After a 2010 summer record, four days in a row without casting a fly, today I took my three year old niece Sierra to the Victor pond to reel in a few fish. My sister Becky and her husband Don have been in the area for about ten days. They drove all the way out from New Hampshire with young Sierra who already has a serious liking to everything the outdoors has to offer from hiking, wildlife viewing, skipping rocks, and running barefoot in the grass. She even seems to like fishing.
Last week we spent two days camping and fishing the Harriman Ranch of the Henry’s Fork with them. The trip was kind of a bust with horrible weather and only a few small fish. I never got around to writing the report for those days because shortly after I got home from them I got the horrible news that my friend Rob Merrill drown in the South Fork. I’m sure most of you read the story. At the time of my post, Rob’s body was still missing. He was found Friday afternoon an incredible 34 miles downstream from where his boat overturned. A celebration of Robs life will be held at the Timberline Bar and Restaurant here in Victor on Saturday night from 6:30 pm until 8:30 pm.
There are only a few stocked trout left in the Victor pond by the time Labor Day comes around. This little pond has had the living daylights pounded out of it by so called “one weekend a century” anglers since Memorial Day Weekend. The crafty anglers have bombarded these poor trout with worms, powerbait, marshmallows, lures, minnows, bacon, spaghetti, and perhaps even dynamite. The few fish left have literally seen it all and if you are dumb enough to think they will devour any fly you throw at them, I can guarantee you will be sorry. These survivors are brilliant!
Becky, Don and I fished for two hours and only managed to land a few of the wise little trout between us. Remarkably, Sierra caught one of them while reeling in her bright pink closed-faced Princess fishing rod outfit. Don cleverly set her up with a good old fashion red and white bobber, but instead of dangling a worm, he tied on an olive tungsten bead head hares ear nymph below it. I didn’t think it would work but heck, it wasn’t much different than the embarrassing rigs grown men have started nymphing with during the last decade. Perhaps they too should spend much less money on their equipment and get themselves a close-faced outfit named after their favorite superhero.
Anyway, Sierra had great fun fishing but then it was lunch time. We stopped by the house and picked up Granny and drove to the Warbirds Cafe in Driggs Idaho. Warbirds is located on the edge of the runway at the Driggs airport and while you eat you watch the valleys small airplane traffic come and go. Just as I was biting into my half pound buffalo burger (which I highly recommend) and sipping a hefty draft beer, our friend Sam Lee pulled up a chair to say hello. We used to see Sam all the time but he got into flying gliders and since then we hardly ever see him. He absolutely loves it and now takes people on glider rides out of Driggs. Sure enough, before I knew it, I was heading up with him for a quick glide after lunch.
Now I’ve always wanted to take a trip in a glider. But if I were to plan it, I’d do it before lunch rather than after. And I probably wouldn’t treat myself to a pint before the trip either. But there was no planning involved, just a spontaneous answer of, “Yes I’ll go”. Well, the good news is that I’m quite solid when it comes to a rough ride at sea or major turbulence on a small airplane and fortunately for both Sam and I, both buffalo and beer sat right where they belonged. Best of all we had a fantastic ride high above Teton Valley and just west of the Tetons. If you’ve never been thousands of feet up without an engine carrying you then it’s hard to explain this adventure. Just imagine this though – there was hardly a cloud in the sky today and if there were climbers on top of the Grand Teton we probably could have seen them. What I can say best about the trip is that if you pass through Teton Valley and Driggs Idaho, YOU MUST treat yourself to a trip with Sam.
It was an incredible day today. It seems we never know what will come from a summer day in the Yellowstone area. What began as a simple few hours on the water with a three year old and some family turned into an unexpected adventure 12,000 feet in the sky. I love it! As for the future, tomorrow is the last day with my sister and her family and I’m sure we will fish again. Then they head home and Thursday begins the Jackson Hole One Fly Contest.