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Bear Basin Adventures Redux

Photo by Pat Lang

Once in a while, we all make mistakes. I make a lot of them. And I made one in the summer issue of TROUT. My friends Heath and Sarah Woltman kindly allowed me to use a photo taken by Pat Lang for a short piece in the Pocket Water section. I neglected to credit Pat with that photo. It’s too good a photo not to credit. Here are both the photo and the words, with due credit to Pat – and the Woltmans.

Heath and Sarah Woltman are the real deal. He’s cowboy, she’s Australian and they run Bear Basin Adventures, near Dubois, Wyo. Ever been there? I thought not. It’s just north of Lander, on east side of the Wind River Range. And they know that range like you know your back yard, because it is literally their back yard.

The Wind Rivers are wild. Perhaps this is why the Woltmans and I love them so. This is hard country – not big rivers with big lodges and pillow top mattresses. This is country the way God made it – the backbone of the continent. It’s horseback country, where you saddle up in the morning with a cook tent breakfast of real food and cowboy coffee before you hit the trail. It smells like pine needles and wood smoke and saddle leather and horses. And it feels like no place else on earth. It feels like an adventure just to be alive here – because it is.

And the fishing…oh my gosh, the fishing…Yellowstone cutthroats, rainbows, brook trout, even grayling. You can fish flat water, little blue line streams, glacial rivers the color of skim milk…all day and you will almost certainly never see another angler. You will, however, see bighorn sheep, moose, elk, mule deer and maybe even a grizzly bear or a wolf. You may see petroglyphs so old we don’t even know who made them. It’s big country, and you will feel both humble and fortunate to be here with Heath and Sarah.

They’re top hands in the backcountry, these folks. They’ll put you on a horse who will become your friend. They’ll feed you like you’ve never been fed before. And they’ll share with you the most magical country on earth – the Wind River backcountry. Like I said, they are the real deal.

Bear Basin Adventures (O,G)                     

Heath and Sarah Woltman

PO BOX 1517
Fort Washakie, WY 82514
Phone: 307 349 4630 or 307 840 3579 (cell)

By Walt Gasson.