A few years ago I fished the Gunnison River in Colorado. There my friend George taught me a fly fishing technique called high sticking. It’s a technique where you let the line and fly float downstream and then cast upstream into a hole. Then you raise you rod high and follow the drifting nymphs downstream, carefully watching your strike indicator.
It’s by far one of the most effective techniques I know, and so I looked forward to teaching my fishing buddy Bob, when he and Nancy visited us at Star Valley. I had taught science with Bob for thirty years and for eighteen of those years we fished walleye tournaments. It was going to be the first time we had fished together since we had retired and I hoped the fish would be there.
Loading our picnic baskets, lawn chairs, and coolers we had enough for the four of us to survive for two or three days. We drove to Alpine and turned up the Grey’s River Road and soon were at the convergence of the Grey and the Little Grey rivers.
Several people were bait fishing at the nicest hole so I waded out above them and made a few casts. Bob waded behind me and I demonstrated how to high stick. I explained how important it was to watch your strike indicator, looking for any sideways movement, but I knew I was talking to an expert fisherman so I didn’t have to elaborate.
Moving up stream, I made sure to leave a stretched unfished for Bob, and I made a cast to a boulder that created a ripple or pocket below which I hoped a trout lurked. My indicator suddenly moved sideways and I was fast onto a Snake River cutthroat, (it's one of the four species of cutthroats that are found in the Wyoming Rivers).
Fighting the fish in I released it as I hate to kill such a beautiful fish. Instead I planned on keeping a couple of mountain whitefish, as they abound in the local streams and while good to eat, are rarely kept.
The next hole produced a mountain whitefish but it was small and so I released it, making another cast and hooking another cutty, I looked downstream and hoped Bob was having luck. I couldn’t see the ladies but they had set out the lawn chairs and had then gone for a walk.
Another hole and another fish but this one was fourteen inches! It was about as pretty a cutty as you could ask for and it took me quite a while before I was able to remove the hook and watch it swim away. I waded downstream to Bob and he was also having luck as he had caught he first cutthroat and lost several whitefish.
We fished a little more and then headed up the road to another spot. After eating our lunch we waded out and again the fish cooperated. I caught and kept a couple of nice whitefish and Bob landed and released another cutthroat. Meanwhile the girls were having a nice relaxing time watching for birds and wildlife, so it was a good time had for all.
It turned out to be a beautiful and relaxing day on the Greys, and what could be better than having another opportunity to fish with Bob. Every day of fishing and every friend is a special blessing and today was a double blessing for all of us! Oh and actually catching fish was really just a plus! Clear skies.