Thursday, October 23, 2014

Flaming Gorge

Click pictures to enlarge....

We left Ditch Creek campground outside of Hill City on Thursday. We had a great couple of days there, had the campground to ourselves, hiked and went fly fishing in Ditch Creek. Although we caught a couple of rainbow trout, the wind was pretty nasty which made it difficult to control the flies.

The morning we departed we woke up to frost on the ground and a thin layer of ice on the puddles. The wind had died down and it was a beautiful morning. After hooking up we headed down the gravel, about two miles down the road we came across a pretty good size tree across the road. No doubt a victim of yesterday’s wind. Luckily, it was broken in enough places that Barb and I were able to drag it off to the edge of the road and continue on our journey.
Any bigger and we would have been in trouble!
Our next destination was going to be Flaming Gorge National Park in the northeast edge of Utah but our goal for the day was to stop outside of Casper Wyoming. As we were driving Barb was on line looking at different places that we could stay, we had decided that we would get through Casper and find a quiet location on some BLM land where we could stay for free for the night. Do you ever get cravings that interfere with reason, logic or other practical thinking? Well, it was one of these cravings that changed our entire plan for the day. Instead of driving through Casper and finding a free spot for the night, we stayed in Casper, paid for a site and had Chinese for dinner! I don’t know if it was our craving or if the food was really that good but we both agreed that it was some of the best Chinese that we had ever had!

Our site at Fort Casper
We ended up staying at the Fort Casper RV Park. At $21.00 for the night (with our Passport America discount) it was pretty reasonable and had full hook ups. Like many of the city RV parks we have stayed at, it seemed like more than ½ of the sites were filled with fulltime tenants. You can often tell someone has been parked there a while when you see permanent skirting and large propane tanks outside their rigs. We took advantage of the full hook ups the next morning; Barb cleaned and vacuumed the rig while I topped off the water. We were on the road by 11:00 on our way to Flaming Gorge.

If you are planning a trip to the northeast part of Utah, you must visit the Flaming Gorge area! It is absolutely beautiful. One of our “must do’s” while in this area was to fish the Green River which is one of the premier trout rivers in the country. Many of the Forest Service campgrounds were closed for the season but we were able to find one that was still open and had sites big enough for our rig. Dripping Springs Campground is just outside of the town of Dutch John and within a couple miles of many of the attractions in this area. Unlike Ditch Creek, we did not have the place to ourselves. In fact, it was a lot busier than we thought it would be for this time of year. It was not real crowded, just busier than we thought it was going to be. Evidently the Green River attracts fly fisherman at all times of the year, that  plus the fact that it was the opening day of deer season made for more people than we were used to.
State signs are sometimes very interesting
A mule deer who was nice enough to pose for a picture

Green River from the overlook....from here I see 7 fisherman

Another view of the Green with only one fisherman in the bottom right

We drove to the area we wanted to fish and saw that it was fairly crowded and decided that we would wait until Monday when the weekend warriors had to go back to work.  Instead we drove around, visited the local fly shop where we picked up the “hot flies” and then visited some of the local attractions around the area. The area around the Flaming Gorge Reservoir is stunning, the water is so clear you can see down 20 or more feet and we could see trout swimming everywhere. There were a number of people fishing and it seemed like most of them had 3-4 nice size trout on their stringers. I talked to a younger fisherman who looked like he was from the area and asked him if he knew of an area that was a little more remote that we could fish. He pointed us to an area down Jug Hollow Road that has pretty good shore fishing and is remote. Barb and I found the road, drove about 5 miles down a gravel road to the reservoir. He was not kidding when he said it was remote! When we got there the only people we saw were two elderly gentleman fishing along the shore and they had 7 nice trout on the stringer. After talking with them and getting the skinny on what they were using we also discovered that this area was BLM Land and that we could also bring our rig down there and stay for free if we want to as well!
Jug Hollow road with the reservoir off in the distance 

Flaming Gorge Dam
The next morning we hooked up the trailer and headed for Jug Hollow! The road down there was fairly decent but you could tell from the ruts in the road that it could get dicey if we got any rain. The forecast for the next two days was good so we found a nice spot right next to the lake and set up. We did not see anyone for the next two days and caught several very nice trout. We took a lot of pictures but like many we take they just don't do the scenery justice. Finally I climbed on top of the rig and took a few which turned out much better. We read, fished and reorganized the belly of the trailer getting rid of two more totes. It was a very peaceful location but Tuesday called for a 40% chance of rain so we thought we better pack up and head out just in case.
No another soul in sight!

View to the north.........

We released most.....

but kept two for the grill!
After setting back up at Dripping Springs we headed to the Green River to try our luck at with the fly rods. As we were arriving an old-timer (we guessed he was in his 70’s) was fishing the river and walking out. We talked to him for a bit and he said “the damn trout have lockjaw!” and that he did not catch a thing. Barb and I fished for several hours, saw numerous trout, put our flies right in front of their noses and by God, the old-timer was right……they just weren’t biting! Regardless, we had a great time and walked some beautiful country. Although we were skunked on this outing, we will be back!
Our site at Dripping Springs
Next stop……Salt Lake City where we will be staying at the Lindon Marina for the months of November and December so we can spend the holidays with the kids!


  1. Nice pics! Who says you can't off-road with 40' of trailer. We have that area on our list of future travels. Keep scouting out the best spots, I'll be using your blog as my travel guide when we finally get out that way.

    1. You will really like this area. Watch the weather forecast if you are planning on boondocking, if your truck is anything like mine, it is horrible in the mud!