Wyoming Stone Fly Frenzy

What I did on my summer vacation – John Doss

With the threat of 118-degree weather and my wife wanting me out of her dossigan-hqhair, I decided to take a week-long camping trip with my Jumping Jack trailer.

My adventure started with a trip to the Rim to Knoll Lake with good friends Alan Davis, Ken Richter, and Jim Rondoni. Continued on to Colorado and Wyoming.  Alan was giving his kayak another run, and Ken brought his 14-foot aluminum boat. Fishing was a little slow, but the weather was great, and camping, cigars, wine, and beer can sure take the edge off. And as always, enjoying another fantastic Ken Richter gourmet meal and campfire stories (except no campfire due to fire restrictions) made for a great time.

The Arkansas River in Colorado
The Arkansas River in Colorado

On Sunday morning we separated, and I continued my journey northeast toward Colorado and Wyoming. A few weeks earlier I had heard that the stone flies would be hatching and the fishing would be “epic”. Also, Joe McDonnell indicated he was going back to Wyoming, and I didn’t want Joe to fish alone.

My first stop was in Buena Vista, Colorado to camp for three days. I contacted Landon Mayer, who spoke at our March general meeting, hoping to fish with him. Unfortunately, he was busy with a video production so I had to fish on my own. I started at the South Platte River, where Landon advised there was good fishing, and ended on the Arkansas River. Fishing was pretty good and the scenery was spectacular.

john-joe-cutthroatFrom Buena Vista my journey continued north to Casper, Wyoming, where I met up with Joe and stayed at Jason Ostrander’s Grey Reef Anglers lodge. Wow, did he do an amazing job on his new lodge. Our guide, Andy Brust, was great, extremely helpful, and made sure we had a great experience. Andy helped improve our fishing skills, and his knowledge of the river assured we had lots of opportunities to catch large fish.

The first day we fished the North Platte below Grey Reef Dam. Both Joe and I caught a few fish, with Joe getting the better of it. Days two and three we decided to check out the Miracle Mile with hopes that the stone flies would be hatching. Typically, stone flies don’t start hatching until the end of June, continuing into the first week of July. Incredibly, though, they were hatching. Actually, they had been in the hatch cycle for over a week according to Andy because they were dropping eggs. Fishing was great. Watching the fish come out of the water to hit dry flies was awesome. We caught 20 to 30 fish during the three-day excursion with none less than 18 inches. The fish above is a 23-inch cutthroat. Two of the three days we hit the trifecta (rainbow, brown, and cutthroat).

2016062495161653In addition to the great fishing, the wildlife was spectacular. Wyoming has more antelope than people. Deer were also quite common. With the hatch, the seagulls, swallows, and many other birds were as excited as we were. Eagles, osprey, and pelicans were always on the lookout for an unsuspecting trout patrolling for a stone fly.

I would have to rate this trip a 9 on a scale of 10. The only other trip that comes close was our Grey Reef Anglers trip in early May (this was my second trip with Grey Reef Anglers). Both trips were experiences of a lifetime.

 

Testimonial by Ben & Amity Sheridan

amity-beckerMy wife Amity and I were fortunate enough to be able to go to Becker Days in an effort to support the White Mountain Lakes Foundation.   It was a wonderful time for all, with many there hooking into the always strong fighting beautiful Rainbows, and even a couple of the newly released Tiger Trout.  Amity hooked into this fish that did everything in its power not to come to the net circling the boat on more than 1 occasion to the entertainment of those around watching us.

Testimonial – David Mayl

P4100125Fishing buddies or how to make new friends on the water

Fishing buddies is a replay of a program (that was started by Dario Travino and Doug Benford depending  upon who you talk to) operating about  10 years ago

Today with the ability to do fishing buddies on the bulletin board, I believe it’ll really blossom something we can all use

I put a post up on the fishing buddies bulletin board. I simply said, I’d like to go fishing and I plan to go fishing at the San Juan river on April 7 through April 11 anybody that’s interested please call me at my home phone number

It was that easy to set up a post. I received twelve responses over a two week period.
Dick Kennedy called about  three  days before the trip and said he would like to go and I said of course. It does not take a lot of planning or organization, just post. when people call, tell him, when you’re going where you are going and how to meet or if you’re driving together.  Where o make motel reservations.

Some of us fished together and some only fished with a friend. However  we all tried  to meet for dinner at either Abes or Fisheads.

I encourage everyone to think about using fishing buddies if they are considering taking a day trip or just meeting up at a local lake or driving up to the White Mountains for a day or  a couple nights out

Give  it a try, you might make a new friend  You might even end up fishing with someone that is very experienced and can teach you something.

Testimonial – Luna Lake Lunker

FullSizeRender23.5 X 4.75lbs. Snow, Wind and cold on Saturday. Make Lopez and Sally Petre, Arizona Game and Fish Biologists measured the fish. The winner donated the prize money back to us to help teach fly tying to kids. The fish was caught on a black wooly bugger off the shore in the shallows. Everyone had a great time and will return for next years tournament.