TU Wyoming Trip 2006

by Den Mora

The group from left to right are
Bill McNamara, Dennis O'Gara, Matthew Wilson, Dick McKinney, Denis Mora, Jim Snyder, Al Kahoun, Mike Wilson and Craig Bogan.

We boarded the plane early Sat. morning for a flight from Philadelphia to Salt Lake City. Eight of us from the Southeastern Montgomery County Chapter of Trout Unlimited were headed to Salt Lake City for our annual trip. Along for the trip were Bill McNamarra, Dennis O'Gara, Dick McKinney, Mike Wilson, Al Kahoun, Jim Snyder, Craig Bogan and Denis Mora. We were meeting Mike Wilson's son Matthew, who was coming in from San Francisco. Our plan was to fish several waterways in Southwestern Wyoming, during our weeklong stay. Arriving in Salt Lake, we got our rental cars and headed for town of Green River, Wyoming. After checking in at the motel, we headed for the Green River. The section of river we would fish is a tailwater fishery below Fontenelle Reservoir. The west had been experiencing a heat wave and we were catching the end of it. Temps were in the upper 90s with a strong wind. As the afternoon wore on the temperature dropped some, but not the wind. These are tough conditions to fish in. We did manage a few fish, but the evening served more as a loosening up period than anything else.

Sunday found us on another section of the tailwater. After catching a few more fish, we moved to the Upper Green River. The drive through Bridger National Forest was very scenic, culminating with the spectacular view of Squaretop Mountain reflecting on Green River Lakes. This is described as the most photographed section of Bridger National Forest, and our members made sure that fact would continue. Here the fishing picked up with everyone catching some fish including a nice Rainbow, a Lake Trout and lots of Whitefish.

Monday had us back on the Upper Green at another location. This spot brought us a good mixture of Rainbows, Browns and Brook Trout. A heavy afternoon rain however, chased us from the area.

Tuesday had us on our next move to the Hoback River. The Hoback is a tributary to the Snake River and has the Snake River Finespotted Cuttroat Trout in it. With the cold front that had come through, the morning found us fishing and fighting to stay warm in a drizzle and 38 degree temperature. So much for the heat wave. As the morning wore on the weather warmed up and so did the fishing, with another successful morning of catching beautiful Snake River Finespotted Cutthroat Trout up to 14". That afternoon we headed for Alpine. The Greys River was next on our list. With over 60 miles of river flowing through the Bridger National Forest, it wasn't hard to find water to fish. Again we caught and released many Finespotted Cutts.

Wednesday we spent the entire day on the Greys. This meant peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. The Grey's River flows through such a vast area and wildlife is abundant. I even had a mink swim across the river to the shore next to me, where he sat for a moment till he realized I was there, and he was gone. Despite some vehicle problems, the day brought us quite a few fish in the 14 to 18 inch range. Jim and Craig took a ride to Jackson and strolled through town, visiting Jack Dennis' fly shop.

Thursday we were on the road again, headed for the Salt River. Many fish were caught and a few big fish were lost. It's amazing how a Trout freaks out when you bump him on the tail with a net. Rule #1, never net your fish tail first. After a great lunch at a little restaurant named Barbara's, we headed to the Smith's Fork. The Smith's Fork has Bear River Cutthroat Trout along with Browns and some Rainbows. Another good evening with everyone catching fish.

Friday morning had us on the same section of river from the previous night. Once again many fish were caught including a beautiful 18" Cutt by Dennis O'Gara. The afternoon and evening were spent on the Hams Fork River. The Ham's Fork is typical of many of the streams in the area. The river meanders through a long flat floodplain with green vegetation throughout, despite the fact that this area is considered high desert. The cold water from the mountains sustains a quality environment for a trout fishery. We were rewarded with many Rainbows including a couple fish in the 16 to 17 " range. This would be our last evening, and the end of the day brought a beautiful sunset for the end of our trip.

With the exception of a small portion of the Smith's Fork, all of our fishing was done on public waters. With hundreds of miles of quality trout waters in such a beautiful natural setting, the Bridger National Forest truly is a treasure. Most of our fishing was done here. In addition to Bridger, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department has access areas throughout the region. We purposely avoided the more popular waters in the area and as a result only saw a few other fishermen during our trip.

The great scenery, fishing and chance to spend time with good friends made another successful trip. Now we find ourselves counting down the days to next years trip.

click on photo to enlarge

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August 25, 2006
photos (c) by Den Mora, Mike Wilson, Bill McNamara and Jim Snyder


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