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  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Monday, October 18, 2010

    Long Park Season

    The 7th Is The First Sunday
    an extra six days this year

    .. The quirks of the Julian Calendar have blessed us with a late closing of the fishing season in Yellowstone National Park.
    .. Catching promises to constantly improve for the next three weeks. Finish the coffee quickly and hit the roads early, fishing and catching will will be available all daylight hours.
    .. Fall's bluster will turn to early winter by the time the season ends. Fingers will be numb and the small flies will be well used and abused. Blue skies will be very dark when they make their appearance. The clouds will get gray and leaden as they sink toward the ground. And, the currently short days will begin getting shorter.
    .. The seasonal migration of weather and fish follows a pattern far older than the calendar and, hibernations will begin in earnest.
    .. The last wood has been cut and gathered. The squirrel nests have been fortified, nuts have been buried, and cuttings lay behind.
    .. Humans are already talking of the upcoming holidays. The pumpkins and corn and squash litter the aisles of the food stores. The summer "sale racks" are displayed in front of the storefronts. Orders for winter garb are being delivered.
    .. The snowmachine crates are stacked and ready for unpacking. Hearty souls are planning their brief excursions to our congenial icebox. And the already long shadows let us know that the deep freeze is about to engulf us for another long winter. We're pleased.
    .. As the seasons change, fishers adjust their psyche to the conditions. Some leave our mountain top basin for their "real" home. Some linger for the bitter end. Others live here and bail out periodically to warmer climes and more salubrious catching environments.
    .. A few of us, bless our hearts, enjoy the cold and deep snow and tourist visitations. We revel in the frozen nose hairs and tingling ears and runny noses. We pretend to enjoy it all; a bit of our forbearance is nourished by the thoughts of next season. Nourished, indeed, by the tons of flies we tie. Nourished, we are, by chores long put off for the fishing we had taken advantage of and enjoyed. Nourished, deeply - we are, by the re-visitation of books and stories gathering dust on our library shelves.
    .. Winter's not here yet. Fall lingers a bit longer this year and we're enjoying it. Yesterday's cold rain put the kibosh on fair weather fishers.
    ..The good holes and runs are accessible without a snowmachine. The fish are here and frisky. Bow hunting season just turned to rifle season and the elk are causing a real ruckus.
    .. We still have flies in the boxes. We still have nubbins on the boots. We still have time to catch a few. So, we will.
    .. We thinks that today the upper Firehole River trail will be devoid of bicyclists in bulging spandex shorts. We're pretty sure that there will be no pink poodles, frolicking adolescents, crying babes in backpacks, or old folks with walkers. We're also pretty sure that the fish will dance with us with not too much of a fuss on our part.
    .. The choice runs on the Madison River are sparsely populated - go figure! Some very good pools are plumb empty. The traffic has thinned out and the smog-belching buses are nearly a memory.
    .. Fall is a grand time to be in Yellowstone Country, especially when the last yellow leaves are dangling from the bare limbs of the aspens and willows.
    .. As the saying goes: "If it 'taint deep, it 'taint winter." And, It 'taint deep yet!