Big Horn Trip November 2015

Trip report from John Martinez

We departed on our trip at 0500 hrs., a brisk morning, on Tuesday, November 3, 2015 heading North to Montana.  We were to meet up with the other groups of Veterans at  Johnson’s Corner,  a Truck Stop well known for their Cinnamon Rolls, near Loveland, Colorado on I25.  We arrived at 0600 hrs. behind the other two groups we were to meet.  The group with Craig, Stan and Larry decided to go on ahead and the rest of us decided to stay for breakfast. We entered the restaurant and flopped down on one of the empty booths while looking around the room and noticing all the lonely truck drivers drinking coffee and eating their first meal of the day.

We all departed the restaurant after finishing our breakfast heading to Big Horn. The group riding with me consisted of  Larry Fivecoats, Barry Silverman and Marco Dominguez.  We arrived at our destination at 1:30 PM.  Checked in, went to our rooms.  At 7:00 PM, we met, for dinner,  with all the other members of the cast.  After a splendid dinner, instruction were given to us for our ventures on the Big Horn Trip. We were all team up for the first day of fly fishing. I was teamed up with Mike Sugar and Daryl Holcomb, as our Guide.

On our first day, the morning was chilly with some drizzle.  The fishing was great, I received great advise from Daryl, a very nice person, well versed.  The drizzling continued and the temperature seem to be dropping as we floated down the river, stopping occasionally.  At some point some of the other members were experiencing cooler moments. My finger tips were very cold and my gloves weren’t helping much, but I wasn’t about to give up this experience for a few cold digits.  I continued to fly fish along with my team mates and we did a great job.  At Dinner, that evening, Gary Becker was very surprised with a well earn award, given to him, for his service with PHWFF, signed by all available personnel.

For our second day, the forecast called for warmer temperature and some sunshine, which didn’t come until the end of our float trip. In the morning the temperature seemed to be a little better than the day before.  We arrived at the river for our second outing and things were going well.  Today, I was  teamed up Jim Sawyer and our Guide was Dan Lowe along with his dog Blue.  As we were floating down the river we made frequent stops at Dan’s favorite fishing holes which were of abundance.  Jim and I were doing  great based on Dan’s expertise as a Guide and familiarity of the river.

We arrived back at the cabin and had dinner at 7:00 PM. At dinner we chatted about our trip and our fish stories. After dinner we said our goodbyes to those that were leaving earlier in the next morning before breakfast was to be served.

Friday morning, we were sadden that our trip had come to an end, but we departed with good memories hoping to return again.

John Martinez


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Trip report from Larry Vaughan 

Wowww, I got to fish the legend! I was asked at the last minute, if I wanted to go – yes, yes, was the reply. Can you handle it? Yes even if it kills me. Every fisherman grows up hearing of the Big Horn trout and dreams of fishing it some day, and thanks to Project Healing Waters the day came!!!!!

From the moment I was picked up by Daryl and Jim, my roomies, to the moment I returned with the gentle giant Brian it was awesome. Fished with Dan the first day — what a man, so patient. And so many big fish! Just 1 of 3 of the most incredible fishing days of my life!  Thank you Dan! The 2nd day with a man I can only describe as a gentle giant Brian [aka Hollywood]. Again, he put both Marco and I on trout: patient and caring, just wanted us on fish – what a man.

From the first day, I mean, we even made a bonfire on the beach to warm up some vets, to some of the biggest trout I have ever seen and landed [thank you]
The weather was cold, rainy, sometimes ugly, but with Dan and Brian it was like a summer picnic with monster trout for dessert.

Then the sad day comes when you have to leave. All I could think about ‘just one more day’. Then out of the blue Dan and Brian asked me to fish with them one more day – yes, yes, yes!
Wow, we went through snowing passes, down to 1 below zero weather, another great day. I didn’t land any but hooked into a few [sorry, I feel like I disappointed them with no fish, I just wanted to make them proud I hope I did]

Highlights- people, huge fish, Dan, Brian, Daryl, Jim, food, Project Healing Waters making this planet a better place to be.
Low lights – these trips with long drives, all need to be 3 days, please.

Thank you all for saving this marine’s life and giving me something to look forward to and dream about,

Thank you ,
Larry Vaughan