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Posts Tagged ‘Yellowstone River’

Michael and his wife Aimee traveled to Montana in late July to attend a wedding for Aimee’s BFF at a cabin over by Henry’s Lake in Idaho. What follows are some photos that he sent to me highlighting their trip… 🙂

Arriving at West Fork Cabin Camp

Getting ready…

Walking the bridge…

Maybe down here first…

Heading up to $3.00 Bridge the next morning…

A nice AM Rainbow…

Standing on my rocks…

Another Rainbow to hand…

Aimee, working the drift late in the day…

Michael, just doing what he does…

Then Aimee blows him away…

A different kind of Rainbow…

MOO’S Sunset Rainbow…

Sunset 1, Madison River above $3.00 Bridge…

Some flies that worked for Michael & Aimee…

Sunset 2, Madison River, MT…

Sunset 3, same place… 😜

A visit between the lakes before heading to the Park…

Working a streamer…

In Yellowstone National Park…

Those guys again…

That’s close enough…

Long shot…

The Yellowstone River looking upstream…

Another perspective…

A Westslope Cutthroat…

…on one of ALLO’S POLAR EXPRESS HS CH BUGGERS…

Further downstream on the Yellowstone River…

 

Boulders in the Yellowstone…

Hot pool…for some reason, Michael takes a photo of everyone of these that he has ever encountered…

 

NEXT: Hangin’ at Palouse Falls, Ally & Hero exploring local waters then…Patterns for Chrome…not necessarily in that order…

 

 

PT/TB  

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Parks’ Fly Shop is located in Gardiner, MT, where the Yellowstone River flows North out of the park. I stopped there with Ally in 2001. They have an interesting selection of custom flies which work exceptionally well in the local area and on other waters as well ( try a House and Lot Spider on the Upper Owens or Hot Creek). They have some unique flies which will serve one well and a visit to this charming little town on the North entrance to Yellowstone National Park is well worth the time… Much like Blue Ribbon Flies in West Yellowstone is a fixture, so is Richards Parks shop in Gardiner…

 

Here is a link to their custom flies with a description of pattern components:

Park’s Fly Shop (See Custom Flies 2010)

Wiese’s Turkey Vac

 

 


 

 


 


 

PT/TB


 


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On Thursday, October 13, 1977, the sky was again overcast and there was the threat of more rain or snow.The night before, my Dad and I had decided, over a steak dinner, to travel over to the Yellowstone River to try for some West Slope Cutthroat trout.

After a quick breakfast, we left West Yellowstone at 7:30 AM and drove to Norris, Canyon, then South to Buffalo Ford several miles North of Fishing Bridge. On the way, we passed The Gibbon River which I would not fish on this trip and endless miles of lodge pole pines no longer there as a result of the 1988 fire. As we drove South from Canyon, several herds of buffalo grazed in the Hayden Valley.

Arriving at Buffalo Ford, I rigged my Leonard and remarked to my Dad about the pleasurable effect of being able to fish with no one else present. We were the only people there. At the end of my tippet, I tied on a # 14 Gold Ribbed Hare’s Ear and stepped into the water. Even at this late period in the fall, the Yellowstone’s current was strong.

I fished quartering upstream, using the “high – stick” technique that I had been taught on the Roaring Fork. My body was constantly being pushed down river by the flow. I felt my feet slipping on the gravel bottom as I made an effort to dig in. ” Hey”, my Dad called out as he observed from the bank, you’re moving!” After an hour of this, with no trout to hand, I ambled out of the river and sat with Dad in the grass to rest. ” Why don’t you try that streamer again”, he suggested. I reached into my vest and pulled out the streamer wallet, fingered through its’ pockets and removed a # 6 Bucktail Coachman. This time, I left the wing unclipped – thinking it would make a difference( it didn’t), cut the leader back to 2X and tied it on with a Duncan Loop.

I stepped back into the river and cast out into the current quartering downstream. As the fly swung below me and the line tightened, I twitched the rod tip back and forth and gave the rod a slight pumping action. I retrieved the line back to myself first slow, then fast. It started to rain.

My Dad walked back to the car. Just as he called out to tell me where he was going, I looked down into the water at my slipping feet and noticed, to my amazement, three 16-18 inch trout holding at knee level. I was breaking the current for them. Each time I moved downriver after fishing out my cast, the three trout would slowly fin backwards and remain in position.

After thirty minutes of no fish and with the rain now becoming a steady downfall, I became REALLY frustrated. First, I tried to kick one of my trailing companions in the head. I nearly lost my balance. Then, holding my rod in my left hand, I leaned over with my nose almost touching the water’s surface and tried to grab one of the trout. I succeeded in getting soaking wet. By now, my Father had returned to stream side and was watching my antics.

I heard him call out to me, “Hey, I think you ARE losing it son…Let’s go!”

It was 3:00 PM. The wind was blowing gale force and the rain was coming down sideways. Once again, I was frozen. I stomped up to the bank, heaved myself into the grass, got up and went back to the car. I was muttering under my breath, ripping off my waders and drenched clothing. We drove on to the Old Faithful Lodge, where next to the fireplace, over B&B’s and water my Dad tried, but could not keep a straight face.

I was to hear, for many years to come, a recounting of my first experience on the Yellowstone River….

This story continues here:
4. South to Bridgeport

PT/TB

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There are five stories that make up this trip with my Father. When I started this BLOG, I never connected them. Links are now placed to the following story at the bottom of each story…1.3.10

It was early October 1977. The guys I worked with knew I needed a vacation. I asked my Dad to accompany me on this ten-day trip. He had given me the impression, through the years, that he was familiar with fly-fishing and had, at sometime, actually done it. My experiences with him were limited to the streams in the Owens Valley although, when my brother Greg and I were about eleven, we had taken a trip with him to Great Falls, MT. to deliver a “pink” Cadillac El Dorado to a female friend who wanted him to drive her and her new car to Denver.

opa-lp-1974

My Dad ( Actor – Jess Barker )in the Owens Valley fronting the Sierra Nevada Mountains near Lone Pine,CA… 1973…

On that road trip, we had fished in Yellowstone Lake off a Chris Craft Cruiser for cutthroat and lake trout. I remember when we went ashore on a small island; I took a spinning outfit and attached a gob of night crawlers to the treble hook on a Mepps spinner. My Dad told me emphatically, “You’re not going to catch a damn thing!” Hmmm…I knew better and within a half hour I had eight good-sized cutts stringered and lying on the beach.

I picked my Dad up a 6am and headed up the 14 freeway out of the San Fernando Valley towards Bishop, CA., We had breakfast at Jack’s Waffle House around 10:30. As we pulled out of the parking lot, my Dad asked me to stop at a liquor store so he could make a purchase. Well, when he got back in the car, he had a fifth of Cutty and a fifth of Cognac – untreated Alanon meter spikes to ten. Immediately, I envision that it is going to be THAT kind of a trip.

We got as far as Fallon, NV when Dad asked ME if I wanted a beer. “ Not really”, I responded. “ Well I do”, he shot back. So I pull into this dumpy little tavern with tumbleweeds blowing through the parking lot. Now I have a vision of “Bad Day at Black Rock” in my head. We stayed for his two and made for Battle Mountain. A replay occurred in Battle Mountain, Elko, Wells and almost in Jackpot. When Dad repeated the mantra as we approached Jackpot on the Idaho border, I looked over at him and said, “ If there was an ejection button on this console between my seats I would be jumping up and down on it RIGHT NOW! This is a fly fishing trip, not one of my ATO trips (of which I did many while attending Auburn) to Panama City!”

With that, we rode in silence to Idaho Falls where we spent the night.

The next morning was overcast, cold and drizzling. I made my way up through Ashton, Island Park and into West Yellowstone. We arrived around noon, checked into a motel/cabin and I went to a local shop to buy some waders and to ask for fly suggestions. My Dad went elsewhere.

We had a great prime rib dinner at a restaurant next to a pub where my Dad had spent the majority of the afternoon and early evening. The next morning was crisp and cold. I wanted to fish the Firehole River in the Park so we paralleled the Madison and following the road to the river. I found a nice parking spot just off the road next to the Firehole. I started to rig my rod and was prepared to set one up for Dad. As I came around to the passenger side of the car, I noticed my Dad had the fifth of cognac between his legs and was reading the Wall Street Journal (he did not own any stocks).” Hey Dad, I said, which rod do you want to use.” It was at this moment that he chose to tell me that he had never fly fished in his life and did not intend to do so now. “ Great, I exclaimed, so what do you want to do? “ “Well, replied my father, I’m going to sit in the car, read my paper and watch you fish and when it gets cold I’ll turn on the heater – so leave the keys!”

Fuming, I slid into the water and began casting the Leonard with a #22 yellow mayfly imitation upstream…

This story continues here:

1. The Arrangment
2.The Big Freeze

4. On Being an Obstruction

5. South to Bridgeport

PT/TB


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