Showing posts from July, 2011

Sightseeing and Fish Catching

Today we drove through the northern part of the park.  We went by Canyon Village and then on to Artist Point.  This is considered the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and is amazing.  The picture below doesn't really show how high we were or how majestic it really is.  In years past we have been there at just the right time to see a rainbow in the mist of the falls - a real privilege.  We also stopped at a little known hidden mud pot and you can see a few second video below.  They are cool things but smell of sulphur.  It is surprising how much elk sign you see around them but maybe they don't mind the odor. We also fished this morning at Cascade Creek and caught some fish there.  Many of them were fairly small but we both caught many nice cutthroats.    

Here are 3-4 seconds of the mud pot action that we saw today.  These things are bubbling 24/7 - as Doug always says.

A Sunny Saturday

No fishing today!  Doug worked in the shop tying flies and I went for a walk.  I found a shady spot right on the Yellowstone River and sat with the intention of reading my latest book.  I sat with my feet in the river and did not get much reading done.  Just a few yards up river was the site where rafts were put in for white water rafting trips.  I sat and watched these go out and bobble down the fast water.  I actually have no desire to do this.  It looks like fun is some ways but I am not interested in holding on to a boat for dear life while bobbing up and down in a river moving faster than my car.  I think I will stick to walking the shores of the rivers and getting a slow and close up look at the scenery. After supper we met our new camping neighbors who are from Oswego.  What a small world!  Tomorrow we are going down near Canyon Village and to Artist Point - the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  We will have lunch along the way and then hit a favorite fishing spot.

Got "Split Tails"?

Korn's Split Tail Hoppers, Crickets, Salmon & Golden Stones

Folks, here are a couple of examples of the "Split Tail" fly...  We have really been doing well the last couple of days with this fly...  I really like the design as it has simple materials and a light weight body.  The fly always lands right side up and the split tails allow for a stable float.

I am sorry that I don't have a photo of the Salmon or Golden version but you can find the instructions for them below.  Good Luck and tie some up!

Hook: Daiichi #1720 3XL size 8-12
Thread: 6/0 to contrast with foam
Body/Head: 2mm foam cut wide as hook gap, tied in on top of hook, then wing deer hair applied and then the foam is folded over or applied separately (pink in photo)..
Options: cut/split the foam tail extending over hook bend, add a foam wrapped body (salmon fly orange body).
Wing: natural or dyed deer
Indicator: bright foam strip
Legs: Centipede Legs.

Note: For Salmon flies: dark brown foam with an orang…

The Gardner River at the High Bridge

Our fishing trip today was on the Gardner River near the High Bridge.  We walked in on a game trail to an area a little farther in than most people go.  Walking on a game trail - elk, buffalo, wolves, and yes, bear - is not always easy.  The elk may be able to walk up and down steep hills and along steep cliffs but I am not an elk!  There were some places along the trail where we had to walk right along the edge of a steep cliff and it was a long way down.  I kept my eyes on the path to make sure of my footing and tried not to think about how high we were.  We trudged through mud that almost pulled my shoes off, waded through knee deep water and climbed over wobbly river rocks.  In the end it was worth it to see some beautiful scenes and to catch some nice fish.  I caught a very nice cutbow using a Korn's Split-tail Golden Stone dry fly.  Doug spent a lot of his time guiding me and untangling my line in some pretty heavy brush.  He did catch an awesome cutthroat toward the end of …

The Elk Show

We have been doing more than just fly fishing here in Gardiner.  The last couple of nights we have been sitting outside watching the "Elk Show".  We have seen at least 20 elk come strolling into the adjacent churchyard and then making their way over to the campground.  They are not afraid of people or vehicles or little white dogs that yip at them.  We just sit back, sip on a beer, and watch the show.  Many of the other campers are out too and we have met some nice people.  Friday night we went to Arch Park to see the Dead Winter Carpenters - a bluegrass band.  The weather was perfect as you can see by the blue sky.  The band was very good and the combination of good music, beautiful surroundings and good company made for a memorable night. ~Michelle

Pocket Water...

Michelle had Yoga class this morning and I had to tie some hoppers at the shop...  But boy the weather was perfect for fishing, no wind, sunny and in the 80's.  I was chomping at the bit to get out and wet a line...

I met Chelle back at the camper for lunch.  After lunch she said she was going to take our dog, Stella for a walk thru town and then over to the high school to throw the ball for her and then find a shady spot and read her book...  She asked me if I'd like to go along or was I going to go fishing?

I hesitated, that sounded like a trick question... But she assured me that she wanted to take it easy today and that I should go if I wanted... So, I went... Am I'm a lucky guy or what?

I had great fishing in the Gardner River this afternoon.  I hiked in below Osprey Falls and had classic pocket water fishing, my favorite.  High fast water makes for tiny pockets and demands accurate casting, great fun...  I managed to catch the "Gardner Trout Slam" as we c…

Fishing Gardner's Hole

Today we fished at one of Doug's favorite places - Gardner's Hole.  It is a beautiful valley with the Gardner River winding through it.  The wind was fairly strong but we managed to catch quite a few brook trout on a coachman's trude fly.  We walked in about one and a half miles and left all of the Yellowstone traffic behind. ~ Michelle

The Gardner River take... 2...

Today I fished the same stretch of the Gardner River as yesterday... But today the fish were looking up for salmon flies.  After two fish tried to eat my orange indicator on my nymphing rig I quickly changed over to a dry dropper set up with a Korn's Split Tailed Salmon Fly and a Korn's TNT Black Stone Nymph trailing about 12 inches back.  Game on, with 16 fish brought to hand in 3 hours of rock hopping and difficult casting in high winds.  Most of the fish were caught on the Split Tailed Salmon Fly including; Cutthroats, Browns, Rainbows and Cutt-bows. 
Also, I saw a beaver on the Gardner today.  It stopped on a rock about 10 feet in front of me, then swam and floated 3 feet from the rock I was standing on heading downstream towards the Yellowstone River...  It was a smaller beaver about 2 feet long counting his flat tail.  I wish I could have gotten a photo...  I can only guess he was displaced from the upper stretches of the river and was pushed along by the very fast current…


Here are some of the local critters that are around camp from time to time..... They are not even afraid of the dog!

Fishing the lower Gardner today...

This morning I checked in at the shop (Parks Fly Shop) and then got my truck over to the Tire Iron garage here in town for an oil change.  Richard Parks and head guide Walter Wiese asked me if I would do a little guiding for them while I'm out here for the next month.  I said I would.... one day a week.

Michelle was going to walk down into town later on after lunch and do some shopping.  So after getting the truck back, grabbing a quick lunch with Chelle and gearing up, I headed for the lower Gardner River to give it a go...

The Salmon flies and Golden Stones are flying about but the fish are not looking up yet.  My fellow guides told me that nymphs were working well.  I also had a short conversation with Matt Minch, our local fly fishing guru. He said to go with the "action nymphs" that's a "Matt's Golden Stone" and a "Matt's Bead Hare and Copper", so that's what I started with and stayed with for the two hours of fishing I did.  Two…

First Fishing Day

Our first day of fishing was beautiful!  We hiked in to a spot that Doug calls Soldier Rock Canyon.  He didn't tell me that it was down a huge, steep, tree littered hill.  The walk in was worth the vista!  We had the whole river to ourselves.  The water was running very fast and high with a difficult casting wind which was not in our favor since we were casting upstream.  Even so, we each caught 5 fish - rainbows and brookies. We had a great day even with the grueling climb back out of this canyon - but hey, I did it! ~Michelle 

Our Last Leg to Gardiner, Montana.

Yesterday we left Rapid City, SD and drove through part of Wyoming and then through Montana to Gardiner.  We had great weather for the entire day except for the last hour.  Montana is big sky country and you can see several different weather systems around you at the same time.  This rain system had some powerful lightning with it.  Luckily it stopped in time for us to set up camp. Today is laundry day and time to get some food in the pantry.  Doug is getting all our gear ready for the first fishing trip tomorrow.  It is so nice to have my own personal guide ~ Michelle

Mount Rushmore

It was a perfect day today!  Blue sky, less than 100 degrees, lots of beautiful scenery, and tours of interesting monuments.  We started out at Mount Rushmore and spent time there on a Ranger's walk.  We walked along and listened to the interesting story of the monument and the artist behind it all.  This thing is huge and I can't imagine working up there all day hanging from a rope.  It took 14 years to complete and was only stopped because of the death of Gutzon Bolgar - the sculptor.

We also visited the Crazy Horse monument which is still in progress after 60 plus years.  It is essentially being done by a handful of people from the artist's family.  It is much bigger than Mt. Rushmore.  There is a great facility there dedicated to Native Americans and their cultures.  We had a great day and we are ready for the final leg of our journey to Gardiner, MT tomorrow.