Summer '04 Newsletter
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This summer a good friend of ours, Brian Reif, came to Cody with his entire family to fish for a couple of days. Brian, Sarah (Brian's girlfriend), Roger (Brian's brother), Gretchen (Roger's girlfriend), Donna and Eric (Brian's parents) all wanted to learn to fly fish and experience the Wyoming wilderness. As we were in run off we were limited to fishing very large fish in lakes. This can be a little tricky for beginners as handling large fish on light tippet is the name of the game.
My wife, Dawn, and I spent the first day teaching the Reif group the basics of casting, lake entomology, line control and just catching and landing big fish. Everyone hooked fish with Eric taking top honors of most fish landed. The caught all nice rainbows, 18-21 inches in length. It was a great day learning, laughing and catching.
The following day we had the privilege of fishing a private lake located at the base of Carter Mountain, overlooking the upper Greybull drainage outside of Meeteetsee. The weather was perfect and the scenery was absolutely beautiful and on top of that we had the lake totally to ourselves.
Conditions required that we go deep so we broke out the sink tips, heavy tippets and big bugs. The fish began cooperating with takes that almost jerked the rod from hand. My wife, Dawn fished with Sarah and Gretchen while I worked with Eric and Donna. The two sons fished out of pontoon boats. As you can see from the pictures we all had great success (pictures on right)! Big Cuts, Bows and Grins!
After a fantastic lunch we switched partners and proceeded to educate the fish some more. At the end of the day a front moved in on us. Every one headed for the trucks. Within a matter of seconds strong winds changed the conditions of the perfect day. A 50 mile an hour wind picked up the 14 foot john boat we had been using and tossed it up hill 150 feet. Luckily we were all safe and in vehicles. The storm made for a true Wyoming experience!
The storm, scenery, the laughter and the fish made for great dinner conversation. As we ate dinner we reflected on past couple of days and planned for next years adventure. We parted company as friends. Thanks, guys.
To view the Reif's Scrapbook click here!
"You can't even imagine how much Tim and I enjoyed the trip. Everyone has experiences in their lives that are so profound that it changes them in some way. This trip did that for me."
Usually by August in Wyoming the water levels are down, the land is so dry and golden that it crunches under your feet, and the temperatures are hot. However, this year we were blessed with a decent amount of moisture. The moisture wasn't from the snow pack as much as it was from rain. No complaints here mind you, but it did make us bob and weave to find clear water from time to time. This was the case when Moye Walker and Tim Joyner came from Georgia to fish.
I had hoped to be able to visit the Northfork while they were here, but it wan high, off color, and just not fishing well for late August. The day we started fishing a front moved in so we stayed close to town.
Newton Lake was our first stop. We waded the shore like herons quietly stalking the 20-23 inch rainbows and browns at a range of about 5 feet. It was extremely challenging to try to see the fish before they saw us. The guys did a great job however. They used a 6th sense to tell when to set the hook. They each landed a couple of nice ones.
We ate lunch, fished another lake with good results and finished up on the Shoshone in the canyon outside of Cody. We used small drys, casting to rising fish ending a day of adverse conditions with pretty decent success.
After a day of touring the Cody area, the front passed through and Moye and Tim set their sights on native fish in Wyoming's natural habitat. We headed for a cutthroat stream high in the hills hoping for clear water.
Conditions were good when we arrived. We saw fish immediately and it wasn't long before the first cut was in hand. The underbrush was tight around the stream, but Moye and Tim were especially suited to working in those close quarters as that is the lay of the land in Georgia. A good hatch of Mayfly's and Midges came off throughout the day and many fish were caught.
As the sun began to sink, Moye came around the corner wide-eyed saying, "It's a moose!" The cow had pushed him out of the hole he had been fishing and Moye thought it best to let her have it. As the another beautiful day ended with a perfect sunset, I had to announce..."Another day, another Wyoming adventure!"
On the last day of Moye and Tim's trip the decision was made to fish together at Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park. The weather was perfect. My wife, Dawn, Moye, Tim and I fished a stream where the gene pool is 150,000 years old. There was a good hatch but the fishing was tough. The fish required perfect drifts and many fly changes. It was very challenging but sometimes that the was we like it.
As we headed back to our car at the end of the day, discussing the incredible time we had had, an event occurred which made for a perfect close for an awesome trip. Fifty yards upstream of us a huge grizzly crossed the stream. We watched in awe as the the creature meandered across the road past our car and up the mountain. Only in Wyoming!
Fishing with great guys in beautiful settings, it just doesn't get any better than this. Next year the plan is Clarksfork Canyon.