Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Runnin' and Gunnin'

After 4 days and 5 nights in the Big Horns it was time for a travel day. When we'd mapped out our trip over 8 months ago we'd planned to split our time between North Central Wyoming and Eastern Idaho. While it was tough to leave the ranch, we'd about outlasted our welcome and it was time for the second leg of the journey.

But neither of us were really all that willing to sacrifice a day of fishing by spending it behind a windshield. We pored over maps and tried to gather information, but the only conclusion we could come up with was that there was several hundred miles and a whole lot of blue lines between point A and point B. So we loaded up the truck and hit the road with plans to explore any roadside ditch, creek, pond or river we came across.

It doesn't take long to find water in the mountains, and we were casting to rising fish shortly after the first beams of light glistened off the surface of a creek whose name we wouldn't bother figuring out until later.

Tough to beat a rainbow at sunrise.

We'd gotten a quick fix but still had a long way to go, so we cut the fun short and jumped back in the car, leaving the rods rigged. We didn't get far.

As we rounded a turn we spotted an alpine lake adjacent to the highway. We talked about blowing past it but decided it was worth a few casts. We pulled up to the lakes' edge and jumped out, leaving the car running, to see if we could drum up a couple of fish and cross another body of water off the "list." As we approached the edge of the lake I spotted a tiny feeder stream on the Northeast bank. I hadn't even bothered to put my flip flops on, but curiosity got the better of me. So in my bare feet I began walking upstream to see if there was any water worth casting to.

Two hours later, I returned to the car with cold, sore, scraped-up feet just in time to beat the hail storm that came rolling in.

So we kept truckin'. In short order we were running parallell to another blue line. We pulled over. Alex said he was going to go check it out. I said I'd wait in the car. "Come get me if you find something."

5 minutes went by. 10 minutes went by... 15. I didn't need to hear it from Alex to know what was going on; I grabbed my rod and headed down to find him.

The next few hours were almost surreal. We engaged in a heated game of tag with a massive thunderstorm as we chased trout down the mountain. Plunge pool after plunge pool, pocket after pocket, run after run. It seemd everywhere we put a dry fly there was a fat, vibrantly colored 10-13 inch trout waiting to eat it. A few were better than that.

Even the ditches produced fish.

If you could show them a fly (often no easy task) they'd eat it.

Finally the road and river parted ways and we put pedal to floor in an effort to make up some miles. We'd end up hitting a few more creeks before dusk stole the day from us, but it'd been a memorable one long before the sun set behind the Tetons. We made it to Victor just in time to tie on a good buzz at the Timberline Bar and would sleep well that night while the South Fork of the Snake waited for us.


  1. Great post and great fish! You gotta love it when the fish are so cooperative. Thanks for sharing.

  2. sweet report.
    horrendous shorts.

  3. Great read! Loving the fish porn too. Added to the blogroll...not sure why I hadn't already!