ENJOY THE WEEKEND.. We're off to the famous waters of an ancient river in Yellowstone National Park. It was enjoyed by the locals long before Euro-Americans invaded the area. A loose translation of it's name into the English language produces a word similar to "NOTELLUM."
.. The very word conjures up images of large and enthusiastic trout. The conjuring is no false vision. These are the strongest and most beautiful trout on the planet. Happily, they are also very gullible. We like it that way on occasion. No stealth is involved in the approach. No finesse is required in the cast. Gossamer leaders and perfect flies don't enter into the equation. There is no possibility of losing a fish once it is hooked -- and a fish is hooked on every cast.
.. The trout leap and cartwheel with abandon. They run and they pout. They shake their heads with the force of shoulders that should be on a salmon; and then they come placidly to hand for a gentle release back to the chrystal clear depths.
.. The length and breadth of the river is legend and it's fish border on the phenomenal - nay, they have crossed the border. From it's origin high in the wild back country of Yellowstone, the river runs and leaps and boils.
.. Every pool holds fish of heroic proportions and spirit. Every bend reveals a new and more beautiful place to wet a line.
.. Mornings start with a foggy haze as twinkling spinners fall to the placid pools. Ripples, noses, dimples, and splashes echo above the gurgling of the waters. Fish are beginning to feed. They feed until your arm is tired of casting and your back sore from leaning into the weight of the trout. Calendar pictures are taken on the Notellum River. They are scrumptious - you are in all of them.
.. Lunch time is greeted by billowed clouds, a gently shower in the distance, and a shore lunch of such gastronomic delight that a nap is necessary. After lunch there is an all pervading twilight that lasts for 7 or 8 hours. Bugs hatch - fish feed and are caught; released and caught again.
.. Evening brings on the cool mists of a coming night and the largest fish arrive to commune with anglers. The dances are beautiful. The cadence is varied and perfectly suits your mood.
.. Lets tango - gladly. How 'bout a bit of a fox trout - whatever you will. Polka anyone - you got it. The last waltz arrives just as you are ready to leave and is prolonged into the moonlight. It takes you across the pool, into the depths and up current until your reel sings and the backing diminishes. Then with strings and brass blaring ends in a crescendo of pirouetting leaps as the perfect day ends on the Notellum River.
.. Here are a few images taken over the years of the Notellum River. It's a beautiful bit of trout water that only the cognoscenti know about. You may have driven past these waters. You should have stopped to fish.
.. We'll be back after a short pause for some dances and labors of love.