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  • Monday, October 25, 2010

    Up A Lazy River

    Pleasantly Cool
    dance card filled

    .. Took a ride in Yellowstone Park Saturday. It was leisurely and enjoyable. The girls were out enjoying the sunny spots as the sunlight rained down between the dark heavy clouds hanging low in the sky.
    ..The ride to Norris Junction was pleasantly uneventful. No construction delays and no crowds. Fall's gift to the Autumn visitor is a gentility of pace and place.
    .. Above Virginia Cascades, along the scary one-way road, the Gibbon River was clear, cold, and full of eager Brook Trout.
    .. We fished 'Da Chutes' and in the meadow. By the time we arrived the clouds had thickened and the imminent rain was a very real presence. The heavy air demanded notice.
    .. Small holes between the clouds let enough yellow sunlight through to make the woods and meadows look like the butt of some sort of grotesque Appaloosa stallion. It was nice.
    .. Fish of the small and twinkling variety could be seen ghosting between weed beds and debris piles.
    .. Nothing so large as 8" was apparent on our first saunter down river among the downfall and rusty grasses. Both soft and splashy rises were everywhere and we were blessed with solitude.
    .. Elk squeaks and mewls from above us went unanswered and we wondered why the bulls in this part of the forest were ignoring the girls
    .. Not three cars went by us in the two hours we spent exploring the hides in the shallow and clear water. Fall is oh so different from summer when dogs, kids, strollers, constant traffic, and other bits of noise permeated the narrow canyon.
    .. After more dances than was seemly we fished back up river toward the meadow, still accompanied by mewls and rustling of unseen elk. A couple of the same fish graced us with a dance for a second time as we probed different and darker spots as well as the familiar ones.
    .. The meadow at the end of the road is as pretty as any in Yellowstone National Park. It's small enough that you can see from side to side and end to end. It's large enough that the willow clumps hide mysterious views from site.
    .. Right now the meadow is a golden color that belies the impending winter and it's rush toward white. Soon the grass will be dull brown and mashed flat. But right now, it's upright, golden, and wispy like a carpet with too long a nap.
    .. There are bigger fish in the meadow. Some giants have been known to reach 14". The midges and caddis were in the air and on the water. Occasionally a swirling zephyr ruffled the long grass, but it was mostly a still afternoon.
    .. We fished the lazy bends and undercut banks with a nonchalance unbefitting the stream, we apologize. There was no need to hurry. There was no rush to avoid the fishers up or down stream - there were none.
    .. We sang loudly to the unseen bears and periodically fingered the heavy canister at our hip. They are out there. They hear us. They want the berries that failed this year. They want the Whitebark Pine nuts that also failed.
    .. They are eating grass, occasional bits of carrion, roots, ants, and other meager fare. No matter how soft the winter it's going to be hard on the bears.
    .. It really shouldn't be called rain. The small drops so widely spaced and infrequent that they went unnoticed at first began about five O'clock. The fish all came to the surface at once. We could not decipher what they were after - but, after it they were.
    .. The amount of dimples on the surface surprised us. All those fish; most of which had ignored our offerings, were down there just waiting to embarrass with a carnival show. Oh well, we'd fooled the idiots and there were many of them as well.
    .. It really shouldn't be called snow. A few minuscule ice crystals followed us as we fished our way back to our trusty steed. The ephemeral zephyrs had disappeared from the meadow. The bears were silent as ever and the elk were quiet too. It would be dark before we got to the new bridge. We were pleased. There would be no wait and it's less than an hour's drive to the barn.

    P.S. most images are large enough for wallpaper - just click.