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The Mystery of Henry’s Sinket

I’m going to just say up front that Henry’s Sinket has always been a bit of a mystery to me. With split shot available in so many sizes and micro shot aplenty, what advantage does Henry’s Sinket give me on the river?

The Loon website says that Henry’s Sinket is “[a] sinking agent for getting bugs down right now; no more waiting for materials to become saturated with water.” Makes sense. But does that make enough of a difference compared to other ways to get the flies down?  Loon argues, too, that it works well with streamers.  I have had some experience with that application on the Arkansas in Bighorn Sheep Canyon. Sure enough, streamers get down quickly.

But a few weeks ago I used it in a different way. I watched a Brown who was clearly eating. He was not feeding on the surface, though, and he was deeper even the first four or six inches from the surface. I had on an Amy’s Ant which had been productive in the same run, but the Brown was showing little interest now.  Maybe one pass too many and he became leery.

Henry’s Sinket meets Hopper-Dropper

I tied on a size 18 Buckskin to drop behind the terrestrial.  The Buckskin, with such a thin profile and light pattern, did not drop too deep, though.  So I squeezed out just a little of the Sinket and rubbed it in to the fly.  The Sinket is a little bit more watery than, for example, Aquel. And a little bit sticky to the touch.  It did not discolor the fly which had been a concern of mine.

After the second cast, the Brown swung and ate the Buckskin. 

I have now used Henry’s Sinket a handful of times with different bugs. I was a little uncertain whether it would keep the “fluffiness” of a Griffith’s Gnat that I was fishing sub-surface, but it did. 

Henry’s Sinket worked with a submerged Griffith’s Gnat to fool this Brown on the Rio Grande.

I have had to experiment with the amount of Henry’s Sinket just like I would with adding or subtracting a split shot.  With a lighter amount, it does seem to float a little higher in the water column.  Work in a little bit more, and it sinks faster and deeper.

I have done enough experimentation now to convince me that under various conditions, Henry’s Sinket offers a more effective presentation. It brings a flexibility beyond using traditional weights which always seems, to me, to allow an angler to work from the riverbed up.

Applied to hopper-dropper rigs, I have a different strategy. By changing the amount of tippet from the terrestrial to the nymph, and with adjusting the amount of Sinket applied, I have been able to work my way down from the surface toward the bottom. I feel like I can present the fly more effectively to fish that are feeding in that mid-column depth.

These past couple of weeks experimenting with Henry’s Sinket has opened my eyes to different approaches to hopper-dropper rigs. As we head into the last few weeks of summer, I’ll keep the Sinket in my pack alongside my Amy’s Ants, Chubbies, and some go-to midges and nymphs. 


  1. Monty on August 26, 2023 at 6:38 pm

    Us “old timers” just spit on the fly to sink it. No need to buy some expensive bottle of “something or other”.

    • Vince Puzick on September 29, 2023 at 4:59 am

      Our blog writer is an old timer. And not even named “Henry.”

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