Bill and Mackenzie Mixer allowed my to tag along on their annual father/daughter hopper float. (They've been hitting the river pretty hard these last few weeks. Mackenzie, who lives in Denver, has become a no-show at most of her social events, and has been buying one-day fishing licenses for a month now.) They caught 20 a few days before we went. Our day was a bit slower, but the banter was crisp and I managed to catch the first brown trout I have caught in years. Bill comes from the school of thought where you cast as close to the bank as possible and let your fly drift along the cutbanks. He was right, just this once. The brown came out of a dark, weedy bay and smashed my fly. I even got a chance to row after boating a few fish. I tried to keep Bill out of the zone, but once, while his daughter was tangled, I allowed him to fish thirty yards of brushy banks. He connected on the fish of the day. Who knows how long this dry fly phenomenon will last? For the time being, Mackenzie is staying in Wyoming. You won't find her at Angelo's in Denver, or anywhere else. She'll be in the front of Bill's boat casting foam hoppers at the shore.
I floated from the bridge to Bessemer yesterday. The rainbows were taking hoppers like they're supposed to. It was almost perfect until a thunderstorm blew us up and ruined my GoPro. We had a bunch of takes.
A group of Casper College professors went back to the Snowy Range for our annual Backcountry Committee meeting. Mike Olson took minutes. The brook trout and rainbows were biting yellow humpies and spinners. I hadn't fished these creeks for over ten years.
Natrona County is alive with hoppers; they're everywhere. I see them in the roads, or bouncing off the side of my car. They are absolutely swarming the banks of the river, but they are not in the river itself. They seem to be trained to avoid the river. So fishing was slow this week. The North Platte is running at 3,000 CFS. I did an evening float from the dam to Lusby. Only three fish hit the hopper. I've never been able to time it right. Maybe it will build as August goes by.
I want to thank Patti, owner of Hotel Los Pescadores in Los Barriles, Baja Mexico for hosting me last week. I was trying to do a fly-fishing story, but the conditions weren't right and the beach fishing never worked out the way I wanted it too. The silver lining was the hotel, the guests there, and the employees who work for Patti. The hotel is a few blocks off the beach in a neighborhood of sandy avenues and wandering cattle. Birdsong wakes you each morning and the trees are loaded with mangos and limes. The bar is a great gathering spot where people get together to talk about their fishing experiences. Patti has her own captains who will take you out for tuna, marlin, rooster fish and more. I did a trip with Chuy and we had a blast the whole time. We even landed a nice yellowfin.
Just returned from a week in Baja. I was staying at the Hotel Los Pescadores in Los Barriles. Through the work of the fishermen and captains, I was able to catch my first marlin, rooster fish and yellowfin tuna. I had a blast. The hotel is a beautiful boutique hotel where people gather at the cantina to tell fishing stories and have big laughs. I brought my fly rod, but I didn't connect on any fish with it. This turned out to be a live bait week. I had a great time and I'll post more about this unique town and its fun and generous people as I get the chance. If you ever want to go down there, and you don't want the typical Cabo experience, Los Barriles is just up the coast on the Sea of Cortez. Call Patti at the hotel and she'll take care of everything.
My newest piece is available in The Drake Magazine. Relying on the things I learned in journalism class, circa 1987 in Blacksburg, VA, I went out and found the story. This article, Big Horn Blunder, tells about the energy company that wants to drill 4,000 new wells west of Casper. That's great news until you hear the rest. They want to dump the waste water into Boysen Reservoir. Boysen is a state park where people fish and swim. Below the dam, the Wind River Canyon is a top-rated trout stream. So you see the problem.