The previous night’s sleep was delayed a bit by some re-rigging, delicious cold Fat Tire, and a conveniently placed Tosh marathon on Comedy Central. Though not as early as we likely should have called it an evening, eventually the lights went out and I laid there starring at the ceiling for a bit before crashing out. Despite the late night we woke up ready to go as on day two armed with the knowledge that we would be hitting Greg’s favorite water of the trip…or perhaps anywhere. With gear in hand we headed downstairs to meet up with the crew for a quick breakfast, and then off we went to hit the water. Our targeted river for Day Two was about 90 minutes away, or the Wyoming equivalent of ‘just down the street a bit’.
I had thought the scenery from day one would be hard to beat, but day two was unbelievable. As we made our way southwest and then off the highway and in to the hills we found ourselves in a landscape that seemed a cross of Sedona and Moab. With red rock cliffs and canyons, and endless arroyos, it was easy to see how the Sundance Kid and his gang could melt away in to thin air ahead of their pursuers in this county. As we wound our way back farther and farther in this unforgiving environment I could not help but think that if we were not following friends then this remote maze would certainly be cause for concern. Luckily we had guides Cole, Zach, and Teddy along to keep us out of trouble.
Eventually we wound our way down along the river and parked back up under a grove of trees. Everyone geared up quickly and we split off to see about some fish.
Right off I could see that today was going to be a blast. This was small water with plenty of overhanging cover. The casting was going to be challenging and mending across different water speeds tough, but this water looked super fishy.
It did not take long for Greg to get on the board with a nice brown that made quick work of a variation on a Madame X. Cole is the head guide for the outfitter and was along with us for the day. He was a pleasure to work with on the river and exuded a confidence that what we were doing would work.
Again I was amazed at how technical the fishing was. Despite only seeing a couple rods a week through this water they were extremely spooky and demanded a drag free drift to even show themselves. Often they would come out from the slower lies and nose up to investigate the fly for a few feet before deciding it was an acceptable meal, or sensing something was wrong and disappearing. The program stayed the same for us all day long...long casts, drag free drift, hitting every seam and undercut, multiple times, and setting once the fish turns away but not before.
Rather than go through every picture I will let them speak for themselves. The scenery, water, and fish were truly spectacular.
After another long day on the water we were exhausted heading out, but all smiles and sore arms. This would not be a day we would soon forget.
Rather than head to town for dinner the outfitter owner, Clark, put together a Prime Rib feast for us out at the ranch. The dinner was fantastic and then we stuck around to have a few beverages and trade stories with the guides and other guests. This building is the oldest in the county, I believe the fourth oldest in the state, and now serves as the fly shop on the ranch.