Arriving at the creek mid-morning the next day, we looked at the long 8 mile hike ahead of us with anticipation. We were after Cutthroat Trout on this day. One hour goes by, and we are still walking. After two hours of walking, we started fishing. Between Ken, Dan, and myself, I think we landed around twenty cutties ranging from 14 to 20 inches. We even had the chance to sight fish for some of them. That night, after the 4 mile hike out, we had a memorable dinner at the Roosevelt Lodge in Yellowstone and departed for Lander, Wyoming for the last leg of our trip.
Arriving in town around 2 AM, exhausted from our drive, we chose to set up "camp," in the local city park. By camp I mean that I laid a tarp on the ground, slipped into my sleeping bag, and passed out under the stars. Somehow, I managed to avoid the sprinklers that apparently go off nightly (found that out the hard way the next night).
The next morning, we hit the local fly shop and went to the little river. When we arrived, hoppers were EVERYWHERE! Trying to contain our excitement, we strung up the sticks and headed towards the creek. That day of fishing was some of the best Brown Trout fishing I have ever witnessed. Between the 3 of us, 40 to 50 trout were caught and released from 10-20 inches long. All of them came on dry flies. These were not normal Brown Trout. Large fish between 17-20 inches charged our oversized hoppers with abandon in the middle of the day. Not only were they plentiful, the trout were also beautiful, having a buttery yellow color with amazing Brook-Trout like spots. That night we camped at the city park yet again. Only in Lander would they allow campers to pitch their tents next to a community center and a playground. It's a pretty awesome place.
The next day, we had a rod reservation on a local "creek." I use the term creek loosely because the stretch of water we fished was actually a lake. Here, large Brown Trout (16" and up) made their living by cruising the shoreline looking for unfortunate terrestrial insects that had fallen into the water. Hoppers were all over the place here too. The trick was to quietly stalk the banks of the lake looking for the fish swimming along the shore on the search for food. If the cast was right, they would eat it. Bonefishing for Brown Trout, if you will. Very exciting stuff.
That night we made our way into Lander Bar and met some really great people. I also tried to track down an old fishing guide and friend, but the connection was not made. Maybe next time I guess. That night we camped on the little river, each of us looking forward to fishing it the next morning before our departure back to Michigan.
As it did before, this river provided great hopper fishing the next morning. It gave us a great sendoff and gave us memories to last until next year. We will be back, rest assured.
As far as Michigan fishing, mouse fishing was very good around the new moon. Now that it has brightened up, night fishing for big Brown Trout has slowed down considerably. Today, I managed to do some fishing with friend and local warmwater guide John Johnson for smallmouth. A video from the morning will be coming soon.
We had just gone for a dip
Hoppers on the tent at big fish canyon
Tying mormon crickets on the road
Our campsite at big fish canyon
This Bison looked like he had a bone to pick
Cool shot Kenny...
My biggest trout of the trip-22"
Yours truly with a 19"
Kenny with a pig
Myself with a buttery brown from the little river
On our way home