I got a chance to fish the Green River below Flaming Gorge, UT this past weekend with my friend Pete from Laramie. The forecast wasn't good, but Pete had made a reservation to do a guided float on Sunday and Pete's schedule wouldn't allow us to reschedule so we went for it. The wind was forecast to be 25-35 mph with higher gusts the whole weekend and the temps weren't much above freezing. I got there on Sat around 10 am and after purchasing a UT fishing license and grabbing a sandwich to go from Trout Creek Flies I headed down to the takeout for the A Section called "Little Hole". My Senior Pass came in handy, as the Forrest Service charges for day parking at Little Hole, so that was a nice little benny for being an old fart. After donning my waders I headed up river, boy was I in for a surprise, I couldn't believe all the people wade fishing, so I kept hiking up river to try and separate from the crowds. Finally after about 1 1/2 miles the wade fisherman started to thin out and I could start looking for spots that looked promising. I started off nymphing using a scud and sjw and landed a couple Rainbows. After each fish I would move a little further up river, trying to find something that looked fishy and at the same time a spot that would offer some relief from that wind. I had two long sleeve shirts on, two light weight coats and my wading jacket and I was barely staying warm, except when hiking. I ended up landing another four Brown trout before I had to call it a day, and go find Pete. As it turned out he had hiked up the trail looking for me but turned back at the 1 mile point.
Here is what the sky looked like on the drive down from Green River to Dutch John:
Here is a photo of Little Hole, there is a walking path on the east side of the river that extends from the Dam all the way to Little Hole, approx 8 miles, so there is plenty of room to spread out if your willing to do a little walking.
Here is a shot of a bwo hatch and all the bugs on the water. Unfortunately for me I only packed in one fly rod (I won't make that mistake again). As soon as I spotted the bwo's hatching I switched from a nymphing rig to a dry fly rig, but by the time I had everything ready the heads stopped coming up, so I switched back to nymphing but changed up my patterns to small baetis nymphs and that is when I started connecting with the Browns.
A nice Rainbow:
Here is one of the Browns I landed:
Head shot from the same fish:
Here we are on Sunday morning getting ready to launch at the dam. We had hired a guide named James Boehm from Old Moe Guide Service. Over the years, Pete and I have probably done six or more float trips with James, he is a phenomenal fly fishing guide. In years past he used a Clackacraft drift boat but then got a chance to pick up a Boulder Boat Works boat at a steal and couldn't pass on it. That is Pete standing there with his back to the camera, wearing all his cold wx gear.
That's me with a nice Green River CutBow:
Here is a very nice Brown Trout:
Pete with a nice Brown Trout:
Pete with another nice Brown:
Lunch stop, Pete shedding some of his cold wx gear. I never did warm up enough to consider taking anything off. With that heavy wind pounding us, it didn't take James long to start shedding his gear as he was working his @ss off trying to keep the boat into position to get a good drift through the current seems. At times he would just have to yield to the wind and have us pull our rigs up until he could re-position the boat. Pete and I had been talking earlier wondering whether or not James would do a hot or cold lunch. James had worked for Trout Creek Flies for years and they always prepared a hot lunch, but for the last couple of years he has worked for Old Moe, so it was a pleasant surprise to see the small BBQ rig tucked in behind the rear seat. On a cold day you can't beat a hot lunch!
Here is a shot looking up river from the lunch stop, from the photo it looks like a warm summer day! If you have never fished the Green river below Flaming Gorge, put it on your "A-list", this photo is just a sample of what you will see either floating or hiking up the canyon.
Pete with another very nice Brown trout. In the background you get a glimpse of the big burn they experienced back in 1992 that almost wiped up the little community of Dutch John, except for the heroics of a bunch of firefighters:
Here is another nice Rainbow:
We lost count of the fish we were landing on Sat, but we had doubles on at four different times and I don't recall ever fishing there and catching that many Brown trout in the A section, so that was a pleasant surprise. We had planned to wade fish again on Monday morning but the temps had fallen another 10 degrees and wouldn't reach 32 degrees until 2 pm and the wind was still forecast at 25-35 with higher gusts, so Pete and I decided to bag the fishing and go get a good hot breakfast before hitting the road and heading our separate ways. I was great getting to fish with James, we hadn't had a chance to fish with him in probably three years. All in all a great trip, but I definitely want to go back when it warms up.