|A playground for chasing trout. Trout won't kick your shins.|
I contacted Gary Thompson at the Fly Shop of the Big Horns in Sheridan, WY. He put me in touch with Rock Creek Anglers for their professional guide services. After discussing my goals for the trip, Gary’s suggestion was to spend my Friday on a float trip down the Big Horn River from Fort Smith. With any luck, there’d be a decent trico hatch and plenty of opportunities for tossing dry flies. His suggestion for Saturday was to wade Piney Creek downstream of Lake DeSmet between Sheridan and Buffalo in Wyoming. This would be “private water,” since it’s located on private property. Unlike Montana, Wyoming does not have stream access laws that allow angler access to moving water on private property without landowner permission.
I hastily packed my gear Thursday afternoon following a full day of work. Actually, the word I should be using instead of “hastily” is “recklessly.” You’ll understand shortly. My wife shuttled me the 90 minutes (each way) to the MSP airport. I soon settled in for a pre-flight double bourbon and relaxed for the trip into Billings, Montana. I arrived 17 seconds too late to grab a steak at the restaurant I targeted near my Billings hotel. The young lady literally locked the door in my face as I reached for the handle. Montana hospitality ain’t what it used to be…
I spent a free night at a budget hotel near I-90, courtesy of some hotel points I’d earned in my travels for work. After a 5 hour nap, I started tossing the day’s gear from the hardsided suitcase into a duffel bag. Boots, dry bag, buff, folded waders in a stuff sack… wait. What the %@# was that? When I tossed the waders across the bed, something lavender-colored fell out of the stuff sack. Hmm. That looks like the pair of my daughter’s socks that my wife borrowed when she tried on and purchased her waders. (Insert long, painful pause here.)