On The Green
If your idea of a fantastic fly-fishing trip includes inspirational scenery, an abundance of trout, and delicious home cooked meals every evening, then a trip to Utah’s Green River, should be your next destination Fly Fishing adventure. Our family was able to coordinate our vacations, enabling us to all meet at the Spring Creek Guest Ranch, located on the Utah-Wyoming border. This has become an annual road trip for us for the past three years. The three of us: Lisa, Christopher, and my self, will drive continuously for 28 hours, to reach our destination at the Spring Creek Ranch. My other son: Brenton and his girlfriend Jourdan will rendezvous with us at the Ranch. This year, their fly-fishing friend: Matt also came along to enjoy the fishing on the Green River.
Technology has made the trip very comfortable for us. For example, our GMC Yukon has satellite radio, On-Star navigation, DVD player, and comfortable seating. In addition, Christopher and Lisa now have smart phones. Christopher was able to conduct business over his phone, Lisa was able to take care of issues that needed to be addressed while we were away, and they were both able to view Netflix movies on their phones as well. The only information I received on my phone was that our data level was being drained, the current level was at 10%, and that I better update it soon.
Once we had arrived at the Spring Creek Ranch, we met our hosts: AJ, Rachael, and Pat. The Ranch is very rustic with comfortable cabins, rooms, magnificent scenery, and delicious food. As major groceries are roughly 60 miles away, it’s wise that anyone interested in staying here contact Rachael beforehand and discuss what types of food you would care to have. This will allow Rachael to prepare her shopping list before she heads out to the store. In addition, I recommend acquiring a river guide a few months prior to the trip to enhance your fly-fishing experience on the Green River. Once again we made arrangements with Trout Creek Flies (435) 885-3355, to book Gene Gautieri as our river guide. Gene may also be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. This year due to scheduling conflicts, Gene would only be able to guide for us on our first day on the river. However, he recommended his protege: Nick Jackson, to be our guide for the remaining dates. Nick is also a fantastic guide; he began his career as a river guide in Alaska at the age of 18. He now guides on the Green River in the summer and during the winter months in Chile.
Jourdan’s step dad: Scott was also a river guide in his younger days, and has two drift boats. One of which he allows Brenton to utilize. Brenton also has a pontoon boat that he brought along this year as well. The original plan this year was to have Brenton fish with Gene, as Brenton has acted as our guide the past few years, and we wanted him to be the client for a change. As a surprise to both Lisa and myself, the kids informed us that Gene would be guiding for us instead. As soon as we began casting on the river Lisa was on fire, catching nice full-bodied, 12-17 inch Rainbow and Brown Trout. She was out fishing me at a rate of 6 to 1. I enjoyed watching her laugh, smiling, and enjoying herself, as she does so much for our family all year long
The second day, Christopher and Jourdan fished with our guide Nick. Lisa and myself fished with Brenton in “Larry” the Lavro drift boat on the B section of the Green River. Matt was on the pontoon boat for his first time. Once Matt became familiar on how to navigate the boat, he did quite well, landing in some nice sized Rainbow’s and Brown Trout. For Lisa and myself, the fishing was a little slow, as we are inexperienced in casting with a steady breeze blowing at us. Brenton was having some luck when he would pull the boat to shore and fish from the river’s edge. While Brenton was fishing, we pulled out the new portable grill to cook up some hotdogs, when we discovered an unpleasant surprise. The igniter switch was broken and we had no matches! However, we did have bread and a bag of Doritos, so we put Doritos chips between the bread and had Doritos sandwiches. All of us could not wait until we got back to the Ranch and had Rachael’s homemade pizza! Near the end of the day, with approximately a half-mile to travel before we reached our exit point at Indian Crossing, we started to pull in some nice 16 and 17 inch Rainbow Trout. This made us forgot about the sparse lunch we had. Once off the river, it was back to the Ranch, for some great homemade pizza that Rachael and Pat had prepared!
Christopher and Jourdan had a good day on the A section of the river, with Nick as their guide. They had invited Nick back to dinner at the Ranch, and this was the first time that we had the opportunity to meet Nick, and he is a very nice individual. It was interesting to hear about his guiding experiences in Alaska, Green River, and in Chile. As always, Rachael had prepared a fantastic meal, and even though we were all thoroughly stuffed, there was still enough room for Pat’s delicious Margarita pie!
Our third day on the river began with all of us awaking to a crisp, welcomed coolness in the air, after enduring an extraordinarily hot summer back in New Jersey. We met Nick at Trout Creek, and we all agreed to fish the A section of the river, as this would allow Lisa and myself to practice our casting along with catching some trout. Nick exemplifies all the tireless energy of youth, with his insistence to continuously row back up the river to catch a good drift, where he knows trout to be lurking. Again, Lisa was on fire and was landing many Rainbow and Brown Trout. During the middle of the day, Lisa hooked into a real fighter! Her rod was bending with the trout trying to go deep in the water. Nick coached Lisa, instructing her to let the fish take the line. I had never seen a fish pull all the line out of a fly rod before! Nick expertly guided Lisa into bringing a beautiful full-bodied 19-inch Brown Trout into the net. Lisa played that fish for a good five minutes and her arms were a little tired after the ordeal. I was also ready for a nap after watching her work that fish into the boat! We reluctantly reached the off loading area at around 6 pm.
Again, we invited Nick back to the Spring Creek Ranch, where Rachael had prepared her unbelievably delicious, belly-busting ribs! We all sat around enjoying the solitude of the evening, enjoying ribs, drinking 24 ounce Alaskan Amber Ale, and doing shots of Tequila with Rachael’s mom: Pat. Everyone was mellowing out and talking about their experiences on the river for that day.
As an extra bonus, Rachael informed us that we would be able to stay in our cabin for another night if we cared to. In addition, Nick informed us that his schedule was free the next day as well, and if we wanted to, he would guide for us. Fantastic, we all had another round of Tequila to celebrate our good fortune!
The next morning, the weather had changed, and there was light drizzle in the air. Luckily, we had remembered our rain gear and put it on. The weather had changed, and so had my luck, as it was my turn to land some nice trout on the Green! Again, Nick would row back up the river to catch a good drift. During those drifts, Lisa and I were able to land Rainbow, Brown, and German Brown Trout that were not giving up without giving both of us some good fights. Nick pulled along shore to try a different fly setup for Lisa. During that time, I took a few casts while waiting, and then wham; I had hooked a big one by the feel of my fly rod! Nick expertly instructed me on how to guide the trout into the net, as I tried to maneuver the fish away from rocks or other obstacles that the trout was trying to dive under to spit out the fly. What a feel of satisfaction and excitement of being able to land that full-bodied 18-inch Rainbow Trout! Being outdoors, enjoying nature, and the challenges of fly-fishing for a few days in succession, allowed Lisa and myself to enhance our fly-fishing skills. Moreover, the advantage of fishing continuously, allowed us the opportunity to learn from our mistakes, enabling us to land fish that we were losing in the beginning of our trip.
As with everything in life, all good things must come to an end. Fortunately, the memories remain on. The sun had begun to lower in the sky, and our boat-landing site had come into view. Both of us wanted to land just one more trout before we ended the trip. Nick obliged us by rowing back up river to catch a few more drifts. Nick’s hard work was not wasted, as Lisa and myself were both able to land another trout before we docked the boat. That evening, both Nick and Gene came back to the Spring Creek Ranch for one final feast prepared by Rachael and Pat. More fish stories were told, Alaskan Ale consumed, and shots of Tequila downed, creating memories that will be re-told for years to come.
The next morning we sadly said our goodbyes to Rachael, Pat, and AJ. Hopefully, they will still be operating the Spring Creek ranch for a few more years. We then traveled to Park City, Utah, to spend a day in the old mining town, which is now a world-class ski destination. We did some sightseeing, shopping, and visited Trout Bums, for some fly-fishing gear. The following morning, we began our long journey home. Not long into the ride home, we began talking about our fishing adventure, and ultimately, began planning next year’s family fly-fishing trip.