• Welcome to Pretentious Snobby Bastard Fly Fishing!. Please login or sign up.
November 29, 2021, 05:30:35 AM

News:

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Wyoming, Part4- To Be Continued...

Started by Damselfly, October 17, 2007, 23:03:11 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Damselfly

October 17, 2007, 23:03:11 PM Last Edit: October 17, 2007, 23:14:24 PM by Damselfly

Poor Dave woke on Tues with a raging case of the flu, and with Jyl happily involved with their grandson, I decided to head East to the NTongue River, returning by way of Shell Canyon. Dave had tried to describe it to me, but I'd found that Wyoming changes faces entirely every few miles or so, so I was looking forward to exploring a little more.
I started off by slipping out to the Pryor Horse Range in hopes of catching another glimpse of the wild ponies, but they didn't choose to favor me with a view, so I turned NE for the river. Honestly, I was a little irritated with myself for going so far out of the way (wasting good fishing time), but as the day unfolded, I realized that my little sidetrip had placed me in exactly the right place at exactly the right time to see.....

THE Classic Cowboy Shot!
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">

Wow....This is no movie-
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">

I suppose I had assumed that "advances" had been made in running cattle as in everything else, and that they probably used 4 wheelers or dirt bikes or some other steel, heartless thing to work cattle, but there, below the Bighorns was a living, breathing piece of history. I'll be darned if it didn't reaffirm my faith in the world. Some things have remained exactly the way they should have.

Continuing on the road, still musing over the cowboys at work, I was startled to see a huge white dog striding down the yellow line like he owned the road. Well- to be honest, it's a toss up whether I saw the dog or the dust cloud first...
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">
I stopped to watch this shepherd and his flock pass- and as I put my camera back down, the shepherd pulled his horse to and gave a hearty wave to me. I am loving this place!
It's killing me that I somehow missed a shot of the dog- but that's him in the road, and a second dog on the left.

By now I'm wondering what else could be up the road...
But, other than a dramatic drop in temperature as I climbed in altitude (I stopped to put on longjohns), the rest of the trip to the North Tongue was uneventful. And the fishing was nice once I got there-
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">
The N Tongue is completely enveloped in willows, with fair pathways at the parking areas, but, true to form, I managed to find the most difficult, boot-sucking mudboggy, willow-choked worm paths along the river channels. At one point it was only the extreme vaccuum-effect of the mud surrounding my leg up to mid-shin that saved me from an icy face-plant in midstream. (Which would be a disaster, since I was now wearing every bit of clothing I had with me) Of course, it was the same boot-sucking mud that was trying to throw me in...
Oh, and thoughts of popping up on a bedded moose kept me singing loudly and off-key.
I managed to "walk" right up on the hog of the creek, who looked an easy 22", so I "made do" happily with the smaller ones:
This one's for you Jule- your MT Stoneflies were the ticket on this river!!
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">

Shell Canyon
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">
A Line Shack? outside the canyon
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">

Wed, I spent the morning with Jyl & Niko in Cody at the Buffalo Bill Museum, and though I thoroughly enjoyed the artwork, found myself antsy to get back on the road. today I'd planned to head down the Chief Joseph and check out a little creek my friend Steve mentioned.....

The Chief Joseph didn't disappoint- every turn was awe-inspiring, with views that seemed to expand your mind and your soul along with the landscape.
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">
(Yep, that squirmy-looking "goat track" is the road...)

Enjoying the scenery and watching the lowering clouds dropping snow on the mountains far ahead, I caught a glimpse of something that made me pull over to see a little better:
More cowboys!
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">
My zoom felt worth it's weight in gold at the moment-
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">

As I drove on with renewed joy at watching cowboys in their work, I rounded a bend in the road and stopped dead in my tracks- if watching from a distance was a thrill, how about being in the MIDDLE of a cattle drive?!! How cool!
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">
(Just like the movies, the cows bellow and squall and moo and look terribly anxious the whole time)

I just wish so much that I could somehow have caught a picture of the first cowboy I saw as I came around the bend and slowed- he saw me at the same time I saw him and the herd, and with a grin and a flourish, he swept the hat off his head and bowed from his stirrups. This southern girl's heart sure beat a little faster!
My goodness but this Wyoming leaves you shaking your head....

A few more turns in the road, and as I reached nearer to the bottom of the clouds above, I came near the pulloff for Crandall Creek. But there were three pullouts to choose from- the one on the right doable, but frighteningly steep and treacherous-looking for a solo climb down & up, the first one on the left didn't look near the water, and led to a tiny cabin....so I chose the last and pulled up to find a couple trucks and a pen full of horses. I'll be darned if I didn't find the cowboys themselves! I didn't take a picture because I get uncomfortable taking people's pictures, so my description will have to do. Confused as to how to reach the water, I walked over to a beat-up pickup just as the biggest cowboy was ambling over, with a twinkle already in his eye. I wasn't in waders yet, but we still must've looked like two worlds colliding...but in just a moment's time, the four of us were laughing together. The tall redhaired boss was every bit as big as Dave, and his two companions acted shy as housecats, half-hiding behind the big guy or messing with the horses the entire time I was there. As I leaned on the closed tailgate, the boss swirled a mostly empty bottle of rotgut whisky toward me and promised that "after a swig or two I wouldn't care any more where the water was!" Then let out a laugh that rang through the hills- every bit as big as all outdoors. His cowdog, a beautiful Aussie Blue, eased over the load of firewood in the truck bed to slowly and softly lick my face while we talked...
It turned out that I was just one turn off from where I needed to be, but I wouldn't have missed that meeting for the world. What a moment!

I followed that with Crandall Creek- a real gem. Thanks Steve!!
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">

As dusk fell, the snows started, and in just a short distance it had started to cover the road- by the time I reached Cooke City (easy to imagine this town in Old West days) I was wondering if I could make it all the way to Gardiner.
But, the altitude dropped enough for the snow to disappear, and I made my way easily.

I ended up seeing more Winter this trip than I had all last year at home!
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">

The final day of my story (I already told you about fishing Fri on the Madison, and I left on Sat) found me fishing the Firehole and Gibbon Rivers in the Park.
I've heard so much about the Firehole and knew next to nothing about the Gibbon, but Dave had sparked my interest, pointing out likely pullouts as we meandered through the Park earlier, so, at the first interesting pullout, I suited up and headed for the water. It was an odd hike down, because all the rocks were obviously pumice, with many crusty-looking ones. The path I'd chosen was covered with marble-sized pebbles, and footing was very unsteady- at one point I started to slide and grabbed a nearby boulder to steady myself, and nearly jerked my hand back- the rock was warm! Weird.

But not as weird as what greeted me at the water-
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">
Active fumaroles on all sides!
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">
Watch yer backcast!
But this fellow lived right there
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">
And this one
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">
lived next to this
" class="fancybox" data-fancybox="topic">" title="" alt="" class="bbc_img" loading="lazy">
ummm, yeah- that's boiling water coming up midstream- catch and cook yer trout all in one motion as Dave said!!

So, it was a trip of experiences and stories, rather than a trip of just trout, and I left WY knowing I'll be back, and knowing that there will be just as much to discover next time. That's why I had to put "to be continued"...
I hope you enjoyed it.


BRFFF

good grief... awesome... i'll have to read it again in the morning.... ;hb


Damselfly

Sorry- it's a little loooong, but how do you edit that?!


Woolly Bugger

Quote from: Damselfly on October 17, 2007, 23:19:43 PM

Sorry- it's a little loooong, but how do you edit that?!

no apology needed.. it's just a little overwhelming at 11:15 PM  0--0

ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

brownhunter

Quote from: Woolly Bugger on October 17, 2007, 23:22:05 PM

Quote from: Damselfly on October 17, 2007, 23:19:43 PM

Sorry- it's a little loooong, but how do you edit that?!

no apology needed.. it's just a little overwhelming at 11:15 PM  0--0

Agreed, but it's 1:24 now, but it was still great. I hope there are still more pics to come, because I never get tired of reading your posts and seeing pics of your trip. Thanks for sharing.

"Why, he wondered, did rich people call it sushi while poor people called it bait?"   -- Same Kind of Different as Me

phg

After reading all these posts, I find myself asking, "Why fish Montana?  Sure looks like Wyoming will do."  Glad you had a good urn.  I'm green with envy....


troutphisher

October 18, 2007, 09:00:44 AM #6 Last Edit: October 18, 2007, 09:46:18 AM by Woolly Bugger

WOW!

That is an excellent report !!!!!

The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.

Woolly Bugger

October 18, 2007, 10:10:58 AM #7 Last Edit: October 18, 2007, 11:45:25 AM by Woolly Bugger

Nice cutts, it's really turning out to be quite an adventure and a great read, special kudos for all the great photos, not just the trout but everything else makes it special  ;hb

i regret that while i was out there i didn't track down any cutts, got cutt/bows... but nothing like the one that you caught...
Next time.... next time, always save something for next time.... o-o
ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

Bluetick1955

Never been out west. My heart aches to go, Now in Full Cardiac Arrest, Thx  ;D

Beautiful


Discomidge

Nice report and pics Damson...glad ya had a good time. 0--0

Kim 8)

Gofisher

Very nice report and pictures DF! It looks like you had a great time.

Yankee by birth, Rebel by choice.

pelcrk

Lauri,

Great pictures and story once again. I'm glad you got to fish some of Crandall ,it's  amazing water. There's so much more and a few other branches to explore.I usually spend two days on Crandall(and north fork of it),at least, out of the eight I typically spend out there. Now that you know the area,I'll be able to tell you about another access point  for Crandall for a future trip.Some time ,if you go earlier in the year ,you should try the Beartooth mtn pass.It closes in October or earlier depending on the snow.

Best,

Steve

It's all good drifts

Damselfly

Thanks for telling me about Crandall, Steve- it's a beautiful place!

And I had plans to drive at least a bit of the Beartooth Highway, but it closed before I got there- as it turned out, the clouds I'd seen dropping snow ahead of me on the Chief Joe nearly closed the Park Entrance ahead of me, and had dumped several inches on the higher elevations. Indian Summer is quite an experience out West- as I told Irish, the weathermen there really work for a living!


Al

Great story and photos Lauri.

You should have roped one of those cowboys or maybe the sheepherder and brought him back with you >:D.



#CommissionsEarned