Day 1 – Asheville to Columbia, MO

Headed out west alone on a fly fishing trip for two weeks as Barbee got a new job and couldn’t go with me.I thought I would share my experiences with you.

It was a long day of driving with a few interesting stops along the way.

IMG_1219Wow! an actual book of maps! what is this for when we have GPS?

IMG_1213Gas was 2.07 at Ingles grocery store

IMG_1216altitude was at 2400 feet above sea level (I will be checking in with this once in a while as I may travel to altitudes of 12,000 ft.

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Went through Knoxville and Nashville on I 40

Welcom to Kentucky

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Stopped for gas in Paducah, KY – checked out the old downtown and drove down the levee.

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the Ohio River

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Gas prices are lower than I expected

IMG_1259Unfortunately I had to go through Illinois

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Next stop – St. Louis, MO

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600 feet elevation – as low as I want get on this trip

IMG_1275IMG_1274IMG_1276Ted Drewes Frozen Custard – Yum!!!

IMG_1289Beautiful Missouri sunset – stopped for the night in Columbia, MO

 

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Day 2 – Columbia, MO to Estes Park, CO

Got up early and hit the road about 7:30am

Hotel coffee was not good – stopped in Sweet Springs, MO and asked Hunter at Old School Yogurt and Coffee to fill up my thermos and mug with some top notch brew.

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Went through Kansas City, MO and Kansas City, KS

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After that it got pretty boring!!!

 

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500 miles with out a turn!!!

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I did actually see “the Tree” in Kansas!

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And a number of wind farms

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And a bunch of oil rigs.

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And for how flat the state of Kansas is I kept climbing in altitude – go figure

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3200 feet – higher than Asheville!

 

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Whew! that took FOREVER!

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Yaaaay Colorado! Toto, I don’t think we are in Kansas anymore!

I stopped at the first Visitor center to use the facilites and ironically the urinal was made by…

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Toto!

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Still a long way to go to Estes Park through some serious weather

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The mile high city – Denver at 5280′

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I am not sure but I think I see mountains?!

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Sun setting on Boulder, CO

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Finally – Estes Park, CO outside the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.

 

 

 

Day 3 – Fly Fishing in Rocky Mountain National Park

Now is where the fun begins!

First stop – breakfast and the Egg and I (they have grits! ) in downtown Estes Park (a touristy town for sure!)

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While walking to the fly shop I found this Thingamabobber along the sidewalk – A fly fishing town I guess!

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The local fly shop

Interesting fly bins

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This pic is from the back door of the fly shop – I would never get any work done!

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8800 feet in elevation

Let the fly fishing begin!

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Started on the Fall River just downstream of Roaring River – hoping to catch the native fish – the Greenback Cutthroat Trout

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Cold water! 52 degrees

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Checking out the bugs in the river – a Flavinea mayfly nymph I believe – I used a variation of a Mr. Rapidan in size 12 and caught more fish than I could stand – almost

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My first fish of the day – The Greenback Cutthroat trout! Beautiful!!

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A nice Brown Trout

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Another Greenback! This is a big one – about 12″

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A nice brown in a beautiful Valley!

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A Brook Trout! Not as pretty as our Southern Appalachian Brookies

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A Black Stonefly Nymph

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The stream bottom – nice pebbles and gravel – easy to wade

 

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One last fish picture from the Fall River – A 14″ Brown

Heading west through the park on Trail Ridge Road to fish the headwaters of the Cache la Poudre river. Trail Ridge road is like the Blue Ridge Parkway just higher in altitude.

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Saw this big bull elk – posing for me right along the road!

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The rock in the middle would be a good place for Natalie to do her jumping in the Jungfrau pic.

More elk – crossing the road

climbing to the pass

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Beautiful! note the lake in the center

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The long and winding road… almost to the top

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Lot’s of snow up high

 

Approximately 12,400 feet at the pass and 59 degrees – it was 84 in Estes Park

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Can you see the creek? probably not – This is similar to the creek my father taught me how to trout fish on – I think it is fun to dap a dry fly into but I am sure most would not. Full of Brook Trout though.

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Shallow and winding

Some pretty wildflowers

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Snow along the creek

More Brookies

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Time to stop fly fishing – another beautiful sunset

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It’s all downhill from here – back to Estes Park for the night

 

 

 

Day 4 – Fly Fishing in Rocky Mountain National Park continued…

Sorry not get this posted sooner but it has been a challenge to find internet service.

Farmers Market – Barbee would love this one!  Even have Wisconsin Cheese Curds – they’re everywhere!

Back into the park…

Fishing the Big Thompson river between Fern Lake Trailhead and “the pool”

It’s a 6 mile round trip.

53 degree water temp and more mayfly nymphs

Easy wading and easy reading water with nice Brown Trout and Brookies.

Some very nice holding water!

Some pretty wildflowers

The biggest Brown so far – 15″ out of a fantastic hole!

Setting the rods down for a break, a Sulphur Mayfly Dun.

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A very nice greenback Cutthroat Trout!

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A beautiful Brown Trout

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There has got to be some big fish in this hole!!

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This was a nice one…

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But this was the biggest of the day at 16″!!!

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Hiked up the trail quite a bit to get to “the pool” and saw this mule deer crossing the trail.

The foot bridge over the pool

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Some beautiful Greenbacks!

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Hiked out of the Big Thompson and drove to the St. Vrain river – a favorite of fly tyer A.K. Best and  fly fishing author John Geirach who live nearby.

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Full of Brookies with a few Browns mixed in

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All on dry flies!

Time to end the day as the sun was going down in a hurry.

Day 5 – Travel from Estes Park, Co to Cody Wyoming

On my way to Yellowstone National Park. Headed north from Estes Park on I-25 to Sheridan, Wy and hwy 14 west through the Bighorn Mountains over Granite pass with a stop to fish Shell Creek in Shell Creek Canyon.

Coming down out of the mountains through Big Thompson Gorge to Loveland to hook up with I-25 north.

The geology is starting to change a bit

Welcome to Wyoming! Very cool visitor center.

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Back to flat land again.  😦    Hard to get used to traveling 80 miles an hour.

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More afternoon thunderstorms – yikes!

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Fastest moose I ever saw!

More oil wells

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Another storm brewing – looks like a mini tornado at center left

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Coming up on Sheridan and the Bighorn Mountains

Downtown Sheridan, WY – Taxidermy shop with the receiving door on right

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I had to stop at the Fly shop of the Bighorns in Sheridan, WY to get my Wyoming fishing license. That was a bit of fun. The guys in the shop challenged me to a casting contest with a super mini fly rod with giant fly – cast the fly into the little red cup at 10ft and win a free fly. I got it in the cup on the third try – A free Loop Wing Sulphur Emerger that I will use on De Puys Spring Creek next week.

Traveling west over the Bighorns on hwy 14 up and over Granite pass.

Altitude of 9400 feet

Are the sheep mentally challenged or do they just move real slow?

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Note the cowboy on left and sheepdog near the road on right

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Lots of sheep – don’t ewe think?

Dropping down the west side of the Bighorns along Shell creek Canyon

Time for a little fly fishing in the canyon – about 30 minutes actually

I probably hooked a fish every three casts and landed about half of them – smallest was 12″ and largest landed was 16″ – I lost a Brown Trout that was probably 18″ or so.

I just love this water!!

Goodbye Shell Creek – I had to get to Cody in time to find a hotel room if possible.

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Drove through Greybull, Wy. A Sinclair gas station! reminder of when I was a kid – love the green dinosaur on the top of the sign at right. Gas prices climbing the closer I get to Yellowstone.

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A beautiful Wyoming sunset – they are all beautiful I guess

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I tried to get a room at the Holiday in in Cody, Wy but they were all booked up. Oddly, there was on older woman waiting in the lobby to try and sell me on the cabins that the company has out back of the Holiday Inn. I was quite skeptical at first but it turned out to be OK – quirky though I must say.

Nice accommodations for a fair price.

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There were about 50 or so of these cabins – a little cabin community. Fun stuff.

Well, time for bed I guess. On to Yellowstone Park tomorrow morning. I will post more when I can.

Day 6 – Yellowstone Park

I made it to Yellowstone! Traveled from Cody, WY through the east entrance of the park to Grant Village to stop at the Yellowstone General Store to stock up on supplies. Also stopped at the visitor center to watch the lastest version of the backcountry safety video to see if they have suggested any new methods for Grizzly bear encounters.

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Left my quirky cabin at 7am.

Went through downtown Cody looking for some real coffee.

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Stopped for some real coffee at Rawhide Coffee in downtown Cody. Owners Dave and Judy are Green Bay Packers and Denver Broncos fans respectively. There marriage didn’t suffer when the Broncos beat the Packers in the super bowl in 1997. Good thing Packers fans are so forgiving! Great coffee and service.

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Gas prices getting higher

Last stop before Yellowstone. Pahaska Tepee – a fun little tourist trap with horse rides etc…

Oops! I almost got in the wrong van. The old white Richard van?

Made it to Yellowstone! elevation on the plateau is about 8000 feet.

Sylvan Lake on the east entrance road

Yellowstone Lake, the first of many thermal features and the famous “Fishing Bridge” over the Yellowstone River.

On my way to Lewis Lake campground hoping there will be a campsite left for me tonight.

I got the last campsite at 8:30am. I was lucky! Note the brown bear box at right. It is for keeping any and all food and other smelly stuff in to keep the bears away.

Stopped at Grant Village to buy some of the Royal Wulff dry flies I bought here in 1991 to catch my first trout on a fly.

Headed out to DeLacy Creek to fish the water where I caught my first trout on a fly in 1991. Sort of a spiritual thing you could say. Parking lot was full so I hope there won’t be too many other anglers on this tiny creek!

DeLacy Creek trailhead. A six mile round trip hike today.

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Just like the first time – a Brook trout on the first cast! What a tiny creek. It is just like the creek my father taught me to trout fish on in Wisconsin. Even more so than the creek in Rocky Mountain National Park as it is deeper and has more tall grasses along the banks.

more Brookies!

even more…

A lot of fish caught today!

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For those of you who like to have me use my fish counter on our guided backcountry Brook Trout trips back home – this is for you! not bad for five hours of fishing.

I felt like being a tourist for a bit so I went to Old Faithful.

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Very cool stuff! or hot stuff that is.

See video of this at the following link:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B79kEgNjgoVZM1g5QV9jV3g1RmM

Old Faithful getting ready to go.

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There it goes! see video at this link:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B79kEgNjgoVZYW1Gamh3c2djTzQ

Tried fly fishing the Firehole River downstream of the geyser basin and had no luck.I had two spots years ago that fished very well, just downstream of Nez Perce creek and another smaller creek that dumped cold water into the river and had the trout hold on the that side of the river. Temp of the main river was 78 degrees! Temps in the “cooler areas” was 73 so not cold enough to make a difference.

Some pretty wildflowers along the river at least.

Time to call it a day with a nice fire at my Lewis Lake campsite.

 

 

Day 7 – Yellowstone #2

Hey there all!  Another day in Yellowstone National Park. Going to fish the Lamar River and Soda Butte Creeks today. First order of business is to get to Pebble Creek with hopes of getting a campsite there otherwise I will be staying at one of the many campsites near Cooke City, MT just outside the northeast entrance park.

Finally saw a Bison! He was in the Hayden Valley between Yellowstone Lake and Canyon Village along the Yellowstone River.

More unique geological features. Looks like lava tubes.

Crossing the Yellowstone River.

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A Pronghorn Antelope! They are quite fast. I was driving through Wyoming years ago on the interstate and a herd of them were running along side my van on the other side of the fence and they were keeping up with me at 65 miles per hour!

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Now I am getting to more Bison. Having his breakfast. The grass is always greener on the other side of the road I guess. I am driving through the Lamar River Valley.

Check out a video of the Bison at this link:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B79kEgNjgoVZZVlhT3A3SDdLaHM

If you listen closely you can hear them grunt and growl. Cool!

More Bison! Wow what a herd! Bubba and Lulu would have fun with the baby Bison I am sure.

Check out more video of the Bison at these links:

I like how this big boy eyeballs me towards the end of the video…

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B79kEgNjgoVZTENMdnhJT1dNeEk

Another link where baby catches up to mama…

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B79kEgNjgoVZYUwtVzlMS2tjWU0

Getting to the Pebble Creek campground – slow but sure.

Coming up on Soda Butte. Another unique geological feature and a famous landmark.

Almost to the campground

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Got a site with three left after me. I am getting pretty lucky. Now, to gear up for a day of fly fishing on the Lamar River and Soda Butte Creek.

Started out on Soda Butte Creek at the Lamar River trailhead. I will be packing my pepper spray just in case of the Grizzly Bears or Wolves.

I hiked to Cache Creek the last time I was here and fished the Lamar below and above the confluence and caught a bunch of nice sized Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout with no one else in sight.

I can’t remember this great a number of fly anglers on these rivers. I could hardly find a spot for about a 3 mile stretch along the road. When I found a semi-remote side channel of the river that had a good number of fish I could tell the fish had already been fished on by the way they hit the fly – extremely light! While a caught a few small trout on a dry fly I had to sight fish with a double nymph rig like I do at the Cherokee Trophy water and just watch for the fish to move in 6 foot deep water – a challenge indeed!

Some very nice sized Yellowstone Cutthroat trout! Stonefly and PMD mayfly nymphs seemed to work well if you got the drift deep enough, drag-free and right on their noses. Whew!

More Cutties!

All in all I caught about a dozen fish between 13 and 17 inches long and missed a number of other fish. I was pleased for the three hours I fished on this run.

It is a beautiful river but I guess all the other fly anglers think so too.

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I was going to walk away from the road to get away from the other anglers and decided it was not a good idea as a giant herd of Bison had occupied that section of the Lamar River so I drove down river a bit further and fished at the head of the gorge.

Great looking water! I caught a few 9 inchers but that was all after thoroughly nymph fishing the deep runs and holes? Can you believe downstream of me there were a bunch of inner tubers? I am in Cherokee aren’t I?

So I bugged out of here and headed to Trout Lake to fish on some very large, very smart Rainbow and Cutthroat Trout.

A very pretty little lake with a hiking trail encircling it.

After about ten casts the wind picked quite heavily, the thunder and lightning started up and then it began to hail. I thought I would wait a bit as the sky looked like it would dissipate shortly. No luck as it kept raining with 45 degree air temp and a nasty wind. I give up!

When all else fails look for something positive – like taking a picture of some colorful wildflowers. When I got back to the van and was just about ready to leave a 25 year old hipster pulled up in his Subaru and got out his waders and, believe or not, a float tube to fish out of (that is illegal on this lake). He was all excited to hike the steep half mile hike up to the lake, wade into the lake and float around under the lightning holding a graphite fly rod ( an excellent conductor of electricity) high above him. At least I didn’t hear any bad news the next day. Forrest Gump comes to mind – Mama always told me stupid is as stupid does.

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The name of this mountain is “the Thunderer” I guess they knew what they were doing when they named it that. Headed to Cooke City for a bite to eat.

It is definitely in the running for the coolest small town I would say. Especially as it is named after Barbee’s side of the family – well maybe not, but the same last name. Had dinner at “The Bistro” – good stuff! There is no cell phone service in this town so after dinner I parked the van outside the restaurant and stayed connected to their wi-fi network. I tried to upload some pics on the blog and the connection got slower and slower. I looked out my window and realized that everyone else had the same idea sitting in their cars bogging down the connection so I gave up and went back to the campsite.

Tomorrow I will fish Grebe Lake with hopes of catching a Grayling. Time for bed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Day 8 – Yellowstone #3

Well I am taking it slow and easy today as all I scheduled myself for is a 7 mile round-trip hike into Grebe Lake to try and catch a Grayling. It is a different species of Salmonid that has a beautiful blueish/purplish hue and a very large dorsal fin. A beautiful fish! High hopes!

More Bison!

Grebe Lake Trailhead

The dead snags are remnants of the great fire of 1988 and the smaller trees are the new growth  in the the 28th year after the fire. Sure is a lot of fuel on the ground for another catastrophe. Hope for the best!

Made it to the lake in 1 hour to view a family of Trumpeter Swans! Beautiful birds. I was hoping to see them fly at some point as they can have a wingspan of up to ten feet.

Check out the videolink for the Trumpeter Swans:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B79kEgNjgoVZblNTQ2NvZy1TTW8

 

So I am surveying the conditions on the lake to find the fish and what they are eating. Normally for lake fishing you focus on the inlet, the outlet, the windward side and the leeward side of the lake in that order. Today I thought I hit the jackpot with the windward side being on the same side as the inlet. The wind pushes the bugs to the shore and the cool water from the inlet provides oxygen – a great combo. So I saw a few cream/pale white colored mayflies about size 16 with long tails starting to hatch – the Callibaetis mayfly. I put a Light Cahill on and started to work the shoreline with no luck. I started to see some fish rising but they would not take my fly. I started seeing the fish jumping out of the water after flies – a telltale sign of a Caddis hatch. I look down at my feet and there is one Caddis emerging from the water. It is huge – a size 8 or 10, white and gray and moves atop the water with a fierce agenda. It is a Traveling Sedge. I quickly switched over to the only thing I had that was close – a version of our Crow Fly tied with white micro poly yarn and Crow feathers palmered over the body. Didn’t work. I moved up the shore past the few jumping fish I saw to the inlet of the lake. There I spotted a point sticking out from shore that acted as a wind break creating a current seam in the water. I had to make 40 to 50 foot casts but at least I was casting partially with the wind. Bing, Bang, Boom! I found more fish than I could cast to. They initially hit the crow fly with a downwind presentation and then shied away from it after about a half hour or so. I switched to a Goddard Caddis keeping the Crow Fly on as a dropper with no floatant and got just about every other fish to at least look at the fly if not take it. Fun stuff!!!

Check out the video link for the Caddis Fly:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B79kEgNjgoVZdUN4ME5pblBMME0

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The point, looking into the wind with the current seam to the left.

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He might be a little one but this is what I came for! A Grayling!

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My next fish on was a pretty big one and I thought I caught a whopper Grayling! Most Grayling are about 8 or 9 inches long. Turns out it was a very nice Rainbow.

More Grayling

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Note the very large dorsal fin…

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Beautiful colors on the Dorsal fin!

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This was the largest Grayling landed at 11″.

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More Traveling Sedge flies…

So I caught a few more Rainbow Trout and here comes the hard part…

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They have a must-kill regulation on invasive fish species in the northeast park of the park so I had to throw all of the Rainbows on the bank instead of putting them back into the lake. Grayling and Yellowstone Cutthroat trout are catch and release. I had a zip lock bag in my pack so I packed them all in there and walked over to a backcountry site where I saw some other folks fly fishing. I offered them the fish and they happily agreed to take them and eat them that night. All in all I caught 7  Rainbows – two got back into the lake accidentally – and about 12 Grayling. A very satisfying experience solving the puzzle and then presenting the fly appropriately with distance casting and windy conditions.

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The skull of a Bison – Yikes!

Backcountry campsite 4G3 – note the very high bear pole between the trees to hang your pack with all your food and gear in when not using it.

More birds and flowers

Leaving Grebe lake and hiking the 3.5 miles to the trailhead. Hot and dusty – is that really my van in the parking lot? I think I made it back in one piece!

Mammoth Hot Springs

Leaving Yellowstone Park through the Northwest (Gardiner) Entrance.

Downtown Gardiner, MT and the Iron Horse Grille on the Yellowstone River.

View from the deck of the restaurant…

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Done for the night at the Yellowstone Village Lodge.

Day 9 – De Puy Spring Creek

After staying the night in Gardiner I traveled north towards Livingston, MT to De Puy Spring Creek to fish there for the day. I will try my hand at some of the smartest fish in Montana on a very challenging piece of water. To pronounce De Puy correctly: when I go down to De Church I sit in De Pew – as we would say in Sheboygan, WI

While checking out of my room at the Yellowstone village Lodge I passed by the “John Wayne Suite”. I had no idea I could have stayed in the John Wayne Suite! Bummer.

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The Absaroka Mountains and Yellowstone River.

Arriving at my destination. I would have never guessed that the main house would be a southern plantation mansion! A sweet little lady named Betty (mother of the owner Daryl Smith) checked me in and set me up for the day.

A beautiful, slow meandering spring creek with water as clear as a bell!

I took the trail downstream towards the bottom end of the property as the faster water was occupied by other fly anglers. I decided to take on the challenge of fly fishing the slow water where the fish can take all day to look your rig over then decide not to bite.

A pretty hungry beaver as I could not see the tree he felled – he must of ate the whole thing! More Trumpeter Swans.

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My first fish of the day!  A Whitefish!!! Bummer.

I landed two Rainbows in quick order after sight fishing to them with nymphs to watch them take the fly.

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One Cutbow (a cross between a Rainbow and Cutthroat trout) and that was it for the next hour as I tried to figure out watch they changed up to.

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How many fish can you see? Where’s Waldo?  Lot’s of trout to be had…

56 degree water and lot’s of bugs on the rocks and weeds.

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After changing up my rig and flies about a dozen times I finally figured out the exact dry fly pattern and dropper to throw and how to present it properly and started catching fish with some regularity. A PMD dry fly with a trailing shuck and a Copper Blondie midge dropped about 24 inches below with 7x flourocarbon did the trick for now. Now the wind picks up!!!! Great

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A very nice Brown – about 17″

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A very good sized Yellowstone Cutthroat – about 17″ as well. Now I have my De Puy Grand Slam with a Rainbow, Brown and Yellowstone Cutt.

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A beautiful Yellowstone Cutthroat!

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Note the red slash under the jaw

They have a little fly shop on the property – I like the posted hours!

They even have a number of warming huts along the creek for fly fishing in the winter months. I can imagine some of the stories told here over the years!

Checking out other runs of the creek

I moved around the river throughout the day stopping for lunch at this bench

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Trumpeter Swans feeding off the stream bottom

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I saw a nice fish rising along the far bank…

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This was the most technical stream I fly fished on that I can remember. Long casts (30 to 40 feet in windy conditions) with extreme techniques – Drop casts, Pile casts, Reach casts, Circle mends, Pop mends. Downstream dry fly presentations with other necessary mends and light rigging with 13′ 6x leaders tipped with 6″ of 7x flourocarbon to the dry fly and 7x and 8x flourocarbon tippet for the dropper fly to size 28 midge dropper – all sight fishing (watching the fish for movement to indicate whether the fish took the fly). Challenging, but rewarding when it all comes together.

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My favorite pic from the day

Evidence of the abundant midge hatch I experienced…

Sunset over Missoula, MT where I stayed that night.

Day 10 – Missoula and Rock Creek

I got to Missoula too late for dinner so I had to resort to eating at a Burger King!! I haven’t eaten fast food for years. Yuck, but oh well. Slept well at the downtown Doubletree hotel, a place I played music at in my past life. Plan to fly fish on Rock Creek today but I will stop in at a few places first.

First things first – a good cup of coffee! Black Coffee Roasting Company was a very cool place. the smell from outside the building was amazing. I think they roast more coffee there than they brew and it seemed that they brewed alot!

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I couldn’t believe I saw this Ford Pinto parked outside the coffee shop! It still looks like a piece of junk just like it did when they first came out in 1971. At least it is a wagon and not the hatchback.

Downtown Missoula with the Clark Fork River running right through town.

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This is the furthest from home I have decided to travel – I will pass the one day at Glacier National Park that I was going to do. 2273 miles to get back home. Wow! I really do miss Barbee, Natalie, Bubba, Lulu and Meemaw! Too far away…

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Stopped in at my old fly shop Grizzly Hackle. It was in business when I lived here twenty years ago and is still going strong with a recent remodel of the interior.

A very comfortable layout.

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Heidi the store pup! Spoke with Rick and Matt and they were glad to help out with flies, locations, etc…

Missoula is at about 3800 feet in elevation. I stopped for some ice for the cooler and saw the HO-HO’s next to the checkout. I know I just complained about Burger King but my friend Steve from Sheboygan started something years ago that seemed to work quite well – some HO-HO MOJO. We always had good luck fly fishing on the days we ate the HO-HO’s.

On I-90 headed east and saw the “M” on the side of the mountain. The “M” doesn’t stand for Missoula as one would think but for “Main Hall” at the University of Montana.

The Clark Fork river east of Missoula and my exit to Rock Creek!

A great little outfitter at the beginning of Rock Creek Road.

Some great info on the boards outside the entrance

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John and Carolyn working the store. Carolyn gave me some great tips on where to fish and John made some great suggestions for flies to use.

Store Dog Bobbie – a real sweet doggie! I met Matt (loving on Bobbie) from Portland, OR. He was visiting the area with his wife and kids. He owns a helicopter tour  business and offered to trade up guide trips for copter rides. Interesting as he mentioned he knows a few secret spots to fly fish closer to Portland. Any way, he asked if I would be OK with picking out a dozen flies for him to use on Rock Creek. I filled out a box for each of us with identical flies and asked to compare notes afterwards. Hope he did well!

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the lower end of Rock creek

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A cold day today.Had to wear a coat on the river as high temp of 69 with a brisk wind was the order of the day.

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Nice to see a whitetail? deer crossing the creek in front of me.

Some pics of the location I started to fish on.

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A very nice Brown Trout caught on a dry-dropper rig.

Some bugs for you all  – mostly Caddis and Midges with some Mayflies as well. Water temp was about average at 63 degrees.

Check out this link of underwater Caddis Larvae activity:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B79kEgNjgoVZOEctb3Zubm5wVDQ

Some of you had asked about the gear choices I used on this trip. I had four rods that I brought on this trip with me.

Scott G2 7’7″ 2wt with a Galvan Spoke reel and Wulff Taper fly line-My small stream dry fly rod

Scott G2 8’4″ 4wt with a Lamson Lightspeed reel and Wulff Taper fly line-my all purpose rod that I used the most, usually with a dry dropper combo.

Sage One 9′ 5 wt with a Bauer MacKenzie CFX2 reel with Scientific Anglers Textured Trout line – My heavy duty double nymph rod that scoured the depths of the deepest holes in the river.

Scott X2S 9ft 8wt with a Galvan T-8 reel and a Wulff Predator sink tip, clear tip line – Didn’t use it on this trip but I brought it along with me in case the water was high and I needed to streamer fish.

I used the 2 wt with a dry fly only on the Brookie streams in Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone National Parks. Lot’s of fun as the 9″ fish felt like whoppers every time!

I used the 4 wt on most of the creeks and caught most of my fish on it. It performed so well in windy conditions laying the dry out softly with great control and accuracy without spooking the fish. I LOVE this rod!!!!

I used the 5 wt for double nymphing in the deep holes with hopes of catching some whoppers on it. Most of the large fish I caught on this trip were caught with this rig.

A few pics of the river upstream and downstream of me.

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Even though he was only 9 inches it was a beautiful Rainbow Trout on a dry fly.

A very nice Rainbow on the dropper.

More views of Rock Creek as I move up.

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Another amazing Brown Trout!

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Another small Rainbow but man are the beautiful or what??

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A beautiful log home on the river – too bad it wasn’t for sale – then again I probably wouldn’t be able to afford it anyway.

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The trail back to the van..

So there’s this feeder creek on the way back to the van that’s only 3 feet wide at best – I have to throw a dry fly in there just to see – bam! a 10″ Rainbow! Just like that.

A herd of Bighorn Sheep along the road.

Back in Missoula in time for dinner tonight! I finally got a really good meal at the Redbird. A Missoula staple for over 20 years. Yum!!

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Finished the night with a dark roast coffee before bed and a pastry for the morning.

Time for bed.