Thursday, June 30, 2011

Yellowstone Grand Loop

Yesterday, I went fishing within Yellowstone Park. Those humongous trout during volunteer guiding the other day got me back enough fishing sense. Yesterday was meant for both little fan for my own and serious guiding in mind.

I was wondering the water condition in the Park rivers as they eventually come to Montana and we are experiencing historical runoff here in towns below!!
I drove through Highway 191 along Gallatin River. "Gall" was as muddy, high, & scary as "Yell", just half of river width. I drove into the Park and observed Madison. In both Madison and Firehole, water was not actually muddy as I could see the bottom but really high instead. Also water remained cool for this time of year. I didn't see any PMD or caddis in the air, maybe a few, not to mention no trout rises at all. It was quite disappointing for me as I had great dry-fly fishing last year this time. Please go to the post archive for July 2010 on right hand side. I'd like to make links but there are too many posts from last June trip.

I started with streamers, which actually seemed very suited for but no actions at all. I switched to a nymph rig but still no action. I finally belly-snagged on a little browny and that was all for the morning. It just seemed a totally different river from last year.............

After I gathered some guides' secrets from a local shop (very secretive information among guides!!!!), I went to Raynolds Pass. A typical "run-off" rainbow was on

a Rubber Leg. I kind of learned how to take pictures that make fish larger, didn't I??

Then I drove back into the Park (OMG, those buff & people jam........) to fish Firehole. Yesterday I wanted to give myself some time for fun after breeding road, so I hoped Firehole would give me some enjoyable dry-fly actions.
Well........there were rises and caddis in the air around 6pm but far incomparably less than last year. Yet I fished. First one gave me a strong fight and it was one of the largest I ever caught in Firehole, 12-inch rainbow

on olive X2 caddis (shown is tan).

I caught several until rise stopped even before 7pm. Something wrong........I was expecting rise would continue till dark and longer. Anyway one of them was my record-breaking 13-inch rainbow!! Very strong.

I was happy but a bit too easy for me. Sounds cocky or "guides' ego" but those good rainbows didn't seem picky for Firehole and I didn't catch any brown. It just seemed merry rainbows were jumping on any little caddis available on the surface while brown had no interest on such little foods......


From Firehole, I took the Park roads to Gardiner then to Livingston. I wanted to see Yellowstone level might as well. I dropped by an unofficial boat ramp, locally known as "26". What? Is this lake?

No!!!! This is how it looked in early May!! Remember my self-floating?
I must have stood at pretty much the same spot last night.

My boat trailer is about 17- or 18-foot long to carry a 16-foot boat so how high is it vertically!!??

Who knows when we can float 'Stone?

Anyway yesterday was quite busy. I had my own fun and did some leg-works for guiding.

Monday, June 27, 2011

CELEBRATION!! 200th Post & Volunteer Guide Action

This post makes 200th since I started. To me this blog has been in a "talking-to-myself-&-reading-my-fishing-log-in-public" style. I thank all of you who dropped by.
Then coincidentally the memorial post is about the very meaningful event. My outfitter Stuart ( gathered a crew of guides to assist children with disability enjoy outdoors and catch trout. Program is run by an organization in Bozeman where Stuart's wife Leslie belongs. We went to a private pond in Livingston. It's quite an opportunity for a rookie guide. Atmosphere was easy to fit in and I could observe what other experienced guides did. Here, kid with Stuart hooked and landed the first trout among us.

Then me in action too!! I was assisting a boy to reel in and a girl to net it.

It was a nice little browny. BTW, little means 20-incher in this pond!!

Trout here, rainbow seemed dominant, are HUMONGOUS!!

And like this.......

Everyone (children and guides) experienced hooking, breaking, reeling, and netting. This was probably the biggest of all (I couldn't get there quick enough before releasing.....)

We fished only about three hours and we all had fun. Then, I myself had my own personal accomplishment. The new bugger patterns I had recently tied became instant killers!! I'm a guide as well as a fly innovator so I had to test my patterns!! There will be more about my new ties. Further tests will be on the way.

It was very meaningful to me. I never thought my fly-fishing would do something other than catching trout. I could assist children with pure hearts to enjoy outdoors and fly-fishing.
I thank Stuart and Leslie for this opportunity. Then nice to fish with experienced guides.

Good luck to all the children and hope more trout will be on your way!!

I'll be there if I can be any help.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

End of the Road

I just got back to my home in Livingston from the breeding road. It's been since May 7th that I step in. Gusts of Livingston make me feel I'm at home.
Thank all the Montana and South Dakota crews for working with me and sharing fun, rain, mud, and everything during the job. Then I thank ranchers and cowboys for being our customers, working with us, and offering great foods and accommodations. I even made friendship with good dogs at most of anywhere I visited.

I was cursing wet weather in South Dakota and it feels like half of my stay was with rain and mud. But I heard Montana also had a depressing wet weather. Yellowstone River is intimidatingly high on the way back..........

I feel content now that I went through the task. Days were long oftentimes. Between ranches, long drivings and lodges were needed. Since the first motel I was put in, I decided to save the key-card to see how many I would collect and how many cities I would be visiting. These are all I've got for key-card but also I spent at my employer's place and a couple of ranch houses.

Last weekend, as I was finishing my schedule in South Dakota, I went to the local bar at night just get relaxed. On the way, I hit a deer........ It was a true accident. I wasn't speeding or not to mention DUI but she was there when I saw her. But I consider I was super lucky that only the softest part of the bumper was damaged. Could have been much more worse.

Then this would probably be the funniest scene of the trip. In the middle of a dirt road on a sunny day in Wyoming, I saw a turtle. It just seemed totally out of place but then the mismatch really captured my eyes and interests. I also learned that Native Americans celebrate turtles for something good. So I believe this must be a lucky encounter. Even a fortune!!??

I'd like give myself some credits that I made through the road. It was really a mixed time of hard work, craziness, fun, slow time, etc........

Well, now I'm ready for fishing and guiding!!

Then again, I'd like to say one more time "THANKS" & "SEE YOU" to everybody I met.
See you all next year!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Day Trip: 2 - Deadwood & Wild Bill

I ended up watching the rodeo at Crazy Horse memoriam till around 4pm. I concerned I might be late for my next destination on my way back, Deadwood and Wild Bill Hickok stories.
James Butler Hickok has been one of my Western heroes. In one of museum rooms at Crazy Horse, there was a life size statue of him. It seems like I'm about the same height.

Then I reached Deadwood. At both north and south ends of town there's this welcome sign.

I first went to Mount Moriah Cemetery to see Wild Bill's grave cite.

There's a huge sculpture again!

Then I went to downtown Deadwood and found another life size statue at the north end of downtown.

I found famous/infamous Number 10 Saloon where Wild Bill's assassination occurred.


In the basement, which used to be the main floor (I guess), dolls are set as that day. Probably my view would be similar to the killer Jack McCall as he shot Hickok from behind.

He was holding "Dead man's hand"!!

I wish I had brought over night stuff so I could stay all night and play gambles.......!! There are lots of casinos and restaurants that remind me of Elko, Nevada. Well, I had to go home and I felt heavy in my stomach so I just got myself ice cream (see the contrast to the sign of steak house!!)

I did get a shot glass at trading store by the cemetery.

My dream came true!! Meeting Wild Bill had always been in my mind. Then I'm sure I like the town of Deadwood. It's lot of casinos = good bars & restaurants!!

I have to go back again and again (hopefully with some funding!!).

Tomorrow I leave South Dakota for Wyoming to do my last breeding job.

Being independent and professional, job comes first. I believe I'm putting everything I've got to each cow I'm breeding. I first cross my fingers that my conception is good, then will be requested by crews and ranchers next season, and visit Deadwood again!!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Day Trip: 1 - Mt. Rushmore, Crazy Horse, & Rodeo

My breeding job in South Dakota is about to end and I head back to Montana by next weekend.
My employer gave me a day off so I can look around. After all I'm a visitor to South Dakota. From my employer's house (I'm staying at the loft of his shop), Mt. Rushmore is an easy drive so I've wanted to visit before I leave. It was a little cloudy with some light shower but it didn't matter for this magnificent sculpture!!

Then my next target was Crazy Horse monument with only several minutes of driving from Mt. R. I was asked to take pictures by a group and instead they took a photo for me. I'm sun-tanned from my job but also I know I look round......caused by recent inconsistent life and rough eating. I'll soon shrink once I get back to Montana.

This is the minuture of how it will look like in the future.

And precise measurements.

It also happened to be a rodeo weekend within the monument property. It was a PRCA rodeo and my favorite saddle bronco ride was awesome!! I sneaked by the fence and was able to take some nice up-close pictures!!

I ended up watching till the end and it ended up the saddle bronco ride was the most enjoyable and in the highest level among other events.

So............I collected more shot glasses........

I was very happy that I could see two of the most magnificent monuments of America in a day. However, there was more to explore on the way be continued.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


Yesterday afternoon and this morning are bit slow. I seem to be having a half day off from cows. Yesterday, on my way back to where I'm staying, I drove through the Badlands National Park. Ranch I worked yesterday morning was pretty much the edge of so called "badlands" so when I passed by, I decided I would make a detour to the actual park.

It was magnificent. In my imagination, whole area would be the surface of moon or mars maybe? Or after catastrophic disaster on the earth??

Lots of unique features.

Some mix of prairies too.

Visitor center was also good. I wish I had more time to spend for both on the road and in the center. I can't remember this beast's name....

Instead of that, I saw a group of bighorn sheep. I noticed one of them had a collar that I assumed it would be tagged for scientific research or record tracking.

After the "loop" of Badlands, there's a town called Wall. Little did I know it was a nice little tourist attraction. I thought there would just be an old drug store as I had been seeing signs along the interstate. There was a mall/block of old Western stores and eateries. Again I wish I had more time to look around.

At least I could do my little hobby = collecting a shot glass from sightseeing spots!!

Sounds like I have to get back to cows right after I hit "PUBLISH POST"......