigation purposes from Island Park Reservoir. This year, however, I found the level to be ankle deep rather than knee deep on the shallow side of a broad flat where big rainbows leave the security of depth to feed precariously over an open gravel bottom.

With currents not yet corrupted by aquatic vegetation, the surface was mirror smooth and the difficulty was not one of managing a complicated drift but rather to avoid spooking the fish with a coarse delivery of the fly. The mixture of midges, small mayfly spinners, and a few spent caddis was sparse in number, and the trout showed no favoritism as they cruised the placid flow. This opportunistic feeding pattern placed stronger emphasis on precise accuracy rather than finding an exact imitation that the trout would find acceptable.

Thin water hookup!

Thin water hookup!

By preference, I would have chosen to present the little caddis I had selected from a downstream position. Working from behind the fish usually provides a better opportunity to shorten the required casting distance, but there are times when this approach is not practical. On this late spring morning, an upstream stalk would place a low angled sun at my back creating warning line shadow that even the 20 foot leader could not cancel.

Any approach from upstream would certainly be detected by a wary trout long before I could get into reasonable casting range. Even working in from the side would necessitate 40 feet of line and the full length of the long leader to avoid spooking an alert surface feeder, but this is the route I chose to begin the engagement.

Inching my way to a position 60 feet from a sizeable pair of impressive heads was a ten minute test of patience and discipline, but this effort paid off. A test cast deliberately placed well away from the trout’s position told me the distance needed and how current would influence the drift of the fly. Knowing that everything would have to be perfect with regard to both angler and tackle, I powered the 4 weight toward the nearest rise with a reach cast right, and waited.

Matching the Hatch

Matching the Hatch

A good drift of more than 6” went untouched as the next rise appeared several feet upstream and slightly beyond the first. With no bottom cover to provide protection from overhead danger, it was clear that the trout would not relax into a fixed position, and there would be no pattern to the feeding activity. Fortunately, both fish seemed reluctant to leave a 15 foot feeding perimeter, which made it a game of successfully guessing where the nervous trout might next appear and getting the fly to that location as quickly as possible.

Perhaps 20 minutes and more than a dozen fruitless attempts had passed before everything finally came together and I tightened my fly fishing tackle against the weight of a well-conditioned 20 inch hen. In little more than 12 inches of water, the fight was one of enragement rather than power as the shiny surface was shredded by the panicked trout. Successfully retraining the prize from charging into deeper water on the far side was no small accomplishment with a 6X tippet, and she slipped into my net after a spirited 5 minute battle.

Small Fly Reward

Small Fly Reward

As calm returned to the scene, I didn’t have long to wait before the companion fish reappeared a little upstream and slightly closer to my side of the river. Only about a dozen careful steps were required to bring myself into position to begin round 2.

The game remained the same on the second fish with carefully placed casts that again began to accumulate as the feeding window began to close. With noon approaching and the sun in a higher position, I was able to spot what appeared to be the twin of the earlier fish as she finned only inches beneath the surface. It had been several minutes since I had seen a rise but the cast was true and the dry fly disappeared on the first pass.

A power run directly across stream and a tall leap gave quick freedom to another splendid Henry’s Fork rainbow, but there was no sense of disappointment as I retrieved the line and 50 feet of backing.

Because I live on the river, I would return on the following day and there will be many more at this early point in the year. I am a lucky man.

September Spinners – By Rene Harrop.

Late summer brings a more comfortable existence to those who pursue trout with a fly fishing rod. By September shorter days and cooler nights high up in the Rocky Mountains announce an arrival of fall weather that can be as much as a month earlier than in lower elevations.

Good Trico Water.

Good Trico Water.

Insect hatches on the Henry’s Fork and other notable waters in the Yellowstone region can become somewhat more sporadic and unpredictable during this period of seasonal transition. With consistent potential for opportunity in mind, I am more inclined to rely on a mid-morning spinner fall than trying to time the emergence of several mayfly species that can appear at this time.

Generally, I can arrive on the water at about 9:00 A.M., which is as much as 3 hours later than would be suitable a month earlier in August. Even at this advanced hour a quiet calm can usually be expected to last until at least noon, and this is the condition in which a spinner fall is most likely to occur.

Surge to a Callibaetis Spinner

Surge to a Callibaetis Spinner

Through much of September and even into early October, early autumn mayflies like Callibaetis and Tricos comprise a significant portion of a trout’s diet, and the spinner stage seems to produce the concentrated numbers of these important insects. They are a significant food source on most area still waters as well as the Henry’s Fork, of which I am especially fond.

Mayfly spinners almost always represent pure dry fly fishing. With the trout looking up exclusively for a meal that arrives from above, precise casting is the name of the game. Because they exist mainly in water with very slow or no perceivable current, Callibaetis and Trico spinners both can induce a feeding pattern marked by travel as trout feed greedily from the surface.

A Spinner Victim

A Spinner Victim

Perfection in timing and accuracy combine with more than a little luck when fishing to a moving target that may never rise in the same place twice. But the satisfaction of having it all come together is something special.

Because mayfly spinners are in a dying or dead condition when they are on the water, an effective fly pattern is often a low floating imitation that can be difficult to see. The CDC Biot Paraspinner does an excellent job of duplicating the spent wings of an expiring spinner while providing welcome visibility with a short, white wing post. And it can also be adapted to any mayfly species.

Callibaetis CDC Biot Paraspinner

Callibaetis CDC Biot Paraspinner

CDC Biot Paraspinner (Callibaetis)

Hook: TMC 100 BL size 14-18
Thread: Tan
Tail: Light Pardo Coq-de-Leon
Abdomen: Tannish Gray Goose or Turkey Biot
Thorax: Tannish Gray Dubbing
Wing: Paired White CDC feathers trimmed to 1/3 usual length
Hackle: Sparse turns of Grizzly 2 sizes larger than usual tied parachute style. Trim forward fibers to form a wide “V” over the eye.

A Time for Stillwater By Rene’ Harrop

There is something uniquely calming about an early summer morning on still water. Perhaps it is the quiet mirror of a placid surface marred only by the occasional ring of a rising trout. In wild country, one hears only the sound of water birds or sometimes here in the mountains of Yellowstone country, the early call of a bugling elk.

Fly fishing a stillwater - Sheridan lake.

Fly fishing a stillwater – Sheridan lake.

As one known for being mostly owned by moving water, the majority of more than 100 annual days on the water will be spent wading the currents of some of the world’s most renowned trout streams. There comes a time, however, when I crave the distinctly different mind state that comes with the probing of mysteries that lie beneath the surface of any one of three stillwater fly fisheries that tempt me away from my first love. Different as well are the moving targets that are represented by still water trout feeding on the surface.

A morning rise of trout on Hebgen lake.

A morning rise of trout on Hebgen lake.

That I am spending more days in recent years on Henry’s and Sheridan Lake in Idaho or Hebgen Lake in Montana is almost solely due to a decade long friendship with Gareth Jones, sales director of fly fishing tackle company Airflo. Truly a stillwater master, Gareth’s expertise is as inspiring as any influence I have experienced in fly fishing. And though we are separated by many thousands of miles, I seldom fish stillwater without thinking of him.

Gareth Jones with an American stillwater rainbow.

Gareth Jones with an American stillwater rainbow.

If I am doing well on a particular day, I always know that Gareth would do better. And when my effort meets with stubborn resistance from the trout, I invariably wonder what Gareth would do. Fortunately, my friend from Wales returns to this area with enough regularity to provide ongoing demonstration on how to solve still water problems. Additionally, he is always willing to assist from afar when questions arrive by phone or email.

Reaching out on Henry's Lake.

Reaching out on Henry’s Lake.

Over time and with continuing practice, the fruitful days on my favorite local lakes have gradually become more common. And with this growth, the distraction of still water continues to intensify. Fortunately, I live in a place where deciding whether to fish still or moving water is not necessary. For example, I can fish the productive morning hours on Hebgen Lake and then be on the Madison River within a half hour for a p.m. caddis hatch or the Henry’s Fork for an evening spinner fall. And the same applies to the Idaho lakes which are even closer to my home in Island Park.

It is truly a fortunate man who has the best of both worlds at his doorstep. And as one who fits this description, I am truly grateful. But I am equally grateful to Gareth Jones for his role as a mentor and his inspiration as one of the finest anglers I have ever known. Thank you my friend.

Rene Harrop – Thirty Days of Green (Drake Time)

American fly fishing expert and author Rene’ Harrop  shares his latest diary entry on the Fishtec blog.  This month he talks about the legendary green drake hatch on the Henry’s fork – a large mayfly quite similar to our own ephemera species, and loved by trout as a food source.

A green drake upwing fly.

A green drake upwing fly.

From a distance of more than 100 yards from the river, I knew they were hatching. Gulls seem to know the timing of a Green Drake hatch better than any human. This is why the excitement level soared upward the instant I spotted the flock of sizable gray birds as they raced above the water near the upper boundary of the Harriman Ranch. At 8:30 a.m, their target would be size 10 or 12 spinners, which are a prelude to an emergence that would begin within 3 hours.

The gulls know.

The gulls know.

While weather conditions can alter the timing, Green Drakes will generally make a daily appearance at some location on the Henry’s Fork for upwards of a month. The first of the big mayflies are always spotted at around 5,000 feet elevation in early June. At 1,500 feet higher, the fly fishing gear only water will see the legendary hatch within a week of its seasonal opening, which is June 15.

A brown on a drake.

A brown on a drake.

While other attractive hatches including Gray and Brown Drakes will be occurring during the same time frame, it is the Green variety that will always garner the greatest attention. Perhaps it is a known reliability or simply a decades’ long reputation for bringing big trout to the surface that inspires the largest gathering of expectant visitors we will see here during the entire year. And the river is never busier.

Fortunately, much of the Henry’s Fork is an accessible trout stream that is quite wide and mostly fishable with waders. This creates an ability to accommodate a great number of anglers that can fish in reasonable harmony without creating damage to the resource. With miles of open water available, one need only be willing to walk a bit farther than most in order to escape the greatest angler concentration near the access points to Harriman Ranch and the water directly outside its boundary.

A rainbow on the lower fork.

A rainbow on the lower fork.

The lower Henry’s Fork near Ashton, Idaho is a larger river that flows through mostly private property. Public access is comparatively limited, and wade fishing will require greater caution than on the gentler flows 30 miles upstream. For this reason, many will choose a drift boat to access the more isolated water.

For most that target this period for visiting the Henry’s Fork, the quality of fishing will more than compensate for the absence of solitude that accompanies drake time. With behavior uncharacteristic of the Henry’s Fork, the big rainbows and browns can seem willing to reward even the most humble effort of anglers whom would probably not find success here at any other time.

Last chance run.

Last chance run.

By early July, the great river has returned to its normal pattern of exacting excellence from its visitors, and humility rather than expectation becomes the byword. But the thirty days of green are not forgotten by those who are certain to return next year. It is a very special time.

 

 

 

Rene Harrop -Salmon Flies

You have more than likely heard of the ”duffers fortnight” on English chalk streams, where mayflies hatch out in their thousands and even the most hopeless fly fisherman can catch trout in a feeding frenzy… Well over in America they have something even better – the salmon fly hatch! Veteran pro-guide and fishing author Rene Harrop tells us a little about it.

Seldom have I experienced a stronger sense of being at the right place at the right time than during a recent float trip with my river guide grandson and his client, Kevin Despain. There is nothing unusual about waiting for another boat to launch ahead of you when the objective is to catch the giant Salmon Fly hatch on the Henry’s Fork. But when you are following three of Idaho’s best fish biologists who care carrying the same intent, it is impossible not to feel some optimism.

Biologists at play - afloat on the river.

Biologists at play – afloat on the Henry’s fork river.

As the guest of a paying client who probably doesn’t really need a guide, I enjoyed one of the finest days of fly fishing with big size 4 dries to be experienced in more than a decade. When the count of fish landed becomes lost well before the float is finished, you know the day is something special.

A rainbow victim - caught on a salmon fly pattern.

A rainbow victim – caught on a salmon fly pattern.

Despite losing several exceptional browns and rainbows, the average size was more than acceptable with a dozen or more in the 18-20 inch range. And to illustrate the significance of timing, another float on the same water a few days later yielded no more than 4 trout each for 3 anglers.

A salmon fly - trout candy!

A salmon fly – trout candy!

For at least 2 weeks each year, the Salmon Fly hatch is an irresistible distraction as it progresses to higher elevation up stream. On the Henry’s Fork this is a distance of about 40 miles and involves the faster, rock strewn sections of the river.

Ammo - an immitaion salmon fly

Ammo – an imitation salmon fly.

For some of extreme weakness for the big flies and the action they can induce, the Salmon Fly hatch can be extended to other waters like the South Fork of the Snake, or the Madison and Big Hole in Montana. An older angler, however, is more likely to seek the gentle flows and lighter fishing tackle that come with Green, Brown, and Gray Drakes. On the Henry’s Fork, these big mayflies fall directly on the heels of the Salmon Fly hatch and with correct timing, the fishing can be just as spectacular.

Rene’ Harrop – June 2015

The CDC Bubble Back – A Caddis Solution

There is a tendency among some fly fishers to view caddis flies as a less complex insect when compared to mayflies. To a certain extent, this is a valid perception but there are times when a caddis hatch can yield difficulties requiring an imitation that does not conform to a common image associated with the stage that can cause trout to feed from the surface. I find this to be particularly true during a heavy emergence when trout have the opportunity to select only those individual insects that are least likely to escape quickly from the water.

In the U.S.A., it was probably the late Gary LaFontaine who introduced caddis patterns that target the brief but often attractive transition from caddis pupa to winged adult. Putting my own touch on LaFontaine’s concept, was mostly a matter of exchanging CDC for the synthetic yarn used in the original, but the Bubble Back Caddis possesses a couple of other distinctive features as well.

CDC Bubble Back Caddis (Tan)

The CDC Bubble Back Caddis (Tan)

While fished mainly as a dry fly, the CDC Bubble Back Caddis is tied without wings or hackle. This pattern draws its name from the bubble effect created by cupping the CDC feathers over the abdomen in a manner that provides remarkable flotation with little else to support the fly. Like most other emerging patterns, this fly rides fairly low in the film and should be fished either dead-drift or twitched gently with the rod tip.

Olive, Tan, Gray, and Black are the colors I find most useful on the waters of the Yellowstone region, although the color chart for caddis does not end there. Adding a selection of Bubble Back Caddis to your fly fishing boxes can provide a back-up plan for those times when trout seem unusually resistant to a more common representation of this important insect.

CDC Bubble Back Caddis
Hook:   TMC 206 BL size 12-20
Thread:   8/0
Shuck:  Sparse tuft of dubbing over three Wood Duck fibers
Abdomen:   Paired CDC Feathers looped over dubbed body to create a humped effect.
Legs:    Partridge fibers tied as a collar.
Thorax:   Dubbing to match natural

Rene Harrop Netting FishRene’ Harrop with a fine Yellowstone rainbow trout – on the CDC bubble back caddis.

The Turkey Tail Nymph

It is my observation that nearly every fly tying innovation is inspired in some way by something that existed before. This is certainly the case with the Turkey Tail Nymph, which follows lines of construction similar to the venerated Pheasant Tail. Created in Europe many decades ago, the PT Nymph has become a staple for fly fishers worldwide, and its reputation as a reliable producer of trout is largely unchallenged. However, devising a viable alternative to any existing pattern is what keeps the creative juices of any fly tyer flowing, and no fly works all of the time.

Turkey Tail Nymph

Turkey Tail Nymph

Introduced to the tail feathers from wild turkeys by a hunter friend in the 1980’s, I studied their fly tying potential for several years before coming upon the idea of incorporating the splendid plumage into the construction of an experimental nymph pattern. The long fibers radiating from a stout center stem can be managed in a way similar to those from a pheasant tail in forming the body of a fly in a way that is quite pleasing to the eye of both angler and trout. Turkey tail fibers can also be incorporated into the tail, legs, and wing case in a manner nearly identical to the PT Nymph. Color is the primary difference between the tails of these two abundant game birds, and this is why the Turkey Tail Nymph has become an excellent companion pattern for the reddish brown PT Nymph.
The generally oak colored turkey feathers are mottled with a lighter shade of brown creating a lovely marbled effect when applied as herl on a hook shank. When wrapped with gold wire for ribbing and weight, the Turkey Tail Nymph takes on a distinct personality of its own when compared to the copper wire used for the PT.

Like its revered predecessor, the Turkey Tail Nymph is at home in both still and moving water, and it can be tied with or without a bead. The broad feathers from which it is formed provide adequate working fiber length to accommodate hooks up to size 10, and a single quill will usually yield at least two dozen flies.

I fish the Turkey Tail Nymph as specific imitation for several mayflies like Baetis, Flavs, and some varieties of PMD’s. This is often while sight nymphing to a known target in clear, shallow water. Fishing the same pattern in tandem with a PT Nymph is a technique I use in lakes or while fly fishing blind along the banks from a drift boat. Tied on a long shank hook, the turkey tail pattern serves as a credible imitation for Damsel flies and other insects that call for more length in the artificial.

Turkey Tail Nymph
Hook: TMC 3761 Size 10-20
Thread: Dark Brown 8/0
Tail: Tips of wild turkey tail fibers
Rib: Gold wire
Abdomen: Wild Turkey Tail fibers
Thorax: Same as abdomen
Wing Case: Wild Turkey Tail fibers
Legs: Tips of Wild Turkey Tail fibers

Progress – Fly Fishing in the high country

Rene Harrop Fishtec Airflo

Beginning with winter solstice, the journey to spring in my part of the world is measured in pitifully small increments of advancement in temperature and daylight. While the improvements can seem barely noticeable through December and January, hope begins to appear with the arrival of February when average daily highs hover around the freezing mark and more than an hour of fishing light has begun since the shortest day of the year.

A fishing day for me is anytime I am not fighting ice encrusted guides or the risk of frostbitten fingers. And while winter conditions remain a constant throughout the month, a reduction of subzero nights and a northerly migrating sun bring a progressive increase to the number of hours I am willing to spend pursuing trout on the Henry’s Fork when winter’s worst lies in the rearview mirror.

Rene Harrop Airflo

 

Although the arrival of February brings a fairly significant increase in opportunity for casting to rising midge feeders, most who fish above the 5,000 foot level will spend more time probing the depths of deeper runs and pools for the larger residents who will remain disinterested in the exertion of surface feeding until emerging insects are larger and the water warms to above 40ᵒ F.

Whether fishing nymphs or streamers; deep and slow are the bywords for fishing water only a few degrees above freezing. And unlike juvenile trout which will occupy the shallow edges, adults are prone to the comfort and security of depth in their selection of winter habitat. With metabolism slowed by cold temperature, big trout do not seem to require a high volume of food nor are they often willing to expend energy or fat stores in pursuit of fast moving prey or food drifting outside a distinct comfort zone.

Rene Harrop Airflo

In cold water, mature trout seem inclined to hug the stream bottom where the water is generally warmer and most food sources are concentrated. Upward or lateral movement of more than a foot or two is the exception rather than the rule for winterized fish which feed opportunistically on organisms drifting close by rather than chasing down a meal.

Aside from midge larvae, which are about the only aquatic insects to be truly active in mid-winter, trout will not generally see a consistent food image during times when cold water dormancy limits the activity and availability of aquatic organisms. Therefore, acute selective feeding behavior associated with trout isolating their attention on a single insect species or other source of nutrition is seldom a problem through most of the winter months.

Since the opportunity to feed during this period is usually based on a random selection of nymphs, larvae, and other fish, I do not usually concern myself with precise imitation when selecting a fly pattern. A typical nymphing rig might include a heavy, black or brown stonefly pattern in size 6 or 8 and a smaller Pheasant Tail or Hare’s Ear nymph in size 14 or 16. The flies are tied to move naturally with the current by utilizing thin rubber legs or soft, flexible materials like marabou and Partridge hackle.

My winter streamers in size 6 and 8 are relatively small in comparison to what I would normally tie on in other seasons, but they seem to work just fine and represent much less work when fishing with chilled hands and a lighter fly rod. And like the nymphs, I want my streamers to display action without excessive manipulation with the rod or line. At times, I will also fish a nymph and streamer in tandem.

A 9 foot 6 weight rod allows me to switch back and forth between nymphs, streamers, and dries with relative ease, which is particularly helpful when changing rods can mean a considerable hike through knee deep snow.

My line is a double taper floater, which allows me to manage the drift with mending techniques that keep the fly moving slowly and close to the bottom. And I try to maintain a dead drift whether fishing nymphs or streamers when temperatures are at their lowest.

Rene Harrop Airflo elite-lichen

A 10 to 12 foot leader allows the fly to sink quickly to the proper depth, and I will add a small split shot or two in deeper or quicker currents. In the interest of controlling fly drift and detecting the always subtle take, I try to limit my cast to 30 feet or less.

In the high country, the rewards of winter fishing are not always defined by the size or number of the catch, especially on those welcome days in February when calm winds and a climbing sun can mask the reality that true spring weather can lay two or more months into the future. And at times like this when progress finally becomes noticeable, simply being outdoors and fishing can be reward enough.

Reflections on A Fly Line

Rene Harrop Streamer Caught Brown Trout

Rene Harrop Streamer Caught Brown Trout

For nearly a decade I have enjoyed a position on the Airflo Pro Staff. Through that period I have gained tremendous respect and appreciation for the unsurpassed array of specialty fly lines that go far beyond anything I could have imagined before joining this esteemed group of remarkably talented anglers.

Like most in the sport, I enjoy many types of fly fishing. In my experience, the value of individual fly lines designed to specifically accommodate the widely diverse requirements of trout fishing’s many facets cannot be overstated, and I take full advantage of any line intended for an exclusive purpose.

As a trout fisherman living on the Henry’s Fork, however, my assigned duty has been to assist in the development of a line designated especially for refined presentation of dry flies and mostly small nymphs to large, selective, and wary trout. To this end, I am pleased and proud to have been a part in the arrival of the Airflo Super Dri Elite Trout Line. With all the requirements of the demanding Henry’s Fork covered, this line has gained the approval of some of the world’s most discriminating practitioners, and the number is growing daily.
While accomplishing the objective of creating what I consider to be a specialized line for precise presentation of mostly smaller flies on challenging water, what also has emerged is a quality of performance that may be even more important.

Rene Harrop Super Dri Elite Salmon Fly

Trout Caught During Salmon Fly Hatch

Efficient testing of the Elite meant applying the new line in a variety of conditions and seasonal demands that by necessity could not be limited to my favorite type of fishing.
Fishing big dry flies and heavy nymphs from a drift boat on fast, bumpy water during a Salmon Fly hatch is vastly different than a delicate cast on slow, clear currents. Exchanging a 4 weight Elite for a 6 weight was all that was needed to comfortably handle the burly business of a different game.

I used the same 6 weight Elite for fishing my favorite still waters like Henry’s and Hebgen Lake when a floating line became appropriate, and the results were remarkably satisfying.
In late fall when cold weather testing became necessary, the 6 weight Elite was again put into action while fishing streamers in low water for big brown trout on the lower Henry’s Fork. Again, performance was far better than adequate and I never felt limited when fishing this line.

Rene Harrop 3 Weight Airflo Super Dri Elite

Rene Harrop 3 Weight Airflo Super Dri Elite

I found a 3 weight Elite to be perfect for the Fire Hole and other smaller waters in the Yellowstone region including several spring creeks.

Other examples could be easily used to demonstrate the amazing versatility of the Airflo Elite. It is difficult to imagine an angler who would not appreciate what is truly an all-around trout line.

Rene Harrop Lake Fishing Airflo Super Dri Elite

Using the Super Dri Elite on Still-water improves accuracy