Friday, May 20, 2011

Wind Rivers 2010 - Cold and Snowy

Anytime you hike the Winds in mid September there’s a good chance for bad weather.  On this trip Travis and I got it all, freezing temperatures, gale force winds, snow and a bit of sun.  Travis left Phoenix and 98˚ weather for Utah’s mid 70˚ to Wyoming’s mid 20˚.  Okay, so the hike in was great.  When we parked at the trailhead the truck was reading 64˚, you can’t get a better backpacking temps then that.   After a 7 ½ mile hike we made base camp, got camp setup, pumped water and got settled in. 
Day 2
Overnight the temps plummeted down to the low 20’s, with high winds.  The wind wasn’t howling to bad when we got to our lake, we made our way through a boulder field to our fishing spot when the winds kicked up.  I’m talking full on gale force winds, we hunkered down behind a massive boulder, found some wood and started a fire.  We spent the next 5 hours hunkered behind this boulder.  Travis was spinner fishing and I had my fly rod.  When the winds dropped down to around 30mph I put on a big old woolly bugger, climbed out on a boulder and let the wind do the casting for me.
I had barley started stripping in my line when I got my first hit, and then the second hit came from behind me.  Another gust of wind hit me so hard I was going forward heading for the water, somehow I stopped myself from going over.   I crouched down and continued to pull in the large cut I had on the end of my line.  That was my only fish for the day, the wind was blowing so hard by the time I landed this one fish.  After unhooking this big fat cut I had to run back to the boulder field to get out of the wind.  That evening we hiked up around a small stream by camp, in my river photos you can see the grass is swirling all over the place due to the winds.
Day 3
                We woke to a snow covered tent, calm winds and colder temperatures.  The sun was trying to make its way out.  We changed plans and headed off to a higher lake to fish.  The fishing was pretty good, I ended up using wet flies all day.  If I remember right, the morning of day 4 it was nice and sunny for our hike out.  We should have stayed another day.

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