With Christmas just around the corner, I figured it was time to get my act together and share a few pictures from my Thanksgiving trip up on the Grey Reef. A few months back, Danny Frank, founder of DeltaTroutForce.com reached out and said that he and his roomate Cooper were planning a trip over Thanksgiving. Knowing that Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday were often an online marketer's busiest times of the year, I respectfully declined and prepared for the influx of customers ahead. Fast forward about a month, we were all sitting around a table here at Trouts Fly Fishing and Tucker let everyone know that we would be closed Thursday and Friday, and to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday. I recall sitting in my chair at my desk thinking, "I have Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday off.... All I need is Saturday and I could go on my first destination fly fishing trip!"
After getting the thumbs up from my beautiful wife, I asked for Small Business Saturday off and plans were set to hit the North Platte outside of Casper, Wyoming. On Wednesday 11/26, Cooper and I met Danny at Fishpond and we quickly headed North on I-25 to Alcova, WY for the weekend. Around 9:00 pm, we pulled into an empty parking lot at the Inn at Sloanes. After unloading the truck we sat around the small kitchen table and rigged all of our rods for Thanksigiving Day on the Grey Reef.
Thursday morning we all woke up excited to get the boat in the water and start fly fishing. After scarfing down some Thomas bagels, we loaded up the truck and drove over to the boat ramp. At 8:30 on Thanksgiving morning, there wasn't another person in sight, we had the river to ourselves! Most fly shops are typically closed on Thanksgiving day, but with a little ingenuity Danny found us a shuttle on the Casper, Wyoming Craigslist site and had everything lined up for 9:00 am at Lusbee. Danny jumped into the truck and shuttled his truck down, while Cooper and I prepared the raft for the day. After a few minutes, we had everything ready and decided to begin fishing around the dam. Within no time at all, Cooper and I both hooked up right around the boat ramp and started our days off with a few fish in the net. About 45 minutes later Danny showed back up and we pushed off.
On Thursday, we ended up bringing about 30-40 fish to the net mostly on various nymph rigs. Cooper and Danny both brought 2 fish to the net on streamers. Our Thanksgiving dinner consisted of a chicken pot pie, green beans, stuffing and fresh biscuits.
Before I jumped on-board, Danny and Cooper, had booked a trip on the Mile with a local guide so I had the day to myself. After doing a little research, I found the Wyoming Anglers website and noticed their winter special now through spring of 2015, $100 off full day and $50 off half day trips. A few days before we left Denver, I went ahead and booked a full day trip floating the Grey Reef with Luke Kiel, owner of Wyoming Anglers. Luke picked me up at Sloanes and once again we pulled up to the boat ramp with not another person in sight. The fishing was phenomenal on Friday, after landing 15+ fish I stopped counting and Luke continuously provided tips and tricks throughout my entire day on the water. My biggest lesson of the day, was to make sure you set 100% by pulling back completely on the rod. Needless to say, it could have easily been a 40+ fish day if I followed through with every set.
Saturday and Sunday the weather rolled in! With 30-55 mph gusts, we spent most of the day rowing keeping the boat sideways using the wind to push us down to the boat ramp at Lusbee. Sunday morning we awoke to fresh snow on the ground at Sloanes and decided to fish for about an hour or two and hit the road.
Photo Credit: Danny Frank - DeltaTroutForce.com
Trips to the Grey Reef are always a blast. If your interested in looking for a guide or putting a DIY trip together, stop by Trouts Fly Fishing for the full scoop.