Sunday, October 13, 2013

Flaming Gorge

My Wife and I went to Flaming Gorge for the weekend; I was determined to do something awesome for my 40th birthday. My original plan was to go to Yellowstone National park; however since we have a dysfunctional Government I had to change my plans. After looking at other alternatives and knowing I have another trip in couple days I decided to fish the Green river. We stayed at the Flaming Gorge lodge on Saturday with the intention of fishing the river below the damn. The Green is considered one of the Nations, if not the worlds greatest tail waters.

We arrived around 4 pm and checked into our room, we had dinner and took a drive down to the river to give it a thorough once over for the morning. It was about 6 pm when we made it to Little hole and the wind was blowing pretty significantly. With the sun was going down quickly I knew I didn't have enough time to fish so we just headed back to the hotel. The next morning we had breakfast and were on the water at about 9 am and it was a little chilly. We hiked the trail that parallels the river and tried a few holes as we hiked along. The fishing was slow but I did manage a couple.

Other than a sore lip he was released unharmed!

A side view of a very good lookin' fish!

Me, fumbling around tying on some new flies.

This is what happens when the camera is on manual and forget to switch it back to auto. Its a shame because this rainbow was quite beautiful.

Were we started.

Shortly after the two, and only fish we caught. We headed back towards the truck; the wind was absolutely brutal at times. We decided to pack up due to a storm coming into the area. On the way back we took some pictures of the dam.

 There is a trail that leads down to the river and bottom of the dam. Well worth the effort!

Back to the truck and time to head home.

It wasn't my dream birthday weekend, but it was fun none the less!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Just one more visit!

I couldn't help myself I had to visit the High Uintas one more time before the snow starts flying. I even cut some of my pack weight down, allowing me to travel farther and faster. As with my previous post I will list my pack contents and weights. I shaved a little over 4lbs from my pack for a grand total weight of 26lbs 15.4oz.; I hiked a little over 10 miles and did so without taking breaks. This is quite the milestone for me and I believe I can reduce my pack weight a little more each trip. I just have to overcome the "what if" nagging I put myself through each time I load my backpack. The largest weight savings came from leaving my 1lbs 6oz hiking sticks and using disposable water bottles instead of my Nalgene bottles, this saved me 12.8oz. Using the Osprey Kestrel instead of the Osprey Atmos 50 saved me 7.13oz and I left my 6.7oz bottle of bug spray home. My emergency kit has a small travel size bug spray and the bugs aren't a problem this time of year.

Pack Contents:
Osprey Kestrel 3lbs 4.6oz
High Peak Extreme PAK sleeping bag 3lbs 3.6oz
Big Agnes Fly Creek 2 2lbs 10.7oz
Emergency kit 1lbs 14.6oz
Big Agnes Insulated core sleeping pad 1lbs 8.3oz
MSR Mini works water filter 1lbs 1.7oz
Lure box 3.9oz (I cut this down from 14.1oz)
Spinning rod and reel 14.5oz
Jet boil with mess kit 15oz
Bear spray 12oz
Fly rod and reel 12.3oz
Coleman fuel canister 11.3oz
Rice dinner 6oz (smaller amount than last trip 10.1oz)
Fleece pull over 10oz
Base layer shirt 8.5oz
Base layer pants 5.1oz
Spare socks 2.9oz
Underwear 1.3oz
Bio wipes and shovel 8.1oz
Tarp 7.8oz
2 Aquavista 16.9oz plastic bottles 2lbs 4.6oz
Small Fly box 3oz
Large Fly box 5.4oz
50' rope 7.8oz
Head lamp 2.9oz (used my smaller one, left heavier one 4.6oz)
Memory foam sleep pad (protection for inflatable pad) 6.8oz
Rain gear top 6oz
Rain gear bottom 4.4oz
GPS 5.2oz
Tooth brush, paste and soap kit 3.3oz
Silva Ranger compass 2.6oz
Gloves 2.1oz
Watch cap 1.8oz
Sit pad (small piece of foam from a old sleeping mat) 1.7oz

Total weight 26lbs 15.4oz

I was quite delighted with my new pack weight and I couldn't wait to load the car. I pointed the car south and headed for the Crystal Lake trail head. My destination was Island Lake in the Provo river drainage. I made it to the trail head and was on my way at 1 pm; I made it to the first junction at 1:30 pm.


 About ten minutes later I arrived at Long lake.


I arrived at the next trail junction at 2:24pm.

I arrived at Island lake at 2:40pm covering 3.5 miles in 1 hour and 40 minutes.

What a beautiful lake!

A few really nice cliffs and one really large boulder! 


The Island of Island lake. 

Another view of the Island.

Nice 25' drop, from what I have read people like to cliff dive here. It would have to be a really hot day for me to dive into an ice cold 10000ft lake! 

Awesome views!

I fished for a couple hours, but the wind made fly fishing extremely difficult. Unfortunately I did not catch any fish here at all! It was awesome to see fish swimming around when on top of the cliffs though.

Since I didn't do well at Island I decided to hit my old standby, Weir Lake. I was back on the trail at 4:30 and made good time back to Long Lake. Once at Long Lake I headed west towards Long pond and followed the drainage to Weir. I am glad I did! I found a short gorge with several 10' waterfalls; I'll bet it's a sight to behold in early summer during the run off. I may have to start planning a return trip in early June.


First look at Weir lake. 


Wild mountain raspberry. 

Only a couple left!

Last three sets of waterfalls. 

Weir lake.

Now this is an old Shasta Orange soda can, I saw next to the damn at the outlet. I thought about packing it out but since it may have been left by the guys who build the dam I was afraid I would be arrested for removing an artifact for Forest service land. If you think I am crazy call and ask a park ranger what will happen if you take something from a national park, that's drama I can live without! I took only a pictures of the can as it was found.

I took this picture of the setting sun at 7:05 pm and hit the trail soon after. There was intermittent rain drops falling and I wasn't tired, so I bagged the idea of spending the night and packing out a wet tent.


I made it to the car at 8:11 pm, covering the last three miles in about an hour. I hiked just a little over ten miles for the whole trip, even with a nasty bruise on the bottom of my right foot. I had a blast and the last sunset made my trip!