Friday, May 20, 2011
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.
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.
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.