Southwest Utah’s Color Country

Sandstone columns overlooking Red Canyon

They say these are the dog days of summer, the hot, sultry time of year between early July and early September.  Here in Las Vegas this is our monsoon season.  As funny as that sounds, there are two periods where Las Vegas receives most of its precipitation: December through March and July through September.  Make no mistake; it’s the July through September period when moist air travels up from the Gulf of Mexico that’s the killer when combined with high temperatures well above 100 degrees.  At those temperatures the rain often evaporates before hitting the ground which contributes to humidity… and thus the “dog days of summer.”

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Beaver River and Mammoth Creek, Utah

Fishing Gear on truck bed, with Beaver River in background

The little seven and one-half foot, four-weight rod I built last year was designed for the small rivers and creeks such as I fished in my younger years. It can easily handle fifteen or sixteen-inch trout, but it can also cast a size eighteen dry fly with the proper delicacy. And ten to twelve inch trout will put a respectable bend in the light rod.

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Mammoth Creek, Garfield Co., Utah

What to photograph when you haven’t caught a thing?

I’m not sure, but I think it has been about twenty years since I last fished Mammoth Creek. I got to know Mammoth when Jim Jones, my former boss and friend, introduced me to the area. The first fifteen years of my fishing pursuits were spent on Beaver Dam Creek, but Mammoth presented an entirely different experience. Beaver, a thin creek with lots of bushy vegetation along its banks, had plentiful numbers of small rainbow trout. Mammoth is a larger stream, perhaps two or three times the flow of Beaver, and it is known for its brown trout. Mammoth has several sections, but the one I fished most often was the meandering meadow section known as the Hatch Ranch Meadow. It was never as bountiful as Beaver, but it had the mystique of holding brown trout of worthy proportions.

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Mammoth Creek, Southwestern Utah

My brother, Neal, fishing Hatch Meadow in 1984.

In 1981 I left public accounting for good to start a new career with EG&G Energy Measurements.  EG&G was a 40-year contractor at the Nevada Test Site, or NTS (now the Nevada National Security Site).  At that time, late into the Cold War era following World War II, the primary mission of the NTS was the testing of the U.S. nuclear weapon stockpile as well as new weapon development, from both weapon physics and weapon effects perspectives. I envisioned this was to be a long-term career change.

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