Photo Essay: Wyoming Wonderland, Day 3

Originally posted @ Orvis

For my final day of rambling around Wyoming, it was back to Fremont Canyon. The plan originally was to try the Miracle Mile, but because of how well Fremont had fished on Day One—and the fact that the rest of the guys wanted to fish there—Fremont it was going to be.

Chris and Juan were going to sit this one out and head back to Denver early, so that left the rest of us to hit the water. Daniel, Dennis, and I decided to get everything packed up and ready to leave, and then be on the water at sunup to fish until noon or so and then get back to Denver at a reasonable hour. We arrived at the canyon just as the sun was coming up, cold enough at that hour to put some ice on the side pools of water.

All three of us tied on some form of what had worked well before, but it was tough fishing for the first few hours. As on the previous two days, with even a bit of wind, I really enjoyed swinging the Recon. Casting into the wind and mending line is extremely easy, and quick the rod was quick to react.

Finally, around 11 o’clock, the water warmed up enough and the trout started feeding. Just in time for Jim and Paul to meet up with us and start catching fish. On this day, red midges were the key until around 1:30, when a hatch started and the fish were popping the surface all over the place. Paul threw on a small dry fly and shortly he was reeling in a really nice rainbow. After catching up with Tom, Mike and Matt for a couple of hours, it was time to pack it in and start the journey home.

I am ashamed that I have lived in Denver for twelve years and have never been to Wyoming until now. It was an amazing trip, full of great fishing with great friends and a ton of laughs. I’ll definitely be heading back up there on an annual basis now!

Cut_Close Dennis_BigBow Dennis_Bow Dennis_BowMidge EarlyMorning Jon_Bow Jon_Bow1 Jon_Cut Jon_OnTheReel Paul_BowOnDry

Photo Essay: Wyoming Wonderland, Day 2

Originally posted @ Orvis

For my second day in the vastness of Wyoming, the plan was to float the North Platte River from Gray Reef to Lusby. It’s the standard floating option, making it a busy stretch of water, so we wanted to get an early start to avoid the crowds. Jim, Matt and Paul had driven up after work on Friday to meet us at the ranch and join us for the float. Chris and Juan decided to skip the float and try the Miracle Mile instead, since the weather was reporting 25 to 35 mph winds for the day. This would be my first trip on a river in a drift boat, and I had heard that it can get windy up in Wyoming, but I wasn’t prepared for the experience that actually transpired.

Getting eight guys up and breakfast made and ready to go took a little longer than we had anticipated, but we were at the boat launch around 9:30. We rented three boats from Wyoming Anglers, three guys each in two boats, with Tom and Jim in the third boat. The first hour and a half the wind was tolerable, and we floated and stopped at the public access areas in that first stretch of water. I was a little worried about the wind, but casting with the Recon was a lot easier and more accurate than I thought it would be. Natural and rust colored leech patterns, Slumpbusters and San Juan Worms worked really well all day. All of us got into some fish for the first stretch, and it was turning out to be a great day, until the winds picked up.

For the next several hours, we fought off 50 mph winds. At times it was at our backs, at other times it was coming at us from the side, and at the worst of it it was coming straight at us pushing us back up the river. It was brutal! Dennis, Daniel, and I were in one boat, and at one point Daniel got out and pushed the boat downstream into the wind, which was easier than trying to row through it. Even with the high winds, I still managed to cast as decent as can be imagined in that kind of weather and still managed to catch a few fish.

The last hour of the float, the winds calmed down to a manageable 25 mph and more fish were caught before we reached Lusby and our take-out point. After nine hours in the boats and fighting the wind, it was a great day of hanging out with friends. I usually hate being on a crowded river, but when the crowd is a bunch of your friends, that’s a good day regardless of how windy or how many fish you catch.

Daniel_Pushing Daniel_WindRowing Dennis_Bow FloatingWading HeadingHome Jon_Bow LastOfTheDay Launch Matt_Bow Shore

Photo Essay: Wyoming Wonderland, Day 1

Originally posted @ Orvis

What happens when ten friends go up to Wyoming for three days? A lot of fishing, floating, and fun, that’s what happens. I had never been up to Wyoming, so when my friend Tom asked if I wanted to take a three-day trip up to the Casper area and stay at a ranch, I couldn’t say no. We stayed just outside of Casper at the Red Butte Ranch which is on the North Platte River.

My new 6-weight Recon fly rod would be with me on this trip, and I was interested to see how it worked on some bigger water, since I had only previously used it on my little creek. For our first full day in Wyoming, Tom, Daniel, and I headed to Fremont Canyon, while Chris, Mike, Dennis, and Juan were going to float the North Platte River. I had done some research on this stretch of water, so I put on my Higa’s S.O.S., which I tie in red, and then a Zebra Midge below that. Within an hour, I had my first Wyoming rainbow in the net. With a bit of wind to contend with, larger fish, and fast-moving water, the Recon handled amazingly well. Around lunch, we headed to another hole only to find it occupied by our friend Juan. He decided not to float the river with the other guys, so he came out to the canyon to catch up with us.

Throughout the day, I changed to using Pheasant Tails and red midges and a Hare’s Ear Nymph. We all pulled in some beautiful fish, and Tom hit the triple by netting some rainbows, a brown, and a cutthroat to close out the day.

We arrived back at the lodge around dusk. With waders still on, we fished the private stretch of water at the ranch for a half an hour or so and then called it a day and headed inside to get dinner ready. After the guys got back from floating, we shared our stories from the day and hit the sack.

Day two would prove to be quite a different experience than I was prepared for.

Tom_Netting Daniel Daniel_Bow Jon_Bow Jon_FirstWyomingBow Juan Recon Tom Tom_Bow Tom_Brown Tom_Cut