Editor's Note: UTAH FISHING magazine and Western Rivers Flyfishers sponsored a fishing story contest. We received numerous contest entries and most of them were printed in the magazine. The winner, Loretta Garcia, won a float trip down the Green River with Western Rivers. Loretta didn't actually make the trip, but her husband Steve, a fly fisherman, did. Following his his report of the trip.

By Steve Garcia

You may recall a certain UTAH FISHING writing contest held earlier this year. As the winner, my wife Loretta received a guided trip down the Green River.

As you discovered, her writing is excellent, yet the important things in life — like fishing — have been neglected. My best efforts left her unconvinced to take the trip with me. Fortunately, Bob Moore, a fellow fly fisherman and mutual friend, bravely offered to stand in.

We arranged with Western Rivers Flyfishers to take the trip the first weekend in October. Their shop is located near me, basically on 9th and 9th (in Salt Lake City) and they were helpful in providing needed items for the trip. Steve Schmidt clearly knew his business.

Since the trip started on Sunday, we left for the Gorge that Saturday morning. We arrived at Red Butte campground, which is just about 20 minutes from the dam. After setting up our tents, there was still time to fish.

That thought took us to the foot of the suspension bridge just a few miles from the dam. I was using a silver spoon and after several hits, reeled in a small kokanee. The highlight came when Bob hooked into the largest fish of his career. After he lost his only wooly bugger, I didn't feel right suggesting it was a large, mobile snag.

Sunday was a day I'll not soon forget. Expecting cold, we got perfect weather instead. By 9 a.m. I'd taken off my two long sleeved shirts and windbreaker and was down to short sleeves for the rest of the day.

Rob Clark met us at the launch point below the dam and as our guide instantly began making us feel like it was our special day. He was concerned about the high water (3,600 cfm versus a summer low of 800 cfm). He helped us rig our fly outfits for a type of fishing Bob and I had never done. Tying on a 10-foot leader, he attached a 1.5-foot tippet. Above the surgeon's knot attaching the tippet were two small split shot. At the heavy end of the leader connected to the fly line a fluorescent strike indicator was attached. Since we were going deep, the selected "fly" was actually of the "San Juan worm" variety.

Soon after taking to the water, Rob briefed us on the boat. With two comfortable seats fore and aft on the McKenzie, we were able to fish generally on opposite sides of each other. The first lesson was to obtain the perfect float. When your strike indicator floated in such a fashion as to create no wake, you had it.

The next step was to detect a strike so subtle that any movement forward, back or lateral of the strike indicator was cause to set the hook. Generally, it's a fish only 1 out of 10 tries, but on that 10th, watch out!

Minutes into our float, I tied into a beautiful 20-inch rainbow. To hear that reel sing out as the fish boiled for deep water was unforgettable.

So the day went. Rob continued to teach and guide and we did our best to learn and catch. There are few days in my memory that combined that level of excitement, great weather beautiful scenery and fun people.

A word to the wise. Before you die, you have to take a ride down the Green with Rob Clark. My thanks to him, Western Rivers Flyfishers, and UTAH FISHING magazine.


Copyright Dave Webb, 2005