I know it’s been a while since I’ve blogged on here, but there is no better way to share these images and stories than this.. sooo…
As some of you may have heard, Bryce and I have just returned from an almost 3 week road trip across the country from Ohio, to Utah, and back to Florida..with a few stops in between. He has finally decided to come home to St Pete for an undisclosed amount of time to hang with the puppers and I, and fish for some Tarpon!
Lets start at the beginning.. Ohio… bass fishing in my dads pond wasn’t very productive. Except for the giant bluegill! I did end up bringing one decent largemouth out in the end!
Did you know that there is a trout fishery in Indiana?? About 2 miles of the Brookville Dam Tailwaters is a stocked brown and rainbow trout fishery! It’s hard fishing, but we did get a few to the hand/net.
After we left Brookville, we went and had our last LaRosa’s Pizza dinner and found a place to camp..which ended up being a pretty full KOA. Meh.
The next day was spent driving through to Millcreek, Kansas, where we found an off the beaten path Rv campground on the water. Didn’t fish it, but I did wake up in the morning to our tent being surrounded by wild turkeys gobbling to each other. I stepped out of the tent and the hens all ran off into the trees that lined the field. Turkey’s running is probably the funniest thing they could ever do! The sunrise was beautiful there.
Once we showered up and left Kansas, we headed out to Denver. Our first destination was a fly fishing store called Trouts, near downtown. Bought some local flies, I rented some waders, and we gained some intel on the local canyon waters and flows from the very helpful guys there. On the way out we caught a decent Colorado storm complete with nickel sized hail…
We stayed with some good friends in downtown Denver, of course after hitting a local dispensary and taqueria. Early in the morning we headed out to Cheesman Canyon, which is about an hour or so south. Hiked about 2 miles over the mountains to the canyon and were blown away with the views! Huge boulders and golden soil..this place is a hidden gem for sure!
We spotted HUGE fish from above and immediately found a trail down and started casting. Bryce landed a NICE rainbow within the first few minutes out.
Hiking up stream deeper into the canyon, I spotted this nice soft pool where the fish were actually rising! Bryce hooked me up with a tiny size 22 noseeum and I hooked into a rainbow that wanted to keep my fly, and then pulled a nice big brown from the same hole a few minutes later! Such hard fish to convince to eat, but when they do, its a ride.
After having a hard time getting the rest of these fish to eat and a large storm rolling in, we hiked out of the canyon and hit Deckers for lunch. Talked to the local guide in the tiny fly shop there, (Flys and Lies) and went down stream for more fishing torture. We still managed to pull out a couple cuttys before calling it a day.Once again it was time to hit the road. this time to Park City, Utah.. to get allllll of Bryce’s stuff together, cram it into my Outback, and head up to Wyoming. Tetris was definitely a learning tool in this guys childhood lol.
The amount of snow melt out west is intense right now… all of the lower rivers and streams are blown out, chocolate milk style, and about impossible to fish. With that being said, we only got one day on the river in Utah, and only ONE fish wanted to eat. That fish just so happened to be a giant brown trout that wanted to say hey to Bryce. I was skunked that day..
Next stop: Jackson, Wyoming.
BUT FIRST! Lunch counter. Famous whitewater rapid on the Green River in Southern Wyoming. Disorienting to say the least..
We hiked down the trail alongside the other tourists and families passing through, turned a corner and were right here next to this huge, raging rapid. This photo does not do it justice at ALL. Look on youtube for videos of people riding this rapid. It’s insane.
While hiking up the trail and back to the parking lot, I was chosen by the biggest salmon fly in existence. The wind was blowing a little bit, and I thought I had an annoying piece of hair that kept hitting me in the eye. Nope. Pulled off my glasses and found this. UGH. HE LANDED ON MY FACE. CREEPER BUG!
Wyoming was the highlight of this trip in my opinion… I took the most photos there, saw more things I’ve never seen before there, and almost died there. The Tetons are fricking MIND BLOWING. The height, the majesty, the colors, and its ability to turn evil on you in mere milliseconds. We saw so many wild flowers, and “corkscrew deer” (Pronghorn) and elk and GIANT fish.
Yakima Roof box and Denver Outfitters Rod Vault matching up on top of the Subey so perfect in front of the Grand Teton!
We even caught a double rainbow!
Here’s where shit gets real…
The last day we were in Jackson, we convinced our friend Ian to take us out on his drift boat onto Jenny Lake up in the Teton National Park for its maiden float voyage. It looked a little stormy, but radar suggested it was pass around the back of the Tetons and not into the lake… well.. The following photo is the only one I took that day from the boat, roughly an hour before the weather turned for the worse and we were stranded with only oars a few hundred yards away from the boat ramp. A freak winter storm, complete with 20mph winds, temps dropping to the 30’s and heavy rain/snow mix, rolled down over the side of the mountains. Within seconds the wind turned up and the lake went from calm to 2ft white capped swells, showing no end in sight. Banging into the rocky shore, we had no choice but to portage the boat while being pummeled by snowballs and rain. I ran up the hill to find some help while the boys stayed with the boat trying to save the gear, the boat and themselves from the certain destruction of Mother Nature. I found Ian’s truck and Bryce took off looking for Ian, while I hunkered down in front of the cab to block the wind and rain from behind. I didn’t know at the time that the keys were literally next to me in the wheel-well.. Looking back on it, it’s not as scary as it was for those 30-40 minutes the wind was ripping, temperature dropping and snowy hail was falling. We seriously thought we were in big trouble in the beginning, but kept it together enough to come out alive and unscathed. Once we got everyone back together, we headed to the house with an empty trailer to dry off, change to warmer clothes and try to go back in between storm gusts to get the boat. All was calm on Jenny Lake until we got down to the tied off boat and started to untie it.. The Tetons said “NOPE. Go home, you’re not getting the boat today” and sent the wind ripping through once again. We ended up having the leave the boat again, hoping for the best once the storm cleared in a day or two. Ian was less than pleased to leave his boat over night, this being its maiden voyage with him, but it all turned out in the end. Minimal damage and ended up fixed and floating again within a day of retrieval.
After all of that excitement it was time to head back to Colorado for an exclusive Denver Outfitters Podcast where Bryce got to speak about his passion for Tarpon fishing and what the fisheries in Florida mean to us. More news on that when the Podcast is ready for listening.. but thanks to Jill and Murph for having him on the show!
The sunsets on the road sometimes end being the most epic..
The Rod Vault doin work for us our last day in Colorado!
All in all it was a fun and interesting trip! I witnessed more of our beautiful country than I had ever seen before, didn’t kill Bryce, and may have found our next destination in living! Thanks to everyone who helped along the way. To our friends who let us crash on couches and futons, showed us around your towns and fed us amazing food, THANK YOU!! Until the next adventure… LATER!
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Thanks for reading guys!