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Thursday, July 29, 2010

Westward Bound Part I; Wyoming's Piney Creek

Honestly, I really don't know where to start? It was the first time...I would finally be traveling west to do nothing but fish, and I couldn't wait!

Each year SAO Guide Brett McCrae travels west after the Steelhead season to guide for Rock Creek Angler's ( in Saddlestring, Wyoming. Brett is good at sending us pictures of the beautiful Brown Trout he manages to hold each season, and finally I had to take him up on his generous offer to spend a couple days on his favorite Wyoming guide haunts.

I could hardly wait as we drove up to Detroit to catch our flight. After the lengthy wait to go through security we finally reached our terminal. A quick look around and out the large window we realized that our plane was not here? No big deal, Right? Well, not a big deal if you have a direct flight, and we didn't. So, after waiting three agonizingly, horrible hours in the terminal, we finally got airborne. With five minutes to spare to catch our connection flight to Bozeman, Montana we were gonna need a miracle once we landed!

When we landed, Theresa and I ran so freaking hard to our assigned terminal (which is like 20 ridiculous miles away), and barely caught the luckily delayed flight to Bozeman by about 1 minute! You can't cut it any closer than we did, I guarantee it! We would have kicked the crap out of every contestant on the Amazing Race on this day! Talk about being a tad PO'ed at our airlines.... You don't mess with a man and his trout fishing!

We landed in Bozeman with huge smiles on our face thinking the worst is done. Yeah, get ready, there's more. I walked over to baggage claim while Theresa got all our paperwork and keys for our car rental done and out of the way. At this point in our days travel, we still had about a 3 hour drive over to our hotel in Buffalo, Wyoming and the trout fishing scheduled early the next morning. Well, as the saying goes, it went! When it rains it pours! You see, this time around, some fool decided that our luggage could show up on a later flight! At this point I was told that my luggage would be in Bozeman by 5:30pm, (it was only 2:30pm) and since they could not deliver our luggage to Wyoming we would have to wait. As much as I would like to tell you exactly how I felt about the whole situation, I will instead say nothing. This will allow the story to be appropriate for all ages, because if I told you how I really felt, it would be anything but wholesome. All I can say is that we finally made it to our hotel albeit much later than we would have liked. The good news is that we were back on schedule and the mornings fishing wouldn't come soon enough.

Wyoming's Piney Creek

We met up with Brett early and with much anticipation, eagerly hit the road. The scenery in Wyoming was spectacular with Pronghorns, Mule Deer, extensive grasslands, rolling hills, and stunning plateau's everywhere. As we pulled up to Piney Creek we noticed that she was slightly off color. This may have hurt some of the dry fly opportunities, but a quick look at the grin on Brett's face and the twinkle in his eye, and I knew he was thinking streamers! This was our opportunity to fish big flies to the big fish, and it had us both chomping at the bit...

Here is just one on the fantastic Brown Trout we caught stripping 5 inch long baby Rainbow and brown trout imitative streamers!!

I still am taken back at the strength and aggressive nature displayed by Piney's Trout.

The most exciting part of this trip out west was the opportunity I had to introduce my wife Theresa to fly fishing! At this point in our lives, she had never caught a trout, or even attempted fly fishing. To make things more difficult in her learning experience, we needed to cast and strip large heavily weighted streamers, and those of you who do fish like this know it can be challenging for a beginner to cast well with these tactics.

After listening to instructions from Brett and watching a few demo casts, Theresa picked up the rod like she had done it for ages and landed an 18 inch brown trout and a 21 inch rainbow before I even got my fly wet! This was the time where I was smiling from ear to ear, and thinking to myself " please catch the fly fishing bug"....

My first of many Brown Trout from Piney Creek.

I have caught few Brown Trout that hit a streamer as hard as this fish!

Piney Creek was one of those streams that you look at and couldn't find a single place that didn't look fishy. We covered a lot of water and landed more than our fair share of trout by anyones standards. At about 5:00pm Theresa gave me that look, like when do we call it a night? It had been a long hike and exhaustion was setting in. At this point, I was literally in heaven and could have fished until night fall! But, being sensitive to my wife and her first day, we decided to end the day on a big fish and look forward to tomorrow. It was time for a good dinner together and a good nights rest.

Piney Creek stream side lunch! If you head over and fish with Brett at Rock Creek, request the Turkey Bacon Swiss sandwich with raspberry sauce, it is out of this world!

Another hard hitting Brown Trout from Piney Creek.

Theresa with her first fly caught Brown Trout!

Gorgeous looking Piney Creek Trout.

Here is a close up of Theresa's Rainbow that smacked a large streamer.

Brett and Theresa pose with her first fly caught Rainbow trout!

See you later!

This next fish is the one we decided to end the day on! I had seen, lost, or missed more fish in the 20 plus inch range through the course of the day than you could imagine. Finally this one didn't come unbuttoned and would be to fish to close an overall stellar day on the water...

I finally got to pose with one of Wyoming's 20+ inch Butter Bellies.

Awesome fish to end day one with....

My next post will be on Wyoming's North Fork of the Powder River, until then thumbs up and be happy!

Tight Lines!

Greg Senyo
Steelhead Alley Outfitters

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