by Pat Mileshosky
Sure, why not, I’m retired with time on my hands and a few bucks in my pocket. I’ve been there before, several times in fact. Okay, I’ll do it. I’ll take Mike Maurer up on his invitation to return to the Green River. The Green is a tail water fishery below Flaming Gorge Dam in the far northeast corner of Utah.
Walt Ratcliff picked me up early Saturday morning and we were off… next stop Vernal, Utah where we would meet several of the other fellows making the trek. A few, like Mike Maurer, Walt Ratcliff and Brad Musick had been making the spring trip for better than 25 years. I made the trip two or three times many years ago before life got in the way.
We arrived in Dutch John the next morning and stashed our gear in the same room I had stayed in way back when. The same room that 25 years earlier Dick Blumershine, Steve Weiss, Mike Maurer and I were woken up at 1:00 am by a noisy family who had arrived in the room next door. Their kids ran around carrying on for about an hour before finally turning in. Finally, quiet… until 5:30 am when all hell broke loose again. When I made it into the kitchen I watched Dick open and SLAM every kitchen cabinet on the adjoining wall for the better part of ten minutes. When he finally finished he turned to me and simply said “payback”. That evening the folks next to us were quiet as church mice.
Walt and I got on the river in the early afternoon only to be told that the Blue Wing Olive hatch had just petered out. Funny how that seems to happen. I still spent a couple of hours trying to coax a trout up with my dry fly. No joy.
The evenings are always stoked with an abundance of alcohol, good food, alcohol, banter and more alcohol. This week would be no different.
The next day the cold weather blew in. Wind, rain, snow and freezing daytime temps put a damper on our return to the river so we went in search of the several lakes around Dutch John. Noel Savignac, Dave McCurdy and I decided to take a look at the Matt Warner Reservoir where Mike Maurer, Ron Kubika and a few others had a tremendous time the day before. We fished the smaller of the two boat ramps where we discovered that the trout were beginning their spawning ritual. This seemed to hold true only at the ramp and the general consensus was that this was the location where the fish had been planted years earlier thus their return to this location. The cold wind also roiled the bottom kicking the bugs loose from the vegetation and helping us take up to thirty fish each on tiny nymphs. The amount of fish helped make up for the cold wind that blew all day.
The following day several of our group went farther afield and found Crouse Reservoir which provided huge fat fish in fair numbers on tiny nymphs. We arrived later in the afternoon just as the fishing was tapering off. Next year I’ll make a point of fishing Crouse for a full day and hope that the fishing is as great as it was that day.
The last day of our trip proved to be a warm windless day that the bugs found to their liking which was to the liking of the fish. Noel, Dave and I wandered upriver to Coney Island to await the hatch which got under way in the early afternoon. Oh what a sight, big heads lazily sipping mayflies to their hearts content. This was one of those times that it took willpower to let the fish take your fly and turn down before setting the hook. The take was so slow it was easy to pull the fly away from the trout if you got too excited. We all caught several large Rainbows and Browns before the flies stopped their trip to the surface. What a way to end my return to the Green after a twenty five year hiatus. I sure won’t let so many years pass before I return.