I've been hearing about Katy's cousin who guides the Green River for many years, but I haven't had the opportunity to meet him until a few months ago when we saw him at the Wasatch Fly Tying Expo. Scott Barrus is the owner and operator of Spinner Fall Guide Service based out of Dutch John, Utah. Sam's wife had the wonderful idea to surprise him with a trip down the Green for his 25th birthday and I was lucky enough to tag along. Since it was to be a surprise, I was able to choose the date of the float. When June 3rd came closer, and the anticipation was growing into obsessive thought, the threat of high water started to make me worry. I started to feel guilty I unknowingly chose our trip to be in the middle of increased flows. Either way I didn't have to work and all I needed to worry about was fishing; which isn't a bad problem to have.
We met at Trout Creek Flies and in the rush of throwing everything in, I chose my #6 rod with the idea we might be nymphing or throwing streamers due to the high water. As we drove to the put-in I began to have a sinking feeling I chose the wrong rod. The water flow had increased the prior day, but fish were still looking up and pounding Cicadas. Today was thought to be better than yesterday, so subsurface patterns were not necessary. Sam and Craig rode in Scott's boat and I had the pleasure of fishing with Jeremy Rogers. There was no one else in the boat to compete for the front so I felt a bit spoiled to say the least.
We were the first boats on the water. I took the right side while the Fetzer duo fished river left. I had trouble making the fly land where I wanted and loathed my rod choice while longing for my Sage XP #5. No more than 100 yards from the put in I had an eat but my rod exploded rather than the water. My suspicion I chose the wrong rod was confirmed when the butt section dislodged from the other FIVE sections of my Cabela's Stowaway 6 in the middle of setting the hook. This put me on tilt and I felt like a complete ass. I've floated the A-section of the Green a handful of times but never in a drift boat or with a guide. I didn't want to be "one of those clients" but I was soon fitting the script. Jeremy did his best to talk me out of diving to the bottom of the river and hugging a rock. But it took me a few successful hook-ups to let my guard down.
This was a completely new way of fishing for me; I'm used to small streams with impulsive fish. I had trouble understanding the hydrodynamics and how to mend accordingly. But once I started listening to my guide and began to recognize how my fly would react to the current, things started coming together for me. There was a huge difference in bug activity once the sun came out from the clouds and things heated up. Cicadas began diving kamikaze into the water and the fish noticed. It was incredible to see so many fish slamming the water's surface, especially when they broke the surface to eat my offering!
Meanwhile across the river, Sam and Craig were sticking multiple fish in an attempt to catch up with my fish-count. I think I was so busy catching fish, I forgot to take more pictures. Luckily Sam was good enough to share his pictures to help document this spectacular day.
We caught mostly Browns with the occasional Bow. I was impressed by their strength and size. By the end of the day I was happy to have a rod with a fighting butt because my forearms were hammered. The majority of fish were caught along the edges in "the yellow brick road" or in back-eddies. But Jeremy saw an aggressive strike right below the boat while I was fishing upstream . I cast less than 5 feet from the boat and Gordo-McFatty inhaled my fly. It was a memorable fish in a blur of constant catching. I landed 30-40 fish with well over double that in eats. It was a day of fishing debauchery I won't soon forget! Book yourself a trip with Spinner Fall, you won't be disappointed!