Time: 8:30AM – 3:00PM
Location: Grey Reef boat launch to Government Bridge
The dashboard temperature hovered in the 28-30 degree range, as Steve and I drove to the Wyoming Fly Fishing shop after breakfast at the Hampton Inn on Wednesday morning. We met Greg, our guide, at 7:30AM, and this was earlier than our previous float trips. Prior to our departure from Denver, in an email to Steve, Greg mentioned floating the Miracle Mile, but when I greeted him, he informed us that he scheduled the normal float below Grey Reef. He later explained that a friend fished the Miracle Mile with solid results, but he was hesitant to make that our destination before he personally inspected it.
Wednesday, March 21 was the last day of the flush, and the water level at the boat launch remained higher than our experience on Tuesday afternoon. I took my place in the rear of the drift boat, while Steve manned the bow. I began the day wearing my heavy down coat, mittens with hand warmers, billed hat with ear flaps, and two layers of socks with toe warmers under my waders. I was not taking any chances after the adverse 2017 weather experience. Over the course of the day I never shed a layer, and I felt reasonably comfortable. The high temperature for the day was 55 degrees, but it never felt that warm because of the stiff wind, which gusted up to twenty MPH during the midday time period.
Steve and I enjoyed steady action throughout the day. We both drifted double plastic egg rigs; one light chartreuse and one apricot. The consistent catch rate enabled me to tally twenty-one fish, and eleven filled my net in the morning, while ten occupied the rubber mesh receptacle in the afternoon. The takes were equally divided between the two egg varieties. The most productive river locations were slow moving sections of decent depth next to faster current lanes and drop offs.
Greg managed the speed of the boat in expert fashion, and this enabled long drag-free drifts. In one particularly productive spot, Greg rowed upstream repeatedly thus allowing six drifts through a sweet trough, and the effort rewarded Steve and I with four or five fish each.
All the fish landed were in the thirteen to twenty inch range, and we each topped out with one at the twenty inch mark. The rainbows were in perfect condition and consequently strong fighters, and the males displayed vivid stripes and bright scarlet cheeks. We both hope to make another trip in the spring of 2019. In short, we had a blast.
Fish Landed: 21