Shandy shares the day with deserving veterans at Yamsi Ranch...
Last week proved to be one of the most endearing angling experiences I have experienced as of yet. It was my turn to enlist as a volunteer for my local Salem Chapter of Project Healing Waters (https://projecthealingwaters.org/) for their 2019 Yamsi Ranch (yamsiflyfishing.com) Road Trip and I have nothing but accolades and the fondest of memories of our 3 day hit down South. This was my time to give back, my time to feed the angling troops so to speak! 21 Veterans & Volunteers, all fat and happy thanks to the wonderful culinary menu supplied and prepared by Kent Toomb, Trish “Lori” Hogervost and myself!
YAMSI RANCH…there are so many words that come to mind for this property so I’m going to just let it rip…stunning, rugged, squishy, pristine, alive, hot, Technicolor, hawks, bald eagles, squirrels, timber tigers, Streamers, Copper Johns, BWO’s, PMD’s, bovine skeletons, stars, homestead warmth, generational, eras, home-cooked comfort food, bbq, hats, wild horses, cattle, a rooster, sunsets, working horses, a huge pond, a 300 acre lake and an 8 mile river system snaking through the 6,000 acre property that reminds me of a float down some type of Disney ride with crystal clear waters that flow from the headwaters of the Williamson River, home to trophy native Brookies and Bows.
Our hosts John & Jerri Hyde along with Dayton “Fish it” & Shelly Hyde (Brekky chef extraordinaire) is what makes this pristine angling & hunting lodge work…these are the type of hard-working, story-telling, salt of the Earth, successful in love and life, through the ups and downs, type of people that I love to meet in my adventures!!! If walls could talk in this homestead that was constructed in 1928…we’d be reminded to be thankful, to thank those who have served our country and to think of how lucky we are to be welcomed into the Yamsi Ranch family.
Did I mention how easy it is to catch a fish with these two brothers around you, throwing invaluable lessons at you in layman’s terms, dumbing down the issue that you may not have been able to verbalize previously? John has a Federation of Fly Fishing (FFF) casting instructor’s certification and Dayton has a “Certification of One Downing” which you’ll have to visit to find out what it means. These brothers and their families are the stewards of this land, the keepers of their river and I’ll tell you what, they know each and every bend, nook, and cranny in it!
Our wonderful Veterans were soaking in some fairly decent success on the water and you could see during the evening debrief on the veranda amongst the smoke-filled bbq’s that perception did, in fact, equal reality on this very special outing.
If you’re heading South make it a point to visit the Hyde’s down at Yamsi Ranch…you won’t regret it!