Henderson Springs – Big Bend, CA

A rainbow from Henderson Springs, maybe over 6 pounds. The largest trout I had ever caught.

My good friend, Bill Bergan, had arranged a trip with six of his clients to fish Henderson Springs as a “thank you” for their business. One of his clients cancelled, and Bill offered me the vacated spot. I didn’t want to intrude on Bill’s business development weekend, and the four-day trip was the weekend before Thanksgiving. It all seemed to come together so quickly that I was slightly antsy about what I was getting into with a bunch of business guys I didn’t know in a place I had never been. Bill must have sensed that I needed more reassurance, and he affirmed that it would be a great trip. With some apprehension, and after consultation with my wife, I graciously accepted.

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Great Basin National Park – Wheeler Peak

An early September snow storm dusted the Wheeler cirque on the 1993 camping trip with Doug and Tom. I sure got my money’s worth out of the 1979 Toyota Hi-Lux 4×4, as primitive as it was back then. It was one of the big reasons I decided on my 2018 Tacoma 4×4. 

Before the Great Basin National Park (GBNP) came into existence in 1986 it was simply known as another National Forrest with a privately owned and operated cave complex named after the miner who discovered it, Absalom Lehman, in the mid-1880s. The park lies within the Snake Mountain Range just east of Ely, NV as it runs along the Nevada-Utah border. The U.S. Congress’ creation of the national park brought the caves into the federal fold. While I am thankful the park is protected, it is also true that such status creates a higher level of interest. Thankfully, its remoteness minimizes some of the throngs.

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Cave Lake State Park – Ely, NV

Tom, me, and Doug in front of the Cave Lake boat dock – June 2000.

My brother Neal is responsible for my development as an outdoorsman. I suspect the seeds were planted as a boy growing up in Hooksett, New Hampshire, but someone needed to water them. In my early teens he took me on my first fishing trip to Kingston Canyon south of Austin, Nevada. He gave me a cheap, ultra-light spinning rod, lures, and a canvas creel and set me loose after just a few minutes of instruction. Neal was never long on patience, and he never really offered to teach me the art of fly fishing. In college I bought several books on fly fishing, and after years of dreaming about it I finally taught myself.

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