Saturday, August 15, 2009

Wind Rivers 2009 - Fly fishing trip

Trip 2009 started early, for some, WAY too early. August in Cache Valley can surely be chilly at 4 a.m. We managed to get some of the sleep out of our eyes and get the goats and packs loaded for the long haul. Our morning boy, Kory, managed to stay on the road and get us through Logan canyon without falling asleep. After a short break and pit stop in Kemmer, Wyoming, we greeted the wind and headed out into the great expanse of nothingness until we crossed the Green River. At that point, everything switched to fish talk--anything from fat Brookies to the all elusive Golden Trout that have eluded us over the past two years.

We had one more stop on the road for fishing licenses; if only Wyoming Fish and Game could get up to speed with their online-fishing license (it doesn’t’ exist)! At our last stop, I think we saw all of Farson, Wyoming, driving around trying to find a store to buy licenses. Farson is one of those towns that, if you blink your eyes, you will drive right by not knowing you've driven by it. Thank goodness for the web on my phone, we were able to pull up to Farson Feed Store. After 20+ minutes we were able to purchase our licenses and grab some sandwiches (they sure didn’t skrimp on toppings and meat), then we were off and on the road again. After another 2 ½ hours, we hit the trail head and were shocked at how much elevation we gained going in this year compared to last year. New trails tend to do that to you! We made camp and found time to do a little fishing near our camp. The first fish we caught were finicky little buggers; they didn’t want anything we offer, but we still caught some!

Kory, Lee, Ladd, Travis, Tim

Pope Agie Wilderness

One of the many stream crossing on the way in


First Lake Fished

Lee Fishing

Looking north out of camp

The Jensen Boys

Looking east out of camp

Staying warm - -first night at camp

Long exposure

Waiting out the first rain of the day

Jack and Slick found a nice dry spot -- first downpour

Big granite hiding spot -- windy downpour

View from under boulder

Large Brookie diving back into the deep

The only pass on this part of the range

That evening the clouds broke, the temps climbed, and we were off for some fishing. Lee and I had a few un-named lakes we wanted to check out, and only one of them panned out, but in a big way. We caught our first ever CutBows and some fat Snake River Cutthroat Trout. We had two hours of light and made the most of it!

Ladd Darley -- Large cutthroat trout

Lee Darley fishing Pig Lake

Lee Darley --first ever Cutbow Trout

Hybrid Cut-Bow Trout - -Cruising for bugs in the shallows

Ladd Darley - -first ever Cutbow Trout

Fat Wind River Cutbow

Lee - -the fish Wrangler (fishing off a 20' cliff)

Nighttime at Pig Lake

Day 2

How would I describe day two? Would it be the long ars hike we had planned to one of the Wind's highest lakes or would it be the rain? It would have to be the rain! For starters, we didn’t make it far from camp before the first wind guest and rain hit us. We did manage to make it through a saddle in the mountain before the worst of the rain hit. Travis, Tim, and I found a large (house-sized) granite rock to hide under. After awhile, Tim and I both got wet from the water running down the rock we sat on. The winds kicked up so badly it blew the water five feet under the rock and soaked my left side. Finally, it broke again, and we made it to a lake where we caught some the largest Brookies we’d found yet in the Winds. The fishing didn’t last long due to the dark clouds, and the National Weather Services broadcast on the 2-way radio talking about damaging winds and hail to DEADLY CLOUD TO GROUND LIGHTING which made Tim, Travis, and I head back to camp. Kory and Lee waited it out at the lake, and they had to deal with the goats during that downpour. I guess, from what they said, the only dry spot was where they had huddled up by a large granite boulder (the goats wanted that spot too). We made it back to camp in a light drizzle, grabbed some dry clothes, and jumped in the tents. That’s when the REAL rain hit, and boy did it ever hit! However, we were nice and warm while those other two with the goats waited it out over the pass.

Lee - one big old fish

Fat cut --Unnamed Lake

Cutbow cruising Pig Lake

Another large cutthroat trout


Gommers and their fish

The boys in the snow

Lee - -big, deep lake

Lower Pig Lake

Lunch at Pig Lake

Dinner (Kory's photo)

Kory Wilde - -hooked up on a big one!

Kory Wilde - Nice cutthroat trout

The boys at Pig Lake

B&W photo of Pig Lake

Last night at camp --orange moon

10 p.m. at camp