This was our 40th year of fishing together.  We started this yearly thing in 1976.  40 years later, we're still going......hopefully a few more years before Pop has to retire his fly fishing gear.

The trip started on Friday, July 8 and went to the next Friday, July 15.  Since we started a day earlier than planned, we split our Saturday travel day in two.  Friday was a travel day to Cedar City, Utah.  Saturday, we drove up to Heber City and planned on meeting a friend of mine and fishing the Provo River, just out of town.  We got to have lunch with Shannon and then the 3 of us headed to the Provo.  Way too many people on/around the water, so we went sight-seeing up the 'back road' past Solitude and Brighton ski areas.  Absolutely gorgeous up there.  Up at the top of the mountain Pop was getting tired, so we gave Shannie a big hug and said goodbye.  She went down the mountain on the Salt Lake City side and we went back down to Heber City.  I hadn't seen Shannie in a couple of years, so it was really cool to be able to hang with her for a few hours.

Sunday was a travel/sight-seeing day going up and over the Uintas on Hwy 150 and then into Kemmerer, Wyoming.  Our guide for the Green River, Eric, told me to try Hamsfork River at the pay to fish area (not the public lands).  A guide and 2 fisherman started shortly before we did and headed downstream.  Not wanting to follow them too closely, we fished upstream until we hit a fence.  We basically fished a 400' - 700' stretch of water.  Lots of bumps, but no fish....until Pop hooked into one.  As I rushed up to help him land it, he fought it well.  He got it in close enough to see that it was probably 20" and 1.5-2.0 pounds.  It was fat the the pink stripe on it was brilliant red - a gorgeous rainbow.  As soon as my net touched him, he jerked, snapped the tippet and swam away.  Rats!   That's how it goes sometimes, but it was worth it and we'll go back.

Monday/Tuesday, Eric guided us on a float trip on the Green River.  The water was best just below the dam.  Since we'd never fished there, it would be something new.  Well worth it, too!  Monday, we woke to 36 degrees and a bit breezy.  Neither of us brought jackets, so we knew we'd be chilly.  Thankfully, Eric had an extra jacket for Pop and once we got to fishing he wasn't too cold.  We floated past a cliff-dwelling, teenaged golden eagle.  He was perched on the cliff and just watched us float/fish past him.  Another really cool sight is weeping rocks.  They say the dam caused the water table to rise so much, that the rocks a few miles downstream oozed water.  It was amazing to see water just flowing out of the bottom of the cliff wall.  We didn't drink any, but you can bet that it's some of the freshest, cleanest water around.  The fishing was decent, with both of us catching many nice trout and I had several large white fish.  Most of the fishing we did was nymphing, since it was best.  By the way - Eric caught and landed one very large cutthroat.  We reversed the roles - I netted it for him.

Tuesday started out even colder - 31 when we left Kemmerer, but it warmed up very quickly and turned out to be pretty exceptional.  Lots of fish caught by both of us and we had 5 double hook ups.  Much of Tuesday, we got to dry fly fish.  It was a really good day.  The two 5 weight rods that Pop and I used, I built.  I thought they were both quite good, but when Eric borrowed mine at lunch and started casting to catch some cutthroats; he said he really liked the rod and that it casted quite well.  Now I have more confidence in both Temple Fork blanks and in my rod building prowess.

Wednesday, we thought we'd fish the Duchesne River or possibly somewhere near Strawberry Reservoir and then head down to Loa, Utah.  Pop's sunburn was so bad, we decided to just make it a travel/sight-seeing day.  We drove back over the Uintas and ran into a northern Utah traffic jam on Hwy 150.  In Heber City, we headed out the 40 to Duchesne and Hwy 191.  South on it until Hwy 10 and south on that until Hwy 70.  At Hwy 70, 10 basically turns into Hwy 72.  Hwy 72 took us south, right into Loa.  With the exception of Hwy 150 to Heber City and Hwy 72, the rest was a new drive for us.  It was all typical Utah mountains, canyons and desert - breath-taking scenery.  We met up with Mike and Troy Wednesday night and they told us to be there the next morning at 7:30 am.

Thursday, we arrived about 7:25 and Troy got us packed up and we headed up to Boulder Mountain, Cook Lake and some still-water fly fishing.  We were both up for something new.  Cook Lake sits just over 10000 feet in elevation.  It is an absolutely beautiful lake!  After 20 minutes or so, Pop needed to sit down - the altitude was getting to him.  After that, we decided to head to lower elevation and tiny Pine Creek.  Before that, though, a quick trip to our namesake lake, Miller Lake (still 10000+ feet up).  Miller Lake is just as beautiful as Cook Lake.  A few pictures and then head lower to Pine Creek.

Pine Creek is a tiny, creek.  Most of it that I fished was only 18"-24" wide and 6"-12" deep.  Why bother, right?  WRONG.  It is stuffed with tons of little, natural cutthroats - TONS.  We checked one spot on the creek and then decided to drive about a mile or so downstream and fish there, then eat lunch.  After lunch, we'd decide what we'd do next.  We had 45-60 minutes to fish before lunch.  During that time, I had 27 little cuts that I released off the hook and another 7-10 that flopped off the hook on their own.  After lunch, Troy had me fish upstream to meet them.  He took Pop to the first place we stopped to check out the stream.  It was just over a mile's drive, but as the stream went, probably 1.5-1.75 miles.  The fishing was phenomenal!  I'd literally drop my fly in, wait a second (maybe) and pull up a little trout.  Tons of fun.  When I finally met up with them, I'd released 57 little trout and had another 10-15 that flopped off the hook on their own.   Stellar day!

Friday, we thought about driving up to Upper UM Creek, where we'd fished before.  It's beautiful up there and the cutthroats in the stream are larger than expected and very colorful.  Since that area is up over 9500 feet and we know Pop probably couldn't handle it, we decided to call it a good trip and make Friday our drive home day.  For me, going home from a good vacation is a love/hate thing.  I love that I'll be home, see my wife and sleep in my own bed; but hate the fact that I have to leave.

Do I wish we had been able to fish more?  Sure, but not really.  I got to spend an entire week with Pop.  We got to spend quality time together and fish.  It couldn't have been better!

I didn't include any pics from either of the two travel Fridays.  Please enjoy the pictures.

Saturday's Pics      Sunday's Pics      Monday's & Tuesday's Pics      Wednesday's Pics      Thursday's Pics      Home