• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Saturday, February 28, 2009

    Winter's Toll

    What Is It ?
    town fever
    .. The neighbors are becoming a bit too familiar. They are going to restrict my libations for saying it.
    .. We haven't had much of a winter yet. The snow is low and the temperatures aren't. Visitation to Yellowstone National Park is sparse, (down about 20%,) and visitors to the neighborhood don't stay too long, (bless 'em all.)
    .. Fishing the Madison River between the lakes has been better than it usually is most winters. Catching has been even better. And, it's getting to be time to think of staying out of the water and letting the next generation have a chance.
    .. It's not been a winter, so far, that restricts one to the couch. It's not been a winter that wears out the remote. It's not been a winter that demands penguin behavior or anything close. It's been a winter where the loaders are parked too much to earn their keep.
    .. So far it's been pleasant. More sun that in recent memory. Sunsets as they used to be. Sweater and shirtsleeve days outnumber the parka parades. Cars start with little trouble, and don't need to be plugged in very often. What's not to like?
    .. The 'cold' has come and gone in a day or two. The mush in the streets is frequent - given the sun and days in the 20' and 30's, (and even 40's.) Puddles of water spread and get icy just after sundown. Last night was a bit on the chilly side, (-33,) but today was still and very sunny.
    .. Yet, as nice as it's been, and as good as this town is in the winter, -- winter is still a mental constraint. There's no swimming in the rivers. There's no tubing to be done in skimpy clothing. A walk is not just a walk. And, perhaps the most mental of all for us; we can't just dash to the river for a couple of hours of sport.
    .. There are folks up here who can ski everyday and call it glorious: we can't. There are folks up here who can cruise the 700+ miles of groomed national forest trails every day and call it wonderful: we can't.
    .. We do cruise the forest trails a few times each winter. We do ski a bit more often. But it's the little things that begin to wear.
    .. Constantly scraping the windshield, parking in the sun, avoiding the icy spots, walking in the street, hauling wood, shoveling snow, adjusting the thermostat, keeping the tires at the correct pressure, opening the frozen fuel cap door, dodging falling cornices from overhanging roofs, perpetually sweeping and vacuuming the frozen debris from the floor, are constant and continual chores and habits. It's all just a list of small nuisances, but they do add up.
    .. Winter shoes and pac boots take a chunk of time out of the day as they are donned and removed. An extra layer and a heavier coat do the same. It just slows a body down.
    .. We don't just 'go to the store.' We plan, prepare, dress and then go. Most of the neighbors walk around town in the winter. It's only the rich and inconsiderate, and visitors, that drive from block to block. Funny; that takes just as long.
    .. The pace is slowed by the conditions and it's not all together unpleasant. But the summer folks are gone, (a mixed blessing,) and the faces in the pubs are fewer and more than familiar. The Chamber of Commerce population figures are a maximum summer number, not a year-round population number.
    .. The post office, grocery store, hardware store, gas station, library, etc. all hold the prospect of another encounter with the same folks. "I'm following you" is a common greeting amongst neighbors in the winter. It's not a coincidence - it's an inevitability.
    .. It's not a real cabin fever - it's more a town fever. As nice as our town is - the confining conditions begin to become apparent by this time of the year.
    .. We could leave, (many do,) - but we won't. And, as familiar as they are - the remaining folks are still our neighbors. And as much of a nuisance as it is; Winter in West Yellowstone is still better than Winter in 100,000 other places. And, of course it's the neighbors that make it so.
    .. We just wish the snow was a bit less mammaform.

    Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    Not Just Another Pretty Bug

    Simple, Big, Fast, Fun
    .. We've tied a couple dozen gross flies by now, and we're about done. We always save the best for last. Joe shows us, (& Todd,) how.
    .. May you catch an early hatch on the Bitterroot River.

    Tuesday, February 24, 2009

    February 24, 1969

    It Seems Like Yesterday
    my how time flies
    ( hi to Alice & Dave )
    1. Johnny Cash - Big River
    2. Johnny Cash - I Still Miss Someone
    3. Johnny Cash - Wreck Of The Old 97
    4. Johnny Cash - I Walk The Line
    5. Johnny Cash and June Carter - Darlin' Companion
    6. Johnny Cash - I Don't Know Where I'm Bound
    7. Johnny Cash - Starkville City Jail
    8. Johnny Cash - San Quentin
    9. Johnny Cash - San Quentin
    10. Johnny Cash - Wanted Man
    11. Johnny Cash - A Boy Named Sue
    12. Johnny Cash - (There'll Be) Peace In The Valley
    13. Johnny Cash - Folsom Prison Blues
    14. Johnny Cash with the Carter Family - Ring Of Fire
    15. Johnny Cash with the Carter Family, the Statler Bros. and Carl Perkins - He Turned The Water Into Wine
    16. Johnny Cash with the Carter Family, the Statler Bros. and Carl Perkins Daddy Sang Bass
    17. Johnny Cash with the Carter Family, the Statler Bros. and Carl Perkins The Old Account
    18. CLOSING MEDLEY: Folsom Prison Blues/I Walk The Line/Ring Of Fire/The Rebel-Johnny Yuma
    .. Hey guys: Them were the days.

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    A Moldy Blog Gathers No Moss


    Fix It Now

    Henry's Fork Aliens
    .. The folks at MOLDY CHUM have a new address. They have some new headers. They have a new host. Bless 'em all.

    Here's the link that will get you there:

    .. Now there is a Forums Page, Surf Topics Page, Archives Page, Links Page, & a link to the Reel Pure Store. Check it out. We sadly note that we are no longer a friend of the Moldy Bunch.
    .. The Standard Journal reports that the Henry's Fork Council is preparing their battle plan to wage war on invasive species. Read it HERE.

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009

    Boots News

    A Step Forward
    .. The Invasive Species Weblog has taken the time to mention the Riverkeeper Wading Boots from L.L. Bean. They praise the concept and deplore the spelling. Oh well, can't win 'em all.
    .. We're reminded of the fine line by Bill Bailey . . . "Do not crush the flowers of wisdom with the hobnail boots of cynicism."

    Monday, February 16, 2009

    Inches Up -- Water Down

    Or Slightly Below
    spring will tell the tale
    (photo courtesy of North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences Winter Tour of Yellowstone)
    [[click photo for Yellowstone slide show]]
    .. As the mid-winter-warm-up wends its way toward spring we again check the snowpack figures. The numbers are not as depressing as we feared. But, they're not as good as we'd hoped.
    .. If the 90 day forecast holds and spring brings what the National Weather Service anticipates we can look forward to the following:
    ". . . estimated streamflows between April and July suggest that the Gallatin River will be running between 86 to 96 percent of a 30-year average. The Yellowstone is predicted to run at 92 to 104 percent, the Madison River between 78 and 81 percent and the Jefferson River 81 to 101." [LINK]
    .. That's not all bad for the anticipated river flows. The Billings Gazette, and The Bozeman Chronicle both have run articles in the recent past. It seems that water is important to us all.
    .. The maps below show the snow pack, and the streamflow forecast. It has been, and could be worse. We'll wait another 30 days and see how it turns out. [Click image for source.]
    .. It seems that the Sacramento River salmon are being done in by pumps and water exports. Thanks to the Trout Underground for following this catastrophe.
    .. Jeff Kennedy, of Drawing Flies fame, is busy in these down-times and we miss the daily offerings. He's posted another couple of flies, and gotten some good press from Field & Stream.
    .. The Montana State Legislature is busy wasting time with your money as it introduces another, (happily defeated,) stupid bill. Read about "Junteenth" and how our legislature spends its time HERE.

    Saturday, February 14, 2009

    Valentine Fish

    That's Probably Best
    a cod by any other name
    .. Straight from Norway comes this note. (LINK)
    After five years in the Barents Sea, as far north as Svalbard, millions of skrei flood in every winter towards the northern coast of our country. Sexually mature, potent and on the prowl for a mate they bring the ocean to a boil.
    After these first five years of life the skrei is muscular, supple and in the prime of its life, fit enough for the long journey home to Lofoten and the northern coast of Norway. After a fatiguing voyage a real charmer returns to its birthplace to make love.

    The Casanova of the Seas
    While other species get right down to business, the skrei tilt their heads gently in towards one another in a tender sign of affection and glide away slowly before five years of yearning take a powerful upper hand and the pace increases, belly to belly. The ocean comes to a boil and millions of new eggs are fertilised.

    The skrei season commences on St. Valentine's Day
    On the day of love, Valentine's Day, the 14th of February, the skrei has achieved the objective of its yearning and long journey. That is also when the skrei season begins for those of us sitting around the table. The love fish is perfect for the day on which we are reminded of the Roman priest Valentine who left behind him history's first known love letter.

    Skrei – in the name of love
    Skrei is some of the healthiest food that you can serve someone you care about. Nutrition-wise skrei is a veritable fountain of youth. Seafood contains few calories and is rich in proteins along with the important omega-3 fatty acids, which are so tremendously good for both the body and the brain.

    Omega-3 provides increased energy and better spirits, strengthens the heart, improves the blood circulation and counteracts memory loss and faulty concentration by providing the brain with nourishment. That is why many find that they experience weight loss, improved intelligence and greater vigor by eating more seafood.

    ---- And that is certainly just how we wish to appear in the eyes of our beloved on the day of love.

    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    A Different Place


    Some rural rules:

    1. Pull up your droopy pants. You look like an idiot.

    2. Let's get this straight; it's called a "gravel road." I drive a pickup truck because I need to. No matter how slow you drive, you're going to get dust on your Lexus. Drive it or get out of the way.

    3. They are horses, cattle & oil wells. That's what they smell like to you. They smell like money to us. Get over it. Don't like it? I-90 and I-94 go east and west, I-15 goes north and south. Pick one.

    4. So you have a $60,000 dollar car. We're impressed. We have quarter-million dollar, air conditioned tractors that we drive three weeks a year.

    5. So every person in every pickup waves. It's being friendly. Try to understand the concept.

    6. If that cell phone rings while a bunch of geese are coming in, we WILL shoot it out of your hand. You better hope you don't have it up to your ear at the time.

    7. Yeah, we eat Walleye & Rainbow Trout. You really want sushi & caviar? It's available at the corner bait shop.

    8. The "Opener" refers to the first day of deer season. It's a religious holiday held the closest Saturday to the first of November.

    9. We open doors for women. That is applied to everyone, regardless of age.

    10. No, there's no "vegetarian special" on the menu. Order steak. Or you can order the Chef's Salad and pick off the two pounds of ham & turkey.

    11. When we fill out a table, there are three main dishes: meats, vegetables, and breads. We use three spices: salt, pepper, and A-1.

    12. You bring "coke" into my house, it better be brown, wet, served over ice. You bring "Mary Jane" into my house, she better be cute, know how to shoot, drive a truck, and have long hair.

    13. High School Football is as important here as the Vikings and the Seattle Seahawks and a dang site more fun to watch.


    Sunday, February 08, 2009

    We Love Firefoxes

    Cabin Fever Reliever
    wallpaper edition

    Friday, February 06, 2009

    We'll Contact You

    Why The Silence ?
    stay tuned
    .. According to a story in the RUTLAND HERALD Dick Cheney may or may not be the guest at the $175/plate fundraiser for the American Museum of Fly Fishing.
    .. Catherine Comar, executive director of the museum was quoted in the story: "We're not discussing this. We'll contact you when we're ready to discuss the issue. The board (of directors) is having meetings. When we have any information to offer, we'll contact you."
    .. We, like the Rutland Herald, are waiting for some information to confirm or deny the veracity of the story that the museum has decided to "Honor" itself with the presence of the former Representative from Wyoming.
    .. We're reminded about the recent post in FLY RIVER about the many socio-cultural divisions in fly fishing and wonder just how much this plays into the Cheney flap. Is this story accelerated by the east coast elitists finding a western elitist to rub elbows with? Or is it just that the disparity of ideals and actions is ignored when it comes to gathering up money?
    .. Cheney's Record [LINK]
    .. American Museum of Fly Fishing [LINK]
    .. Staff and Directors of the AMFF [LINK]
    .. Tickets: AMFF fund raiser at New York Anglers' Club [LINK]
    .. New York Anglers' Club restaurant: violations record [LINK]
    .. New York Anglers' Club restaurant: information [LINK]
    .. Rutland Herald [LINK]
    .. Thanks to the Trout Underground for the tip.