Wednesday, December 31, 2014
did general sherman goof?
.. As it's been a brisk -30° F for a couple of nights and the highs during the day have reached a blistering +9° F we've retreated to the kitchen to warm our soul and belly.
HAPPY NEW YEAR, Y'ALL.
Saturday, December 27, 2014
Thursday, December 25, 2014
Ours Is The Eve Of . . . .
spoil not the day with feasting
-------.. Our feasting has finished. It was several days in the preparing. It was several hours in the enjoying. We're stuffed and will enjoy Christmas Day in a leisurely fashion while nibbling what ever is in the fridge or on the buffet.
.. Imbibing, tempered with conversation and fellowship, is only a small part of our gentle festivities. It's hard to beat gentility and immersion in historic recollections - at our age. Observing the raucousness of the general population is a mildly entertaining part of our celebration. It's mostly old folks, out of touch with contemporary hustle enjoying each other. It's not all bad.
.. We tickled the very early morning with our dopey conversations and reminiscences. We then slept in: to hell with Santa. We awakened to pick up where we left off. We'll nibble the day away and enjoy the fresh white blanket of snow that quiets the village and hides reality. It's sublime. It's way away from most of the neighbors who are out on the streams and river. It's all O.K.
.. Just one of our more exciting traditions is a sinister place setting for dinner. It satisfies those amongst us that suffer all year with the right sorts of folks and presents the rest of us with a bit of gentle insight into the real meaning of Christmas Eve.
.. We've been persuaded by the neighbors and friends who indulged to share the best part of it with you all. It isn't fishing so feel free to click away and find other vicarious satisfactions.
|RESTING ROAST AND YORKSHIRE PUDDING|
|END CUT: JUICY AND CRUNCHY|
|TRADITIONAL AND STODGY -- YUM|
Wednesday, December 24, 2014
Sunday, December 21, 2014
Friday, December 19, 2014
IT'S VERY QUIET
It's On The Cold Side
midges = recipe for success
|WALLPAPER: MIDGE HUNTERS OF THE MADISON|
..The neighbors relish this time of year. The pace of life and fishing in particular dwindles to a gentility that is a quiet joy.
.. Our neighborhood midges invite our fish to gobble them up. They appear on warm bright days. They clump together in dark clusters on the water. They ride the gentle Merry-Go-Round's of the delicate swirling back eddies or the still froth puddles near the shore. They are mindless snacks waiting to be ingested.
.. With a long rod, keen eyes, and delicately smooth movements a fly may be placed on the eddy in synch with the trout's rhythm. The trout seldom miss on the first try. They will often spit the fly with lightning rapidity. No need to re-present the fly: just watch it make another circuit and be a bit more alert. Lifting is in terms of inches not feet.
.. The fish cooperate and sink down after each inhalation. It's a dance of suavity. The cool waters bring a slowness that is missed by the typical trout slayer. The fight and struggle is just as strong as ever can be but the prelude is poetry incarnate.
.. Observation, stealth, planning, and execution for this type of fishing is much akin to hunting big game. Sometimes the fish are large as well. Occasionally it's necessary to step in the water. Position and placement of flies are keys to this leisurely sort of endeavor. Although some of the kids in the neighborhood indulge themselves with this sort of pursuit, it's usually the fishers of a more mature demeanor and gait that indulge themselves. We do.
.. We usually leave the barn around noon and catch the mid day warming. A few fish happily inhale our offering and we quietly gloat with glee. No one is around. No high five's. No blood curdling war whoops. No license plates from foreign countries clog the miniscule parking spaces. And, our track in the snow is the only one. It is an other world.
.. We're back in time for tea.
|WALLPAPER: CRUMPETS AND BUTTER AND JAM|
Sunday, December 14, 2014
MID DECEMBER WARM
park opens to tires
|RUBBER TRACKS OR GIANT TIRES HEAD TO YELLOWSTONE|
-------.. This is not the warmest mid December on record. It's getting close.
.. Around town there may be six inches of snow on the ground. The plow piles are not too deep and there is some bare pavement on some streets and sidewalks. The neighbors are not planting tomatoes just yet. Overnight lows are in the mid teens and daytime highs nudge the low 30's on occasion.
.. The early trails pounded through the snow have become icy and muddy and elbows have proliferated at an alarming rate on the Madison River between the lakes.
.. Midges have made their appearance on a couple of occasions in the past weeks and the fish have discovered them. Little fish seem to be the order of the day when midge fishing. Nothing over 14" has yet been taken on a midge - it's early though.
.. Just about any small bit of dark fluff will suffice for the current midge fishing activity. We've been using our supply of small ants from the invasion of tiny ants along the shores of Hebgen Reservoir last summer. They work just as good as anything: size 16 is what we have.
.. Tomorrow Yellowstone National Park will open for over-the-snow-travel and visitation. Obsolete vehicles with skis or metal tracks will have to wait for additional snow before they enter. Snowmobile traffic will be limited and dependent on this evening's snowfall - if any.
.. The ski festival was lucky to have some snow and managed to complete all events including the long races, ski camp, and biathlon courses.
.. Our first sled dog race will be on the 18th and the dogs will run no matter what the conditions. The trails through the trees are snow covered and packed. There are a few patches of mud and slush in a couple of short open stretches but the dogs can handle it. Snow is predicted for the coming week and if it all comes true there could be 6 to 8 inches of dry powder by Friday, next. We'll see.
.. On a related note: there is a quiet revolution taking place with winter travel in Yellowstone National Park. This is the second year of a trial for innovative vehicles with large low pressure tires for over-the-snow-travel. Large vans and small buses are being equipped with tires up to 48" in diameter with bead lock rims and air pressures of 4 to 8 pounds.
.. Last year the trials were a success beyond any anticipated outcome. The snow covered roads were not badly rutted by the tires, as they are by other vehicles. The visitors experienced a quieter and smoother ride in the park. The vehicles are warm and well insulated, higher than others, and visibility is excellent.
.. The current BAT standards were developed over the last 15 years and depended on the previously available vehicles that were used in the winter in the park.
.. As a result of the current standards the snowmobile manufacturers have produced sleds that are cleaner and quieter per passenger mile than any of the other modes of transportation. The trial vehicles with tires may result in a better solution for winter travel than all the other vehicles currently in use.
.. There is also some talk of allowing sled dogs for limited travel in Yellowstone. And, of course, there is always a small but persistent cry for plowing and greater public access during the winter.
|WALLPAPER: PATIENTLY AWAITING THE SNOW|
Sunday, December 07, 2014
GENTLE WINTER PASTIME
Strange Patterns In The Water
they work now as they did then
.. Perhaps the device should have some bird and mammal parts as well as larval intestine. Pheasant tail cries out to be used at the aft end. Simple golden silk thread from mom's embroidery basket can work for the body and a bit of red wool from that old Persian Balouch Rug will fit right in at the throat.
.. Black hackle that is way too big for any self respecting trout fly ought to be densely palmered forward to hide mom's silk thread. A wee bit of elk fuzz from the inner hind leg of a small cow should make an excellent head and a pair of two-toned turkey feather segments will be a decent wing over it all.
.. No cute and fancy loop eye for this device. The gut is tightly twisted in a solution of glycerine and warm water and tied with secret knots and incantations to the hook shank. It's sometimes called a self-leader. It gets coiled up while still damp and pliable. It'll take some warm water and some spit to bring it back to life when it comes time to use it. Usually forward thinking is necessary on the night before a winter adventure is anticipated. Soak 'em good.
.. We like the old flies. They are simple, colorful, sturdy, and more effective than a double handful of offerings from the bins at the musty and popular stores in town.
.. Many of the local feather merchants employ winter help that extol the virtues of a "run-n-gun gonzo approach" to our neighborhood streams.
.. Pound 'em with one and then another and then another and yet another fly. Cover a lot of water. Bust through the snow. Try three or four nymph patterns that we couldn't sell during the summer. If the nymphs don't work try our leftover streamers they might work if you have five or six patterns.
.. Try all the places possible. Catch every fish in the stream and retire to the pub to tell some lies. Great exercise.
.. From a relaxation point of view - it ain't our schtick. We gather up a slow buggy whip, a few seldom seen patterns and stroll between a couple of holes and hides and tickle a fish or two. Certainly not in keeping with most contemporary fishing behavior. But, that's just us.
.. You will not find these flies in the spiffy synthetic fly boxes advertised in magazines, catalogs or blogs. A few will do just fine on a Winter's afternoon. Stick them in your hat or just stuff them in your pocket. They are made to be abused, (by fish and fishers.) They work just as good now as they ever have.
.. These flies descend to us from a time -- long gone -- that needed less of just about everything. By the time Kelson published his tomb it was apparent that diversity and artifice were soaring. By 1895 fly fishing had finally reached a modern mentality.
.. It had become elitist, (like today,) it had begun to glorify gear, (like today,) it emphasized both numbers and size of fish as part of a successful experience, (like today.) Hero photos were de rigueur, (like today,) territoriality and secrecy were employed to enhance one's supposed expertise, (like today.)
.. We prefer gentility and relaxation to braggadocio and gear worship. We prefer intimate immersion in a few select places to sweeping visitations and mere casual acquaintanceship. We prefer a few old flies and other well worn gear to the latest and greatest of whatever the industry has to offer right now.
.. We're out-of-step with contemporary fly fishing. We like it that way. For gonzo fishing and exuberant, albeit it brief, visitations check the blogs and feather merchants listed in the sidebar.
.. We'll be sauntering - may fish a little too.
Saturday, December 06, 2014
DO YOU TAKE PICTURES ?
Cell Phone Or Otherwise ?
and, just how are they used ?
-------.. Dozens of images from this blog have been used across the web and in print media of various sorts. Each image is non-commercial and carries a Creative Commons License, (see bottom of sidebar.) Some have even been purloined by unscrupulous shagnasties in their pursuit of filthy lucre to line their pockets. It's in the nature of marketing and marketeers to do what ever they can to make a buck.
.. Recently public lands managers have jumped on the permit process to enhance their revenue streams and regulate the use of images taken on public lands. A few years ago Yellowstone National Park implemented a permitting process for "Film, Photography, and Sound Recording." We've mentioned it in passing a couple of times.
.. Now, the United States Forest Service has initiated a rule-making process about commercial photography in wilderness areas of National Forests. It may seem like an insignificant bit of bureaucratic nonsense but; it could affect just about anyone that takes a snapshot on public lands of the National Park Service or the United States Forest Service.
.. We've been informed that the Bureau of Land Management and Bureau of Reclamation are also considering rule-making and permitting procedures.
|COMMERCIAL USAGE ?|
.. Action was taken by the Outdoor Writers Association of America and Hatch Magazine to clarify the proposed rule and it's implications for photography and photographers.
.. If you've read this far you probably think that this is just stuff and nonsense. It certainly can't affect your standard hero shot that you take of a gasping fish that is oxygen starved out of the water in the park or in the forest. That's true unless it's used in a commercial publication.
.. That commercial publication can be a motion picture, a published print book, on-line-magazine, or blog that is monetized with advertising from commercial ventures such as tackle makers, apparel purveyors, or feather merchants, etc. Advertising posters, product catalogs, mailers, and leaflets are not exempt from the commercial standard.
.. This is where the law gets as sticky as flypaper. It's going to take some court cases to sort it all out. Resolution may eventually center on the original intent and circumstances of the original image and it's original purpose. Lawyers are about to have a field day.
.. Recent events in Missouri have shown how ignorant of the law some police officers appear to be. Photographers have rights that are constitutionally protected in the taking of pictures. It's the use of those pictures that bothers officials of all stripes. It is incumbent upon anyone that snaps a picture to understand the law regarding their actions and the use of the resulting image.
.. A couple of interesting definitions come into play in this legal morass: Is the use of the image in the service of "NEWS" and the precept that "THE EYE CAN COMMIT NO TRESPASS."
.. For example is it "news" when a monetized blog illustrates and extolls the virtues of an advertisers' new product? Is it news when an outdoor writer in the "newspaper" praises a travel trip to an exotic destination and uses images from the trip of a lifetime ??
.. So then: where was it taken, for what purpose was it taken, how is it used?
Some resources that you may find useful:>> Yellowstone National Park Permit and Process,
>> Hatch Magazine Article,
>> Smokey Says, Get A Permit, Shutterbugs,
>> Know Your Rights: Photographers,
>> You Have Every Right To Photograph That Cop,
>> Go To Jail In Arizona For Linking To Photos,
>> Photographers Rights,
>> Discussion Of Cops, Rights, and Homeland Security.
|WALLPAPER: PERMITTED ??|
Friday, November 28, 2014
A VERY SMALL DINNER
To Bed Early
up and gone - the bite is on
-------.. Not wanting to be an antitraditionalist yesterday, we had a wee bite of ham and a taste of turkey and a spoonful of smashed potatoes dampened with butter and gravy. We drank some cider and had a sip of tea with a small slice of sweet tater pie. Then to bed.
|COMEANFISH SPRING CREEK BOTTOMS|
.. As many sourdough pancakes as could be wolfed down were laid on the bottom of the old oil drum in the garage. Bacon, eggs, and other vittles were available.
.. The cast iron skillets and griddles work real fine on the old wood burner. We ate too quickly and crammed our self into the jump seat of a modern pickemup. The Z's came quickly.
.. The nice thing about Black Friday is that the roads are lightly populated and most of the "Join-all-anglers" are at the mall or various feather merchants scarfing up sooooper deals. Bless them all.
.. Bumpy ruts and crazy curves disturbed our rest as we approached Farfromhere, Montana. The sky is not so small in the lowlands and it's heavy gray color said that we'd made good time. We buzzed over the cattle guard and stopped between the barn and the front porch.
.. The doors opened and the kids went different ways as we tried to disentangle ourselves from the gear. Just as some order had come to the jump seat the doors slammed and off we went down the pasture road toward the heavy willows in the bottoms.
COMEANFISH SPRING CREEK. One of the kids has some ex-outlaw cousins that welcome us mountain folk if we're in the neighborhood. We're the butt of jokes and such. Entertainment provided by the highlanders - at our expense.
.. There are open spaces in the willows. Gravel bars and shallow fords invite parking and fishing. Catching comes quickly and easily in the lightly fished creek. It's still the tail end of fall in the lowlands and the sun can warm a fisher if the willows block the heavy breeze from the snow clad mountains.
.. We nibbled on cold fry bread and sipped various libations between bites and the occasional cigar and tall tale.
.. It's a rare joy, this time of year, to get in one more day of warm fishing. The warm was as much the quarry as the fish. We were delighted with both. We'll spend one more day down here before heading back to the high country.
.. There's a little pub not far from the creek where the ex-relatives live and we're meeting up just after sundown, (about a half hour from now.)
.. Service is good. The burgers are great. They present a fantastic twice baked potato and have the best local information around. Dinner and a few more stories should prime the pump for another bit of warm relaxation before the snows fly in earnest.
Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twenty minutes. Half-times take twenty minutes. This is not coincidence..."Thanksgiving Day, a function which originated in New England two or three centuries ago when those people recognized that they really had something to be thankful for - annually, not oftener - if they had succeeded in exterminating their neighbors, the Indians, during the previous twelve months instead of getting exterminated by their neighbors, the Indians. Thanksgiving Day became a habit, for the reason that in the course of time, as the years drifted on, it was perceived that the exterminating had ceased to be mutual and was all on the white man's side, consequently on the Lord's side; hence it was proper to thank the Lord for it and extend the usual annual compliments."
- Mark Twain.
---.."Got no check books, got no banks. Still I'd like to express my thanks - I got the sun in the mornin' and the moon at night."
- Irving Berlin.
Sunday, November 23, 2014
SOME WINTER COGITATION
Synopses For The Moment
in case you're surfing
1. A house bill that forbids scientists from advising the EPA on their own research.
2. Maximum Sustained Harvest, (MSH,) just don't work on the Olympic Peninsula.
3. Just who does contribute most to wildlife?
4. The Keystone XL Pipeline game of ping pong.
.. We know you don't care about our opinion but you best formulate one of your own as these issues are going to become the foundation of conversation and argumentation for the foreseeable future.
.. Just sayin'.
Saturday, November 22, 2014
Don't Get Used To It
notellum yields a winter dancer
..There is a cultural malaise settling over the neighborhood as the winter aficionados await the snows and the fishers retreat to the tying bench. Merchants are bemoaning having to heat empty buildings and take inventory for the tax man.
.. We grabbed a few hours on Notellum Creek with a group of neighbors, (they tolerate our geriatric gait and poor attitude.)
..It seems that dance cards are most easily filled with submerged, nondescript bits of fluff. This is the time of year, (and through early Spring,) when the grungy rejects from the tying bench are most effective. We usually have an ample supply, given the ham-fisted nature of our efforts. For a change, the neighbors appreciate our efforts,
..Just a note: there are some invading submarines in Taylor Fork Creek. The water is low and the redds are easily visible - leave 'em be.
.. Back to the bench.
Friday, November 14, 2014
REQUIESCAT IN PACE
It Once Was Green & With Typos
we loved it then and will miss it now
.. Pretenders have come and gone. They keep coming and going.
.. They are filled with self aggrandizement and piddling profundities. Bless their pretense.
.. The real world has finally caught up with Tom Chandler and he's succumbed to the exigencies of the important things, like family and the future. Good for you Tom.
.. THE TROUT UNDERGROUND is fading very fast. We will miss it. For now, it will stay on our masthead - it's become a part of us. Click on over and watch the future unfold.