So I have finally choked back the emotion enough to write the final entry into the Yellowstone Blog for 2010.
After being in a place for so long it becomes part of you.
You appreciate the character of a place and sometimes it feels as if a place enjoys you being there.
This however was not the case on our final day in Yellowstone. We were greeted once again by snow covered mountains and brisk air.
Our destination was Trout Lake, and then we were going to give Soda Butte another try.
While gearing up the car thermometer read 44 degrees with a light drizzle falling.
Our short but steep hike was fairly uneventful if you don’t count the minor slipping every 5 to 6 steps. One we reached the lake the rain picked up a bit, but it didn’t damper our resolve.
We all split up and started working different areas of the lake. I walked to the far side and got rigged up. I had only been casting for about 15 min when I all of a sudden heard a loud grunt/growl very close by. I flipped my rain hood down trying to pick up where and what that noise was. After hearing it a couple more times I picked up its location and decided to move quickly in the opposite direction. After putting some distance between me and the beast I was able to slow down and look back. It was not one but two extremely large Bison, and obviously I was fishing in their drinking hole.
During my whole ordeal Jeff managed to catch a beautifully colored cutthroat of about 16″. Shortly thereafter Brett wrangled a few into the net. I managed to have one long distance hand shake. After about 3 hours of fishing and my heart still pounding we decided to head down the trail towards Soda Butte. Once again Mother Nature greeted us with 30mph winds, but this time they were cold too. They wind made short work of me and an ear that was not enjoying gusts.
I headed back up to the vehicle to call it a day while Brett and Jeff decided to try to wait the wind out in hopes of a hatch. Their persistence paid off and they were rewarded with a nice BWO hatch.
The hatch seemed to be Yellowstone saying “We will see you next year!” Everybody called it an early day and headed back to start the daunting task of packing. Thanks for following us on our 2010 Yellowstone trip. The only thing better is actually joining in. Our dates for next year’s first week are arrival on 8/16/11 and departing on 8/22/11. The second week’s dates are arriving on 8/23/11 and departing on 8/29/11. The prices for double occupancy (you set it up) are $1250 . The price for single occupancy is $1550. Call 828.645.8700 or email me for more information
Day 15 was going to be a day that everyone made their own decisions as where to fish. Jason and Matt decided to hike down into Hellroaring to give it, and the Yellowstone a try. The were pleasantly surprised by the number of fish willing to take a piercing.
Streamers worked wonders on the Yellowstone, and about any dry worked on Hellroaring. Seth, Jeff, and Jim went chasing brookies, and they didn’t have to chase for very long.
Many a brookie fell victim to a well executed drift. Brett and myself were not so lucky.
We had signed up for a drift with Wally from Parks’ Fly shop ( http://www.parksflyshop.com/walter.htm ). We were amped and ready for a great day of fishing, but the weather had other plans in store. We got on the river with sunny skies and about 60 degree weather only to have turn quickly into a steady rain and about 50 degree weather.
We managed to boat some fish, and missed several more, but it did not turn out to be our day. By the end of the day we were casting to keep warm. Oh well, that is why they call it fishing and not catching! Tomorrow some of the guys are heading back into the 2nd meadow of Slough Creek. Jeff C and Seth are headed into the high mountain lakes, chasing some Montana brookies.
Notorious not only because of the spectacular fishing but also because of the environment in which it is found.
What other river can you fish for trout and have a geyser spew 15′ up the river.
It is also one of the two rivers that form the Madison River.
The other half is the Gibbon River which we were planning on hitting in the afternoon.
We wouldn’t normally get the chance to fish the Firehole this time of year because it’s normally to hot from geothermal run off.
With a forecasted weather change, and cooler temps setting in, it offered us a wonderful chance to give it a go.
We decided to try our hand at the canyon section.
We hit the water casting.
Many, many fish were brought to net.
The browns and rainbows ran from 4-15 inches, but fought like they were 20 inchers.
Jeff landed a beautiful 15 inch brown off a black caddis.
Once we started to get to the really swift (raging) water…
…we decided to head over to the Gibbon to add another tally to the board.
We arrived to find a small hatch going on.
We were able to handle some smaller rainbows and mostly browns, but the larger fish were to wily for us.
I had a couple of long distance handshakes,…
…but nothing over 8-9 inches were willing to have an eye to eye.
After completing our fishing mission on the headwaters of the Madison, we decided to head back for some grub and libations.
Tomorrow we try our hand with Wally again. We will see what mother nature has in store. Forecast is high of 58 and low of 39. Thermals are definitely in store. For more photos from todays trip, visit the Day 17 Photo Album.
Day 18 came and the sun rose as usual, but there was something different…
SNOW! That’s right it snowed!
It didn’t snow on our Porch but on the mountains towering over our temporary Montana home.
Jeff C and I were scheduled to do a float trip, but the thought of the down pour I had witnessed last time out left me with some lingering cold chills.
So I prepared a little better and layered up.
Packed a couple of hand warmers, and got the heavy duty rain coat out.
Once we got to the river the sun was out, but the air was still brisk. We strung up our rods, tied on our bugs, and did some stretches ( well maybe not the stretching) and off we went. We were floating a lower section of the Yellowstone.
It ran from Carbello to 26 mile.
Jeff had some action early on but things were definitely not gangbusters.
Right before lunch things started to pick up.
Several fish were caught but nothing compared to the 19″ Brown Jeff coaxed to the surface with a Purple Haze Cripple.
Would you like to learn how to tie the Purple Haze Cripple? Go to Parks’ Fly Shop website at http://www.parksflyshop.com/ and check out their tying videos.
The day only got hotter and hotter with numbers spiraling out of control…
Jeff somehow talked Wally into handing over the oars, and then began to put the guide on fish.
tyle=”text-align: center;”>We had a blast!
I think everyone in the boat had a great time.
While we were floating, Brett took the chance to explore the Gardner for the first time…
…and worked his way over to a small brookie stream.
We found numerous fish willing to eat at both places.
Brett brought in numerous fish fish today as well.
Tune in tomorrow for our last day of fishing in Yellowstone National Park! Click here for more Day 18 photos.
The much anticipated day has arrived. Everyone from out group was schedule to take a float trip on the Yellowstone today. Everyone had their different agendas. Jason and Matt were heading north trying to get in to some bigger fish. Brett and Jim were chasing numbers, and Seth and Jeff were floating the Yankee Jim Section. We met the guides at Park’s Fly Shop, got license squared away, and off they went.
I was playing shuttle, and was going to get a little fishing in for myself.
While the crew was gone, Jeff and his wife Susan, where going to take a nice longer hike.
I decided to hit my favorite little brookie stream, because it provided some cover from the 20mph winds.
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SHHHHHH! Aaron and Spiros! It is an amazing stream with an outstanding number of fish.
Unbelievable numbers of brookies are willing to pounce on your less than perfect drift.
10-15 fish can be pulled out of some of the nicer holes.
I love this stream because it reminds me of our rivers ( western creeks) back home.
Roll casting and high sticking are the name of the game.
The difference is, this creek can produce hundred fish days and the fish are larger on the average. This time of year in Yellowstone the brookies are getting ready to do their thing and they are all dressed up in the Sunday’s best.
After handing out several sore lips, and picking up Jeff and Susan, we headed back to the cabin to find out the results of the float trips. Everyone arrived and told us great days on the water. Others had to deal with the wind a bit more, but all got into some nice fish.
After burgers and brats with Wally and Wilson, two of the guides at Parks’ Fly Shop, we were treated to some of Jeff and Seth Rhineharts spectacular music. Want to hear some of Seth’s music with his band Hazel Creek? Check it outhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKz2iwY2Oq4&feature=related (Seth is in the hat and yellow shirt).
The group is splitting up tomorrow. Jason and Matt are going to try their hand at Hellroaring Creek. Jim, Seth, and Jeff are going to chase brookies. Jeff C is taking Susan back to the airport, and Brett and myself are heading down river to try to get into some piggies! We’ll see. Tight lines (I hope)!!!!!! Click the following link to view the rest of Day 14 photos.
After a highly enjoyable week, most of our first group was heading to the airport today to catch a flight to their respective homes.
John and Kevin decided to stay an extra day, so we opted to give the Gardner another try.
When we left the cabin it was a beautiful day with the sun shining.
When we arrived at the river the clouds came in and a light drizzle began to fall.
We got right to it!
The temp dropped 15-20 degrees and the fishing was tough.
We had to work hard for the fish that we caught.
About two hours into the day the sun came out and fishing improved.
Several nice sized rainbows and a few nice browns were wrangled in…
…while a few others did a long distance hand shake and said farewell.
Golden Stones were the ticket again today.
Only two fish went for the hoppers.
When all was said and done, we had a very good day.
When we returned to the cabin we discovered that Steve’s plane had mechanical issues so he decided to rebook and stay a couple of extra days. Brett, who was part of the new crew arriving had also just arrived and was also waiting at the cabin when we got there. The rest of the crew will be in around 3:00 tomorrow and week 2 will officially begin. Stay tuned to see what kind of adventures these guys can get into. Tight lines!
So today was the last day of fishing for most of the crew, and what a spectacular day it was.
Jeff and Steve had a stellar day in the 2nd meadow of Slough. Several nice fish were landed.
The wind was almost non-existent. The day had started out with a steady rain but after arriving the clouds opened and the sun was shining.
There were a couple of threats through out the day but non followed through.
Bob and myself went to the lower Gardiner. We hiked in the rain but after reaching our spot it opened up for us as well.
-align: center;”>The fish were eager for hoppers and caddis, but the money fly was none other than the boss hog.
Between the two of us at least 50 fish were caught and sent on their way. Our hog hunters, Nick and Patrick , Started their day on Trout Lake. They were greeted with some really great fish willing to eat the beetles and emergers they were throwing.
They then went to VIP pool on Slough and proceeded to rip lips there as well.
Several nice fish were brought to the net. After a quick break they decided to head back up to Trout Lake to try for some of the 20+” fish that they had seen cruising.
They returned and the fish were waiting. The biggest for the day was in the 18-20″ range.
Tomorrow I am going to sneak back up to the Gardiner with Kevin and John to finish out their time in Montana.
So…all float trips were a success. John and Kevin caught 25-30 fish on the upper section of the Yellowstone. Nick and Patrick boated around 50-60 through the Yankee Jim Canyon section, with the biggest being an 18″ brown. All thoroughly enjoyed the change of pace and the beautiful scenery of Paradise Valley. Jeff, Spiros, and Aaron tried their hand at Lamar and then Soda Butte but only a couple quality fish were caught. Bob and Steve worked over a little brookie stream and handed out sore lips.
My Dad, my son Bayden, and I went to the upper Gardiner to see how it was fishing.
It started off slow but pick up a good bit in the afternoon.
Bayden landed 5 brookies…one completely on his own.
What perfecting is was…because he is flying home tomorrow.
Tune in tomorrow for the results for day 2 of the float trips and a return to 2nd meadow.
Slough Creek is one of the most famous rivers in the world. It consists of four meadow sections.
The first is located very near the campground. The upper three involve at least a 2 mile hike in.
Our group decided to somewhat spit up with half the group going to second meadow which is about a 4.5 mile hike in.
The other half of the group was content with hitting the first meadow. Fish were very active on the surface with beetles being the main course in the first meadow and hoppers and caddiis in the second.
Fish were very particular on the drift though. All through out the day you could hear fish hitting the surface.
It sounding like a loud popping noise.
The day was beautiful and the surroundings were spectacular.
The fishing started off well and the catching got better as the day went on in the first meadow.
John and Kevin had an unlikely spectator for their fishing.
A buffalo wandered down to the bank an proceeded to watch them fish.
The second meadow proved to be worth the hike with everyone having a stellar day.
Several fish in the 16-18″ range were landed and released.
All in all it was a great day on a great river.
Around 8pm we sat down for a nice dinner of Pork tenderloin and baked veggies. And then the stories of the day carried into the late night. Check back tomorrow and see how the first two guide trips turned out. Tight lines!
So Day 5 has come and gone leaving a mixed bag of success reports.
We started the day with a huge breakfast, packed our lunch, and headed to some H2O. There were slightly different agendas in the house for today.
Nick and Pat were going to try to stalk some big Cutthroats, and then head over to Grebe Lake for the chance at Grayling. The rest of the crew and myself all were going to start on Pebble, and then work our way down to Soda Butte.
Although there were several parties to attend, everyone got the same surprise, high winds. Winds were blowing at least 40mph, but fish were still eating in the northern part of the park.
Fish were feeding regularly on Spruce Moths and Caddis.
Spiros started school right off the bat.
He was educating those Cutties. Steve was batting perfect in the A.M. Many fish were landed and three times as many got the better of us. Nick and Pat’s game plan however involved stalking large fish, and with the wind gusting , sight fishing was out of the question. They fished hard but with no visibility it turned out to be a lot of prospecting.
They decided to try to run over to Grebe Lake for their chance at a new species. After pushing hard through a 3 mile hike, they step clear of the trees only to find more high wind.
They worked the water for the limited time they had available but no love was given. It just goes to show even excellent fisherman can have tough days.
Sometimes you just have to get it out of the way so something spectacular can happen.
The other group decided to split up. I headed back to the cabin to begin work on our Chicken Parmesan dinner, while Steve, Bob, and Jeff tryid to to duck the wind in the begining of the Lamar Valley.
Aaron, Spiros, John, and Kevin, decided to go chase some Brookies on a small wooded stream.
Their plan of action proved to be the best one, with the trees providing a nice break from the wind gusts.
They then proceeded to pierce lips left and right, with Aaron and Spiros doubling up on their first casts. The fish are absolutely gorgeous right now because they are getting ready for their yearly dance.
After getting pounded by the wind and having no luck on the Lamar they decided to head back to Soda Butte to finish out their day.
We had the pleasure of having Richard Parks join us during and after dinner to give us a ‘business’ presentation. Richard is the owner of Parks’ Fly Shop ( http://www.parksflyshop.com/ ) and he has a wealth of information on fly fishing in the area. He has several books and patterns that he has designed specifically for fly fishing in Yellowstone National Park. The coolest part is that Richard and his head guide, Walter Weise, will lead our group on float fishing trips on Friday and Saturday.
Definitely check back in tomorrow to find out how our assault on the world famous Slough Creek turns out. Tight lines!!!!!
So the day finally has arrived. (commute to ‘work’ above, view from our cabin below)
Today starts our second annual Hosted Yellowstone trip. The day began for us with a quick breakfast, and a quick pack up.
We were checking out and moving into our new home for the next two weeks. But first we had to head back through Paradise Valley to pick up some groceries for this guests.
With four people we made quick work of it.
We soon af
ter received a call from Nick and Patrick saying they were headed our way. We met them in Gardiner and got their licenses and we then headed back to check into our cabin. The cabin sits right on the Yellowstone River about 10 miles north of Gardiner Montana (see photo above). It has a total of 8 bedrooms, and is blessed with beautiful views from all sides. We unpacked all the groceries, and took a quick tour of our house and its many residents (see photo below).
Nick and Patrick then geared up and headed down to Yankee Jim Canyon to try their luck. Shortly thereafter John and Kevin pulled into the driveway.
Steve and Bob came through not long after them. Spiros and Aaron returned after a day of fishing and reported some good luck. Their had a couple of stories of the big ones that got away, plus photographic evidence of Aaron’s story of, ‘the Buffalo that stole his fishing hole’.
This fueled everyone’s appetite to wet a line.
Patrick and Nick returned with similar news from the canyon.
Now that the gang was all here it was time for a dinner complete with salad, steak, and potatoes. As the conversations went on, discussions of tomorrows mission(s) came into play.
Some folks will be going on their own, and some will be heading up to Pebble Creek for a warm up, and then over to Soda Butte for a little afternoon/evening action.
Stay tuned for tomorrows post as some of the guys will be getting their first Yellowstone Cutthroat (pictures forthcoming)!
Day 3 arrives and brings the first 2 of our guests, Spiros and Aaron. After a quick meet and greet we decide to head out on our separate ways. Jeff, Spiros, and Aaron had fishing on the brain and set out to hit a couple different bodies of water. My dad (LaBaron), my son (Bayden), and I set off to do a little sight seeing.
We decided to head out to see some of the more exotic sights in Yellowstone.
Old Faithful was number one on the list. During the trip we stopped by to see several of the other geysers, hot springs, and mud pots. While at Old Faithful we made an appearance on the Old Faithful web cam for the family back home.
While we were out taking in the sites, the other guys were out piercing lips. (photo below of Spiros navigating the Gardiner)
They stared on the Gardiner and after educating several fish, they decided to move over to Lava Creek to try their hands at some brookies.
They were greeted by large groups of picnickers but the fish did not seem to mind.
Here’s a picture of Aaron on Lava Creek
After getting their fill on smaller to medium fish and filling their bellies, they decided it was time for a little Soda Butte action and a chance at some larger Yellowstone Cutthroats.
Spiros is fishing the Butte below.
The fish were eagerly awaiting their arrival. Fish were feeding regularly and several were brought to hand.
nt-size: medium;”>A couple were in the 18″- 20″ range. All in all it was a great day on the water. After finishing our sight seeing, the other two Garris’ decided they wanted to relax around the hotel. I on the other hand, needed to get a line wet. So down to Yankee Jim Canyon I went.
That is a section of the Yellowstone that lies outside of the Park. It consists of steep rock on both side of the river with a ton of water flowing down in between. The Yellowstone can be overwhelming, but the side channels are the key.
Several fish were brought to hand and several more were LDR’d (Long Distance Release).
Whitefish, Rainbows, Cutbows, and Cutthroats were all ready to play. Most of the fish were were more than excited to play with my size 8 Yellow Stimi, but a few also fell prey to the all mighty Purple Prince.
After a quick fishing fix it was time to head back to Gardiner for some dinner and then a good nights rest. Tomorrow involves a trip to Bozeman to stock up, and then the rest of our guests arrive. I am sure we will sneak some fishing in as well. Check us out tomorrow for some more from Yellowstone country!
Finally the time has come to set out on another one of our adventures to Yellowstone National Park. The much anticipated trip of the year has finally graced us with her presence. Our initial group consisted of Jeff Curtis, myself (Josh Garris). We were accompanied by my father, LaBaron and my son Bayden. Which made the trip all the more special to me. We will be met by our first group on the 17th of August, and our second group will come out on the 24th.
We flew out of Asheville early Saturday morning having very few hurdles, and arrived in beautiful Bozeman Montana. We were immediately greeted by a terminal full of rod cases and their proud owners. It looked as if they were making a mass exodus because they heard the NC mountain boys were headed their way. In reality their time in paradise had run up,and they were just clearing the way for the next group of lucky anglers. We gathered our bags and picked up our car and hit the road towards Gardiner MT. We finally got on the road around 1:30pm Montana time and were blessed with a high of 66 degrees. It felt glorious!! After a short ride we reached our hotel for the next three days the Absaroka Lodge. It sits on the bank of the Yellowstone, and after dropping off our bags and checking out our porch, we witnessed about 20-30 mayflies (not sure exact species) drying their newly exposed wings.
There were a couple of caddis as well. The thing that got us really excited was that strange ringing in our
ears. Anyone who has been to Montana during hopper season knows that sound all to well.
We decided to head up to Parks’ Fly Shop to pick up the packages we sent, and were pleased to find it all safe and sound. We scooped them up, talked to our friends in the shop for a bit, and decided to head into Yellowstone to see what wildlife was roaming around.
Well it didn’t take long before we saw our first antelope then we were welcomed by some of Jeff’s favorites the bighorn Sheep. We even got a little photo shoot in with the babies.
After that up the road we headed to what we thought would be our next encounter, the Mammoth Hot Springs Elk herd. We were unlucky, not a one was seen. As we continued our drive through the the Northern part of the park we saw a couple of Bufffalo and a large heard of antelope. With our bellies growling we decided to head back to town to get some grub, but were delayed by a Yellowstone traffic jam. After moving up the line a bit we saw the instigator. A fairly large Black Bear wandering through a field.
We pushed on and were seen off by Bighorn Sheep. We refueled and decided to call it an early evening because tomorrow is when the real fun begins. ~ Joshua Garris
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Here we are on day 2. Waking up around 6:45 we were greeted by low clouds and low temps. 41 degrees to be exact. Highs for today were predicted to be in the mid 70’s. We had decided to jaunt to the northern part of the park to start off the fishing by chasing some of the native Cutthroat that call Yellowstone home. We gathered gear still some what confused about not seeing any Elk up in Mammoth the night before, only to be greeted by a fairly large female right outside our hotel door.
She posed for a few pics and went on her merry way and so did we. We stopped by the Two-Bit Saloon for breakfast (no really breakfast). After a nice breakfast, into the park we headed and Pebble Creek was destination one.
l people all the time that one of my favorite things about Yellowstone is the fact that it is always changing. This is my 7th straight year, and I have never ceased to be amazed.
We were told the high water spring had really moved some of the rivers around, and boy did it ever! Pebble Creek was a new river. Five of my favorite holes were gone…not shallow…gone! Channels had been moved, and new trees were in the water. One thing that had not changed was the gin clear appearance of the water. We started fishing around 10am but did not start to see good action until around 11:30 or 12. Then it picked up nicely. We got into several cutties.
Most were on the smaller side but a few nice ones were brought to net.
We were privileged enough to have a handy net man to help subdue the fish.
At around 1pm our bellies had convinced us it was time for lunch. We took a quick ride over to Roosevelt Lodge to fill our need, but we were greeted with a thirty minute wait…
…so, gift shop turkey sandwich it was!
After lunch we headed up the road towards the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone to try a new section of water. We hiked down a fairly steep cliff to end up at the very swift Yellowstone. We fished hard for several hours to no avail.
One was hooked by Jeff, and he might have a few more but all I received was a couple of quick denials. We decided to call it a day and we headed back towards town to grab a quick bite and to call it an evening.
Throughout the day we were able to witness several animals.
Coyotes, Antelope (2 photos above this one), Osprey, Magpies, Elk, and even had a near traffic jam with one LARGE Bison. Tomorrow will include more fishing and some sight seeing as well. Stay tuned!
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