The next day was the day the NY Yankees beat the Dodgers 5-3 in their third World Series game. I know, my Father insisted on my listening to it on the radio.
My Dad, his Grandson Michael and Jean Marie Hon…
We departed West Yellowstone at 5:00AM. I wanted to drive straight through to Bridgeport and spend Saturday and Sunday there before returning to work. A heavy snow was falling and the visibility was zero on our journey to Ashton, ID. It took us three hours to make the drive. By now, the snow had turned to a drizzling rain. As we passed through Idaho Falls, the skies began to clear and we made excellent time to Battle Mountain, NV. We stopped in Austin for a quick burger and cruised South to Hawthorne then on to Yerington which is the back way to Bridgeport.
In fading sunlight we drove past Bridgeport Reservoir and into town. We checked in at The Walker River Lodge and met Mary who, along with her husband and daughters, owned the lodge. I glanced at the wall behind the check- in counter and saw a commemorative plaque that had been given to Mary by a team from the 10th SFG (ABN) the previous year. She told me that these guys had come to the Marine Cold Weather Center to train the jarheads in cold weather OPS (it figures).
This was the first of many times I have stayed at the WRL. I had come up from Bishop a couple of times to fish the East Walker but had not stayed overnight. The next morning, we had a hearty breakfast at the Sportsman’s and then traveled South to Green Creek Road. Green Creek is situated in a high, alpine valley. My favorite section of the creek is just where the road starts into the valley, near a giant, collection of glacial boulders. This area has beaver ponds and slow moving water.
Green Creek, in it’s upper reach, above the meadow…
When we arrived, it was cold. A frost covered the grass and the leaves on the Aspen trees had already turned bright shades of yellow, orange and gold. I wore my silly hat which still itched.
Green Creek, in the meadow…
My small Winston was perfect for this water. I rigged a 12 ft., 5X leader to the 4WT DT line, pulled a Sierra Brite Dot # 18 from my fly box , added 12 inches of 6X tippet material to the leader and tied on the fly with a UNI knot. I waded into the tail of the first pool slowly, being careful not to push a wake or stir up the silt on the stream bottom. I began casting to the head of a log jam where the water spilled in.
When the fly floated to the water’s surface, two shadows streaked up from the darkness under the wood pile. I gave the rod a gentle lift and was firmly attached to a spunky 12 inch Brook Trout. I worked the fish quickly downstream, grasped it while turning it upside down, pulled the barbless hook from the corner of it’s jaw and gently released it back into the pool. I caught and released several other nice fish as I worked up through a series small ponds – both Brookies and Browns. The Brookies were radiant in their spawning colors.
Green Creek, where the beaver dams have widened the stream flow…
About noon, I had come to a place where the creek meanders through a large meadow. I switched to a # 18 beetle and bounced it off the bank. There was just enough over hanging grass to provide some cover and shade over the undercut bank even though the sun was high in the sky. On my first cast, I watched as a good sized fish drifted upwards ever so slowly towards the imitation. I took up slack and finally, after what seemed like five minutes, the fish nudged then sucked down the fly. All hell broke loose. The fish ran up stream as the little Hardy buzzed, It dove under the opposite bank and sulked. I could not move it, I gave the fish slack then pushed upstream reeling in line. Approaching where the leader entered the water, the fish suddenly burst from beneath the bank, raced below me, catapulted through the surface and cartwheeled twice.
The hook and leader held and after a time , I was able to net a husky 19″ Brown. The fish had taken the fly deeply. I finally removed the fly and spent the next five minutes holding the fish in my cupped hands, moving it back and forth in the water. I opened my hands and the Brown finned it’s way up the creek.
That was the largest fish I have ever caught in Green Creek…
Soon, my Dad walked up the road and asked if I was ready to leave. He was hungry. We drove back down the mountain to Bridgeport and after lunch, I dropped him at the motel. He said he wanted to watch game 4 of the Series.
I spent the rest of the day fishing on the East Walker River with streamers. I took eight nice fish using a black and white marabou – the largest, another 19″ Brown. That one was caught in the meadow section, in the tail out behind the little island (for those of you who fished there before 1987).
When I returned, my Dad told me the Dodgers lost again.
It was a good day….
A few fish from the East Walker River, 1977…
The rest of my ongoing story is here:
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