The summer here is rapidly ending. One only has to look at the flowers of the Wyoming Fireweed to see that the blossoms are near the top, (the flowers start at the bottom and move up to the top when the summer ends). One of the places we try to go each summer is the Green River Lakes, which are the headwaters of the Green River.
Val and George also wanted to see the headwaters, and more importantly fish the Green River itself and so we loaded up our slide in camper, and they hooked up their new camper as we headed for the Green.
Its only one hundred and twenty miles from us but the trip took four hours. The first hundred miles are easy, drive to Hoback Junction and then up Hoback Canyon until you cross the Green at Warren Bridge. From there the route turns up minor paved roads before reaching a rough gravel road that dead ends at the Green River Lakes. The last eighteen miles took over an hour.
Rocks butt out of the road and washboard ridges threaten to bounce you off the sides. Slow is the way to go but still Val lost her glass dishes as they bounced out of her cabinets and onto the floor, (we have never had any luck rving with glass, ceramic or stone ware dishes, they always break.
Reaching the Green River Campground, a lightly used Forest Service Campground, we found lots of empty spaces. Taking a hike, we looked through a haze of smoke from distant fires in Oregon, disappointed with the spectacular view.
That night it cleared and the temperature dropped to forty degrees. The campsite is at 8400 feet in elevation and because of the lack of oxygen our catalytic heater refused to work. However, cuddling, always works, and again we told each other that we should invest in better sleeping bags!
The next morning, we drove in seach of fishable waters, finally finding a place where small rapids provided just the right place to fish. Putting our rods together we headed down and quickly found fish after fish. Many were small rainbows and even a couple of browns but I did manage to make a perfect cast.
As my fly floated along the seam, a line between rapids and calm water, a large fish slammed it, before returning to its lair. I set the hook and fought the fish as it wrapped my line around a boulder but moving upstream, I could free the line and the fight was on!
Of course, I didn’t have a net, and so I had to fight the fish across several rapids before landing it downstream. It was a nineteen-inch brown, the largest fish I have caught/landed in quite a while.
Carefully measuring the fish, I unhooked it and watched it swim away. We caught more fish and George caught two small Colorado cut throats but I didn’t have any luck. The Colorado cut throat is one of the four species I need to complete my Cut Slam Award and so I had to console myself with the large brown trout.
We decided to move downstream to campsites near the Warren Bridge and we found a perfect spot with no other campers! The fly rods quickly came out and we were all catching fish, more small rainbows and a couple of browns. We caught and released eighteen fish before lunch and after quickly chowing down we headed back to the water.
More fish were caught in the afternoon before lightening moved in and fishing was done for the day Renita had a huge fish hit her fly but it got away. It was the largest fish of the day and she had more tough luck as a little later she tripped on a rock and fell face first onto the dirt and rock trail!
Thank God, she avoided any broken bones and we returned to camp to ice her bruises! I did check to make sure her rod was ok and gently joked that she had fallen trying to break her fly rod. That way she could get the new Sage Rod she had seen in a local Fly fishing shop, (it’s a pink sage rod, with a matching reel and fly line).
The next morning, it was windy and cold and so we decided to return to our place at Star Valley. It was Georges birthday and his neighbors were hosting a birthday party! Eighty-two years young and still fishing hard! Happy birthday George, and of course clear skies.
Ps In two days of fishing we caught and released forty five fish, only two of which were the native Colorado Cut throat. Guess we will have to return to the Green next year!