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Posted By shefisher

Emmett Ol Yeller 7 The big, soft-spoken man sits at his accustomed spot behind the counter. He alternately works on flyshop business at the computer he helped program, turning to answer fishing questions, direct folks to the best spots on the river, or lean back and reminisce with a long-time buddy over some memorable river moment. Whether it's old rivals or young buck guides that wander through, the banter and teasing flow easily back and forth. A constant teaser, his psuedo-combative humor is merely a facade for a teddy-bear. Often, an enigmatic smile hints at secrets only the venerated river veteran can know.

Emmett Heath Tiger Woods Mark O'MearaEmmett Heath, long ago dubbed the "Dean of the Green," has rowed, explored and fished this river and the Flaming Gorge area since long before there ever was a dam and reservoir. As a boy, he and his father drove hundreds of miles on dirt roads to get here from their home near Salt Lake City. When a young man, Emmett and his buddies named nearly every run, hole and canyon feature along the well-known 16 miles below the dam, names that live on in every map and guide's narrative. He later was the most sought after flyfishing guide, readily recognized in one of his brightly painted Ol' Yeller drift boats. Only #7 remains his, parked in front of his unassuming Dutch John home. Some of his past clients are still readily recognized.

Last year, back on my Arkansas River in Colorado, the river was swollen but times were lean when I got a call. Denny Breer, the name most lately associated with flyfishing the Green River, made me a job offer that, ultimately, I could not refuse. That's what brought me to this river that June. There was much to love here: gorgeous river canyon, amazing fishing, opportunities to float fish, abundant wildlife, and people who welcomed me into their worklife fold and their hearts. Even with the tragic loss of Denny in an accident at his home in October, I could not help but return this year.

Emmett Heath One big reason to return was Emmett Heath. Every day with him is rich with river lore, area history, and flyfishing knowledge. Oh, and the good-natured teasing. And his tolerance of this often spacey blonde. The heart in his body is not his own (he had a heart transplant 10 years ago, a story in itself), yet he is the heart and spirit of the Green River. He and the river are one. So, as we bid adieu to the Green River tomorrow, we also say "au revoir" to ours and the river's great friend, Emmett Heath. See you both again in August.

Posted By shefisher

Fish. Canyons. River. Reservoir. Birds. Animals, Wildfire. History. Romance.

Flowers. Now it's flowers. Wetlands, grasslands, desert bluffs. All have colorful blooms. The cactus blooms will soon be followed by forest floor wildflowers. Birds, butterflies and bumblebees fly and flitter and buzz among the blossoms. Yellow, white, blue, red, orange, purple. A graceful touch of color in a world of rocks and water.


white flowers  Yellow flowers
 Barrel Cactus Bloom  cacuts bloom
 Indian Paintbrush  Blue and white flowers
Flowers Bumblebee in Flowers

Posted By shefisher

One of the many pleasures of the last few weeks here in Dutch John has been to meet people who visit here from my homestate of Colorado. Even better has been those few visits from some Colorado friends.

3 friends The most recent visit was 2 fishing ladies from Grand Junction. I met Nancy B. several years ago when she lived in Steamboat Springs. On one weekend trip to Wyoming we fished in an area with the unlikely name of Hog Park. It was such a memorable outing that we've stayed friends ever since. Nancy recently came with her friend Phyllis for a guided trip on the Green River. Phyllis is a mighty force in a tiny package. I dare you to keep up with her. And she is a flyfishing maniac.

Antelope Aqua Daisy These two had one of the most perfect days on the Green that I've ever heard of. They not only caught fish all day, they saw the bighorn sheep and a river otter. The day's review led to talking about all the pronghorn here. The question came up of what are young pronghorn called? At the time, none of us could come up with "fawn." Phyllis promptly pronounced them "pronglings." So pronglings they are.

 (Thanks to Aqua Daisy at for the antelope photo.)

Posted By shefisher

Floating the Green River is an experience that is probably impossible to describe, especially to someone who has never been here. The drift boat glides on glassy green water. Hundreds of rainbow and brown trout swim below in a natural aquarium. Rock walls  that are intensely red  alternate with grassy and treed terraces, all reaching hundreds of feet on each side of the liquid channel. On this one day, recent clouds and rain give way to warm sunshine and blue skies.

Our capable and congenial guide Josh, also from Colorado by the way, navigates both the boat and our fishing. He is respectful of our fishing experience while still teaching us so much about the techniques for fishing this particular water. He doubled as chef by grilling our lunch in the welcome shade of the trees on a quiet pullout called Marry Me Beach.

This was a well-chosen splurge, rewarded with the pleasure of a special day shared, a visual feast of scenic beauty, and many beautiful rainbows and browns caught.

Pictures may better tell the rest of the story. The guides were guided, and we definitely enjoyed a day on the other side of the coin.


Green River View  Heron
Fish On  CN Brown
Boat on beach  Green River Guide




Posted By shefisher

Red Canyon UT view Head south and west out of Dutch John through thickly pined and aspen forests. Keep an eye out for deer, elk and the occasional moose. Take the right-hand turn to Red Canyon. Towering Ponderosa pines rule over flat expanses of grass and wildflowers. Two small lakes offer pastoral respite. At the end of the road, park the car and walk a manicured path past woodpecker-punctured pine trunks, lichen-covered red rocks, sagebrush and cactus. But take care to look ahead, because suddenly the earth drops away - 1,700 feet away, straight down. Nothing but 4,000 feet of air space between you and the opposite rim. As if that isn't enough, the pathway you are walking is laced with 1,000' vertical fissures. Once you catch your breath, you'll notice the spectacular views.

Red Canyon to River In May of 1825, General William Ashley - politician, fur trader, explorer, and the namesake of this national forest - descended the Green River through Red Canyon seeking a route to the Gulf of Mexico. He kind of missed. But he'd led the way for future explorers, trappers, outlaws, stockmen, and, more lately, recreationists. Probably the most famous explorer was John Wesley Powell, who dubbed this area Flaming Gorge reportedly for the way the sun glowed on the dark red rock canyon walls. Best known in the outlaw category, Butch Cassidy and cohorts frequented Brown's Park, some miles downriver.

Red Canyon is yet another striking feature in these Uintah Mountains, the only east-west mountain range in the continental U.S. The range's north slope forms the Utah section of Flaming Gorge with its mountains, forests, benches and canyons. Wyoming's desert share is composed of low hills, shale badlands, and dryland shrubs. It's all home to an impressive variety of flora, fauna, and geological display.


Woodpecker holes in tree Woodpecker holes in pine tree trunk.



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