Wyoming Cutthroat and Tungsten

I live roughly two hours away from excellent fishing in Wyoming, forty minutes away from great Idaho water, and of course my home waters of Utah. Of these three, Wyoming is the one that I have dedicated the least amount of time to. What I’ve learned recently however is Southwest Wyoming has more phenomenal water than I had originally thought. I’ve been up there twice in the last week and a half, and with a two day ~fish till you drop~ trip planned for next weekend, I’m making my way to the tip of the Wyoming Fly Fishing Iceberg, and loving every minute of my climb.

We’ve camped 20 minutes from this beautiful Wyoming river for years, never once venturing with our nymphs into the deep to find what hidden gems exist. With fins and cutt marks as bright as emeralds, I dare say we will return often in the future.

Although known for their willingness to rise to dries, we decided to nymph the pocket water. My Uncle Kimble has a love for fishing heavy tungsten in deep trout filled waters. Some of the largest fish of the trip were caught drifting near the bottom of walking speed, belly deep water. Looking back, I’m not surprised. Perfect big fish water.

Like many neighboring streams, it appears a decent salmonfly hatch occurred here just weeks before we fished it. One sign of salmonfly exuviae and out comes the Rowley Stone. It dominated the pocket water. Once again, not surprised.

Smiley, the Snake River Cutthroat. The trout ranged from 5 inches to 17, all with unique beauty of their own. The most successful flies were the Two-toned Surveyor, Rowley Stone, Lickety Split, Frenchie, and the Black Jack. Anyone surprised? If so, it’s probably because you’ve never fished these flies. Tie one on once, and there’s no denying their deadliness.

One of the highlight of the trip was when a cow moose and her baby crossed the stream just 20 yards downstream of us. What we didn’t know was that daddy was close behind. Just seconds after the mothers crossing we noticed one of the largest bull moose I have ever seen emerge from the riparian veg. He briefly smelled our way, and after a short minute he followed in the cows footsteps crossing the river and once again disappearing into the green foliage. Of course my camera was buried deep in my pack, but a snapshot of their crossing is etched in my memory for good.

As we ventured 20 miles or so upstream we found the size of the stream to diminish, but the size of the fish and my admiration for this stream did not. I soon will return to continue my exploration of Wyoming streams that I yet to fish. ┬áIf it continues to amaze me I won’t really be surprised. Perfect trout water far and wide.

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