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Saturday morning, September 23 was cold and overcast. Michael and I decided to take a drive over to Wade Lake  West of $3.00 Bridge. He had spent a warm July day there with Aimee a couple of years back and wanted me to check it out since I had never been there…

Heading towards $3.00 Bridge …

Further West on the road to Wade Lake…

Getting out to stretch and look around…

Wade Lake is down there…

There are some real trophy fish in this as well as nearby Cliff Lake but we didn’t come to fish and were the only people there on this day…

Nope, nothing rising…

A dock for launching watercraft…

It was a little frosty across the lake…

Heading back out towards $3.00 Bridge…

Big sky in Montana…

Look South on the Madison River from &3.00 Bridge…

A close up view upriver, on the Madison…

Quake Lake on the way to the Madison River between the lakes…looks like we may get some sunshine…

The Madison between Hebgen and Quake Lakes…yay sunshine !!!

The Madison towards Quake Lake…

A perched Osprey who was fishing the same water as we were…

The Osprey was checking out this stretch of river and could care less about out presence…

Another perspective…

Michael works a streamer…

While I roam around and take some additional photos…

The tree without the Osprey…he was fishing...:-)

Two “Old Loners” on the Madison…

More water that Michael worked his streamer through…Here…

…and Here…

So Michael catches a Whitefish…

…and gets his left arm soaking wet in the process…

We pack up and head back downriver to $3.oo Bridge…

…and see this fellow where all the scree and talus is located in the photo above…

Arriving back a the starting point above $3.00 Bridge in the late afternoon…

Michael wants to give my Winston BIIIX Super 10′, 5wt. a workout…

Going for it…

Well now…a skinny Rainbow…

My turn…

Then this guy…

On a #20 Shop Vac…the thread version on the left…

From this spot…

Throwin’ some shade on that guy…

$3.00 Bridge at sunset…

Looking West at sunset…

Last guys in the parking lot…as usual…

End of a good day !!!

 

NEXT: Last day on the Madison…

 

 

PT/TB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Another day of stop and go traffic in Yellowstone National Park again. And yes, it snowed again…

My turn to move the overnight accumulation…

Driving in the Park before Madison Junction…

The Madison in an open valley…

The Firehole River before the Falls…

More Firehole…

It was moving rather swiftly…

Back at Biscuit Basin on the Firehole to try out some more soft hackle patterns and midges…It was very cold…

Staying in the car and having second thoughts…

A few more quick photos…

The wooden bridge at Biscuit Basin…

Trekking down the Firehole as the sun momentarily appears…

I think I will start here…

Michael down stream on the Firehole…

Looking upstream from my position…

Michael working around a deadfall…

PT swinging a soft hackle…

A view of PT from Michael’s perspective…

Casting towards the bank, quartering downstream…

Michael brings me a bug and asks for identification. This is a Nectopsyche ( White Miller Caddis) that was drifting, spent in the meniscusBelow, are two patterns that imitate this caddis. Not enough wren in the drift to warrant their use…

FIREHOLE FLOSS NECTOPSYCHE # 16…

NECTOPSYCHE SHUCK EMERGER #16…

PT plugging away…

A small reward…

Michael says, “What???”….

Even though a lot of the snow had melted, I was freezing. So, I went back to the car to warm my hands and watch Michael fish a midge up stream…

Closer…

…and almost done…time for a late lunch !

….back to the Old Faithful Lodge

a brat in a bun…

Moo shot, in waders on the front steps…

After lunch, Buffalo time on the Firehole…

No Michael, I won’t pet him…

So we decided to stop at a bunch of places along the Firehole and Madison before heading back to West Yellowstone for dinner…the opportunities are endless…

more on the Firehole…

Driving in Yellowstone National Park includes a traffic jam anytime there is an animal walking along the road…

Micheal tries another spot on the Firehole…

Working the riffles…

A small Rainbow on a Midge…

A large valley where the Madison River runs…further to the left…near Harleqin Lake…

Elk in the meadow…

YES !!!

A nice stretch of the Madison in the Park…

Michael working it again…

A small Brown reward…

A very pretty place…

One last look…

Then on to West Yellowstone…I told Michael I wanted Chinese food and he said, “Follow the Chinese Tour Buses !!!”…So, we did…

Park One, West Yellowstone, MT… 

Three tour buses parked outside…

Looking good…

 I like the one’s with all the chili peppers to the side…

Hot and Sour Soup with Chili Oil…

Good stuff…after a cold day of fishing…

 

NEXT: Between the lakes again and something larger at $3.00 Bridge

 

 

PT/TB

Ally asked me to come with her, Hero and Nick, up to Bishop for a weekend of fishing Nov. 3-5…and, “Oh yeah Dad, bring some soft hackles and Seal Buggers !”… 🙂

Red Hill (cinder cone) at Little Lake, CA signaling the entry into the Owens Valley and Eastern Sierras on Hwy. 395…North

Mt. Whitney from the Eastern Sierra Visitor Center in Lone Pine, CA

The center offers campfire permits, maps, information and some very interesting reading material. I have been coming here since the early 80’s when the building was to the right of this location and a lot smaller…

…more

and more…

So, when we arrived in Bishop, Nick and Ally went to pick out a primitive campsite for their stay. I went to the Vagabond Inn because they have nice soft beds, heat,  a shower and TV so I could watch the Miami / Va. Tech game on Saturday night…

After I checked in, we headed up to North Lake above Bishop to try out some soft hackles…it was cold and windy…Ally watches Nick fishing…

The leaves were almost gone from most of the trees in the area…

Nick caught a couple of small-ish Browns…

…on this soft hackle pattern which has been my top producer in the high elevation lakes in the Easter Sierras over the past three years…

With the wind starting to blow a lot harder, we decided to take a jaunt down the mountain and visit the Lower Owens River below 5 Bridges an area I haven’t been to in quite awhile because of the drought here in California…I knew the flows were too high for wading and fly fishing (541cfs. that day)…

This photo was taken in 2002…

This is the same spot in 2017…The spot was filled with brush and there had been a die-off of the trees on the opposite bank…

I used to drive my rig in here and park on the left next to the extended tree branch…There is now a deep gully between where I am standing, taking this photo and Ally and Hero near the bank of the Owens…

… in fact, just to the right of where Ally is standing , this large tree once stood. It is gone…

…Nick and I standing where brush did not exist a few years ago…

I used to park just under the branch that extends off the right of this tree in the past…

 

This is looking upstream from that spot…The entire area on the near side of the bank is completely overgrown…

This is another location, just upstream of where I used to park my vehicle…looking towards the White Mountains…

…and back towards the Sierras at sunset…

I have taken a lot of nice Trout out of the bend section just upriver…

This run is very deep at this spot…and shallows out to riffle water just below the trees in the distance…

I took this Brown out of there  when the flows were much lower awhile back…

I will return when the flows decrease…

Saturday morning, it was off to Schat’s Bakery before going up to Pleasant Valley Reservoir

Trudging along the Owens River where it runs just above PVR…it is a great place to fly fish when the flows are lower…

This is the spot we chose to toss our flies…

Ally, Hero and Beer-O…

Looking South…Some folks next to us took a few small Rainbows on PB, Mice Tails and Inflatable Worms…for us – nada…

…so we trudged back to the vehicle…

…and decided to go back up the mountain and try Intake II on Bishop Creek

…a small Brownie on a PP&P…and I am wearing gloves because it is cold and very windy…

…a view of a portion of Intake II…

…another Brown…we stayed for about two hours until our hands and fingers did not work anymore. Nick and Ally decided to also get a room at the Vagabond Inn because of the wind and cold…

Something unusual from the doorway of my motel room… at sunset…

This place had been closed for a number of years and had recently reopened…

…back in the day their food was probably among the best served in Bishop…they need to come up to that standard again…

Sunday morning at Jack’s Waffle Shop

Ally…

back at Intake II…

I found a sweet spot in the center of the pond ,over a weed bed and caught about 25 small Browns and one Rainbow in two hours…using the PP&P…

Finny Rainbow…

Hero keeps an eye out for Nick’s catches…

…of which there were quite a few…

Around mid-day we packed up and headed back to LA…stopping at a few sand traps around Lone Pine to toss some flies…Here at Georges Creek…

and Lone Pine Creek…

Reverse side of Red Hill and out of the Owens Valley…

 

NEXT: Back to the Firehole and Madison Rivers in Yellowstone National Park

 

 

PT/TB 

 

 

 

 

 

After a day of pushing myself to the limit and getting sick, Michael and I decided to take the day off (Thursday, September 28th, 2017) and cruise down the Gallatin River on our way to Bozeman, Montana, to do some exploring…

Good idea since we woke up to more snow…at West Fork…

Heading South along the Madison River… just past the Slide Inn…

This map indicates the route over to the Gallatin River from the Madison River Valley…287 to 191 North…

Lots of snow along the upper section of Hwy. 191…

Upper Gallatin River looking South, back towards Yellowstone National Park..

Upper Gallatin River looking North towards Bozeman, MT…This is a great overview of the Gallatin River

A big open meadow where the Gallatin is more like a spring creek than a big river which it becomes down in the canyon…this is looking down river…

…and a view up river…

Michael and I stopped here to digest some informative signage and take photos…

Read… 🙂

…and this as well…

Yes it was cold. Michael and I saw only 3 or four anglers on the entire stretch of the river. Most of them were closer to Bozeman…

…moving right along…

We made a stop here and wished there wasn’t so much white stuff swirling around in the cold wind…The path appeared trodden but no one was working the water…

The opposite direction, down stream…

…a closer look… .1

and .2

Just a short distance off the highway…

Gallatin River Guides Fly Shop in Big Sky, Montana…We always check out fly shops I have been here a number of times on my last few trips up to Montana…

This place…

Michael liked the drift boat…

Some of the locals that fish in Montana…(This photo was on the wall in the shop. It was taken near Lolo, MT in the 1890’s)…* note the guys with the 45-70’s for bears…

I have no idea what this stuff is used for…

So I picked up another one of these – FOLSTAF to use. I will give my other one to Michael (R) since his Simms wading staff has been recalled …again…

Something in almost Mini Moo size for my Grandson perhaps ?

I always try and buy local rather than order something I have not been able to put my hands on…

Back on the road along the Gallatin River…

Closer to Bozeman…

Last view before the river wander off into flatlands near Bozeman…

The Family Fly Shop in Bozeman, MT

I had contacted Joe Mathias of Firehole Outdoors about picking up some of his hooks while I was in Bozeman. He told me to visit this shop and that he would be dropping off some new hooks for me to take a look at… I picked up a few…

Matt Rosenthal owns the shop and he has a lot of other interesting things that one can find there…

More…

Michael and I made our way down Main Street in Bozeman to explore some places and we found this place…VARGO’S JAZZ CITY and BOOKS. 

This place has just about everything. It reminds me of a bookstore I used to into in Beverly Hills, CA when I was a kid. If you are looking for out of print fly fishing books, this is the place…Michel had his mind blown by the architectural book he found therein (above)…

…and I found this book with the plastic, spiral binding intact …

…and the first few yellow pages inside which were lost from my copy…We could have stayed there all day…

But onward to my all-time favorite vintage ( not big box) outdoor storeSchnee’s / Powderhorn

This is another store I could get lost in, for a very long time…Michael started looking at the backcountry cooking books…

…and a hat for his wife, Aimee…then he tried on a bunch of Filson jackets. I had to pull him out of the store…

..The down the street to The Last Wind-Up to look at some vintage watches…

On to HEAD WEST to look at more hats and maybe a hatband for ALLY…

Nope no hatbands for Ally…

Now he wants a Taco and I tell him to wait for dinner…TACO DEL SOL

Michael calls his skateboarding buddy he hasn’t seen in a few years… so we head over to Redbrain Medis,, next to the Bozeman Brewery so he can visit…I have a Coke…

The buds…

Michael wants to spend some time at the Food Co-Op in Bozeman to see what they offer compared to where he lives…

Interesting…

Grain goodies…

This is not like my market…

Have to get some of this…

If I was still drinking (there still would not be enough)…

Healthy stuff…

Yummys…

We got a few items and checked out. The place was filled with young Montana State students…

So I get Michael on the web, by IPhone, to find a good place to EAT…THE OPEN RANGEScore !!!

Menu…which changes each week…

We entered though the back door past this…

Into the lower dining/bar area…

To the elevated dining area…

Michael ponders…

Orders something I have never heard of that will put one under the table…

The “Wall of Dogs” stare down on us…

I order a Caesar Salad for us to split…

Then a 10oz, Culotte for the main course, while Michael has the Cast Iron Chicken…Mmmmmmm

No room for any of these…

One last look at where these wonderful dishes are made…

Back on the road to West Fork, from Bozeman, as the sun sinks in the West…

Almost in Ennis, Montana as it gets dark…

 

NEXT: An intermission with Ally, Nick and HERO…up to Bishop,CA for a November weekend...then more MONTANA

 

 

PT/TB

 

So I am watching a little college football this Saturday afternoon and I get a text with photos from my son Michael who is out fishing on the Upper Delaware River today…

He catches these two Rainbow Trout…

 

On the pheasant tail version of Rowan Nyman’s SHOP VAC fly pattern that we used so successfully on the Madison River, in Montana, in September…

This fly…

That I tie in a thread version (L) and a PT Version (R)…

Looks like I need to tie some more up. Ally wants me to go up tp Bishop, to fish the Lower Owens River, this coming weekend... 🙂

 

NEXT: More MONTANA travels…

 

 

PT/TB

 

The weather appeared to be clear, but cold, when we left West Fork Cabins on the morning of Wednesday, September 20th.

The sun beginning to show in the East…

We headed down Hwy 287 North to Ennis, Montana, a distance of about 35 miles…

The sun coming up over Sphinx Mountain in the Madison River Valley…

This is one of the prettiest early morning drives I can think of…

Almost to Ennis and noticing some dark clouds off to the left…

One has two choices for a hearty breakfast in Ennis, Montana…The Ennis Cafe

…or Yesterdays at the Ennis Pharmacy

Michael likes Yesterdays…and Tobasco Sauce…

So do I…and one can wear their waders to breakfast…

The Indian Fry Bread is to die for…

The Old Fashion Root Beer is good with lunch…

We are planning on fishing the channels section of the Madison River today, which is just South of Ennis at Valley Garden Campground…

I have been coming to this location on the Madison River since 1975. I is best fished in the Spring and Fall. Here are Michael and Ally getting prepared for an afternoon in the channels section back in 2001…

The clouds are looking a bit more ominous was we make a turn towards Jeffers…

It started snowing, blowing and freezing the moment we started rigging up at the campground. By the time we got to the river’s edge, the wind was blowing sideways at 45mph…

This is not what I had expected…

The bottom in this section is loaded with rock about the size of bowling balls. They are slick and slippery and I had left my Folstaf wading staff back at the cabin…trouble ahead…

I am really having difficulty wading and Michael has to give me assistance…

Michael is also having problems casting in these gale force winds, using a streamer…I have to sit down on one of these small islands and take a long break. I am really cold and having problems with my hands…

This is looking downstream towards Ennis Lake…

I have to wade back over to that bank to egress the river…

Michael casting his streamer…

It’s just not working for either of us today. We are the only ones out on the water and the wind, weather and wading conditions are making it impossible to effectively fish…

We decide to pack it in and head back up to $3.00 Bridge…

After about an hour of unproductive fishing, I am. starting to really get sick. My entire body is shaking uncontrollably…I tell Michael that I need to get back to the cabin and warm up as quickly as possible…

So we head back to West Fork. Later in the afternoon, Michael had to drive up to West Yellowstone to pick up some medicine for me along with some tea and other liquids. I was in bed trying to get warm and still having bouts with shaking. This was one of the worst days I have ever had fly fishing…

 

NEXT: Taking a break…visiting the Gallatin River and goofing off in Bozeman, Montana…

 

PT/TB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I have been asked to proudly spread the word that I am one of 245 fly fishers from throughout North America who have provided pro bono energies and original writings and images for America’s Favorite Flies: a 656-page, 1,700-image, 7 ½-pound amazing book that will be released on November 15, 2017. The 245 of us include notables such as President Jimmy Carter, Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, and writer Tom McGuane; fly fishing icons such as Dave Whitlock, Lefty Kreh, and Joan Wulff; and diverse others such as former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker, writer/artist James Prosek, and GWAR lead singer Michael Bishop…

None of us – including the authors and editors and designers – is getting paid, and that allows for 100% of the book’s profits to go to two organizations that help make waters and fisheries healthier: the James River Association and the Native Fish Society.

Read about the book and order your copies at www.americasfavoriteflies.com. The book is a great gift for anyone, fly fisher or not…

The Book…

About the book…

The Flies…

The Dust Cover…

Repeat… 🙂

Next: More Montana…

 

 

PT/TB