Exploring a creek ~ paying the price!

Last night Michelle and I had dinner with fellow guides Wilson and Ben, his girl friend Stef and good friends Dave and Esperanza at the Lighthouse Restaurant just outside of Gardiner.  It was good to share a great meal and conversation with everyone.  Of course the guys talked fishing and the girls talked everything else, typical, but I think I did hear a little fishing talk amongst them as well.

Anyway, Ben asked me if I was going fishing tomorrow, already knowing the answer.

I said that I was and he asked: "Where?"

I said:  "Somewhere new - where I haven't been before."

"Is Chelle going with you?"

"No, she doesn't like going somewhere I haven't been, she likes to know what she's getting into before committing...."

So, this morning I headed for a West Slope Cutthroat stream I had never fished but know about inside YNP.  I parked my truck geared up with pack, rod and lunch, intending to spend the whole day in there because I knew it would be a tough hike..... Little did I know.........

The plan was to bushwhack across a steep hill and then work my way down to a hidden meadow, then thru a canyon section, then into a second meadow section.  Where I intended to start fishing, working my way back to the truck.

As I started working my way down towards the first meadow I stepped on a hidden rock the size of a baseball rolling my ankle with the sound of knuckles cracking!  I went down in a heap.... I thought for sure I had broke it, no kidding!  I laid there moaning for several seconds and in pain.  Checking my ankle I felt better.  It wasn't broke, I could wiggle my toes, move it and no bones were sticking out or anything...... so maybe I was OK.....  Then it started to rain as I got up and limped around a little, my ankle still hurting like hell.  Maybe I can walk it off.  Hmmmm, maybe I can still make a go of it?

So, like any other fishing nut, I continued to slowly work my way down to the first meadow section.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention the hoards of misquotes about my head and hands, a hundred anyway.  My repellant was working OK till I got in the high wet grassed meadow section and then there were thousands!
Yes thousands in my nose, ears, everywhere... I hate misquotes, but this was crazy as they attacked me relentlessly.  I worked my way out of the meadow to high ground and reapplied more bug dope.....

I had to catch at least one West Slope Cutty...

I continued to circle the first meadow around to the start of the canyon section.  As I moved a short distance down the start of the canyon it got pretty steep.  Looking down at the steep rocky  cliffs in the canyon, there was no way I could make it down there much less back out with my sore ankle.  I decided to start fishing from there at the start of the canyon, into the first meadow and then back to the truck.  I knew it would be a tough just getting back from here.

I rigged up and promptly caught a "Westy" about 7 inches long, cool!  Working the short canyon section (150 yards) before reaching the meadow I caught 12 more West Slopers, "unlucky 13" in all.  That seemed like a good number to quit on with the way the day had gone so far.  At the meadow now, with my sore ankle, rain and  thousands of misquotes around me I packed it in and headed for the high ground and the truck.  I had to stop often to rest my now throbbing ankle..... By the time I got to the truck I was a tired, wet, sweaty, limping mess.

Back home at our 5th wheel, Michelle is doctoring me up..... ice, and drugs!

Note: Chelle was damn glad she didn't go...... me too!

Bushwhacking cross-country...

West Slope Cutthroat - beautiful fish...

Though injured, Dougie is winning the Antler Round-up!

Yeah I know.... But it still counts!   Dougie = 6   Michelle = nill

A view of the first meadow section of this creek, to the right of the dead pine tree and the canyon section is beyond.
Yep it's the right one...  It should look colorful for the next week... How am I going to fish?  


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