Boats

Bring your snorkel

Getting up close and personal with Green River trout

The beauty of being perched on a boat headed downstream is the unique ability to see into the water below.

Each Labor Day, our family and friends like to float Utah’s famous Green River below the Flaming Gorge dam. Often dubbed the “Aquarium,” the crystal-clear waters below the dam are outstanding for seeing massive fish swimming just below the surface. Typically, we get up close and personal with a few of those wild trout with the help of a fly rod and a handful of terrestrial and streamer patterns but this year I wanted to try something different.

After assessing the water and knowing that our children are strong swimmers that are fitted with the proper personal floatation devices we decided to encourage them to see what was below the water.

One of the many river camps has a massive eddy that functions like an aquatic merry go round pushing our kids for hours on end in circles.

Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration.

They typically stay in the water until their lips are blue and numb but somehow quickly forget how cold it is and jump back in minutes later. I’m always looking for unique ways to get our kids involved in the outdoors. Recently, I’ve been doing research for a story on river snorkeling which sparked the interest in giving it a try with our kids.

It didn’t take long to convince them to jump in with a snorkel, goggles, and fins. Within minutes they were transformed into tiny naturalists, bobbing up and down in the eddy reporting back to us all the giant brown trout they were seeing face to face.

“Did you see the size of that fish?”

“What do you think it’s doing?”

“I’m going to try to touch it!”

The excitement couldn’t be contained as they continued until it was time for dinner. While I don’t think we made any friends with the passing anglers we did manage to spark curiosity and wonder in several of the kids within our little river rat crew.

It was worth it.

By Josh Duplechian. 

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