Even fly fishing guides take vacations on occasion. Many folks think we vacation all the time, and mostly they are right. It is a true joy earning a living doing what we love, though it is abundantly clear to us that in the fly fishing business very few, if any folks will ever get rich. We live in a beautiful place and spend our work days on some of the most scenic rivers on the planet. But it is nice to get away on occasion to visit other beautiful places and Yosemite is one of our favorites.
Craig spent a good deal of his spare time as a young adult rock climbing, and Yosemite is an international mecca for the sport. It is also a spiritual place for our family and friends as we’ve enjoyed some very meaningful experiences together in the park. Our son, Kevin caught his first fish on a fly in Tuolumne Meadows, a colorful Brook Trout just above Wagon Wheel Falls. We hadn’t visited in a few years and so we took some time off for a family vacation to go camping, hiking, fishing and climbing.
Kevin spent the bulk of his time climbing and hiking on this trip, including his first multiple pitch climbs that provided some significant exposure. Craig hadn’t done much lead climbing recently and hadn’t done a multi-pitch climb in a few years so his fitness and composure were tested as well. The climbs were well known, reasonably well protected climbs in an area that is better known for sparsely protected, run out, bold climbing. We did well, perhaps we climbed a bit slower than usual considering, but we enjoyed memorable passages and spectacular summits. Jerri passed on the climbing, preferring to fish, she has tried climbing in the past and concluded that it is best left for individuals who enjoy the mountain breezes blowing through the holes in their heads.
Jerri and Craig spent a part of most every day fishing the Tuoulumne which ran just by our campsite. We were lucky enough to camp in our best site ever, which is saying something as Craig has visited many times since 1971. Site A50 provided a view of the confluence of the Dana and Lyle Forks of the Tuolumne River, across a meadow with Lembert Dome in the background. One of the most beautiful and productive runs on the river was just a few steps from our site. We enjoyed sipping coffee and reading a book each morning streamside as the sun came up. The fish are all small, a lunker is 10″ but they are some of the most colorful trout you will find anywhere. They are all wild, a mixture of Browns, Rainbows and Brook Trout that take small dry flies readily. Craig cast a new 4/5 weight Bamboo Rod made by Tom Robertson of Cane Loops while Jerri enjoyed a 9′ four weight Sage XP, a family favorite, the rod Kevin caught his first trout on ten years ago. What a terrific treat!