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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wyoming Fishin’ – 08 Sep 09

I have just returned from a great trip to just above Jackson Hole, Wyoming for a horseback excursion into the Teton Wilderness with my son, Joseph, and son-in-law, Michael Winters. We trail rode (if you are loose with the definition of the word trail) either 17 or 18 miles (depending on who tells the story) through some pretty rough territory: up mountains, down mountains and sometimes across semi-flat terrain (only @10% of the time).

There were eight of us, all associated with the Traveling Aggies, and two guides: one for the mule train, Carl, one for the trail ride, Dallas, (see above). We were met at base camp by a husband, Dan, and wife, Lynaa, team (fly fishing guide and camp cook). Every member of the staff associated with the Heart Six Ranch is really great people.


Not long after our start, we had the first real fright, a trail no more than two feet wide with a shear drop of maybe 300 feet to the river –tense moments right off the bat. We spent nearly a full six hours on horseback getting to the base camp – I might still have places that are not entirely healed from this part of the trek.
During the trip, two of the mules had a dispute with a tree causing a stampede and the loss of some food items and a fly rod or two. In spite of it all, we made it to base camp without the loss of life or limb. There is still the distinct possibility that Jake the mule may not survive the hunting season.



















The next morning we were all up at the slightest crack of dawn and into our fly fishing instruction. One breakfast and instruction time was over; we got back astride our mounts and rode another two hours up to a place called Crater Lake for some actual fishing. I caught the first of my immediate group’s fish, a cutthroat trout, on my second cast. My son caught his first on his first cast. Michael spent a little longer with his first catch then lost it at the bank. My turn again; tenth cast; a really good one. Both Joseph and Michael took additional cutthroat also.

























Two more hours back to camp.

















The third day out we decided to hike up the mountain and spent most of the day doing so. Michael slipped into the river no more than 5 minutes into trek and had to return to base camp for dry socks while Joseph and I waited on a log just up the trail.

About forty-five minutes into the trek, Michael asked: “What’s this on the trail?”

At this point I conducted the indoctrination ceremony initiating both Joseph and Michael into the association of those of us that can truthfully answer the question due to first hand knowledge: “Does a wild bear shit in the woods?”

















We eventually hit a point in time that we had pre-decided as our turn back time still having not reached the tree line with nightfall on its way; we turned back down the mountain.


Before leaving base camp close to noon, the guys and I had a discussion about what we were gonna enjoy the most after we get back to the trailhead. Michael’s vote was for a shower. Joseph’s vote was for a decent place to sleep. I, on the other hand being the aged member of the group, voted as the most looked forward event upon return to civilization was “getting off that horse for the last time”.

The forth day we packed up and returned to the trailhead for our trip back to the ranch and our first shower in four days. This time we were all just a little more experienced and the trip took only a little over four hours.

That evening, we had the biggest moose burger one might ever experience prior to going off to dreamland and our flight back to Texas the next morning.

2 comments:

  1. You don't have to call me Joseph

    ReplyDelete
  2. I found that intriguing and as I did a mass substitution, it was not difficult at all. You are and will always remain "Joe Pat".

    ReplyDelete