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  • Tuesday, July 29, 2014

    Got Wheels ?

    An Often Forgotten Place
    eager fish, otters, and grunts
    .. While the Hoppers have inundated the campground at Slough Creek, and while the elbows are thronging to the famous northeast trinity of Slough, Soda, and Lamar, free-spirited elbows are working up a sweat and enjoying three little lakes with grand views and glorious fishing. Pretty good catching too.
    ..If you can handle a steep trail under a blistering sun we suggest that this is a proper destination for the angler not obsessed with headhunting or running water. Take your camera and a lunch. Take your bear spray and someone else who will enjoy postcard beauty and a few fish along the way.
    .. The trail is a 1/2 mile of uphill grunting. Once up the hill from the road you will encounter an undulating landscape that holds the true trinity of the northeast fishery: Trout Lake, Buck Lake, and Shrimp Lake. These little gems are tucked into periglacial depressions and are well worth the hike. Plan to spend a day or two exploring.
    .. The hardcore headhunters can spend a full day at Trout Lake in the hopes of hanging onto a 24" Rainbow Trout or several 18" Cutthroat Trout. This is the site of an early fish hatchery in Yellowstone National Park. The fish did well then and do well now. The otters know it well;  and some of the neighbors make a pilgrimage during hopper time, (LIKE RIGHT NOW!)
    .. Buck Lake is also worth fishing for the catching. Shrimp Lake is supposedly devoid of fish but there are otters there too - go figure ? ? ? ?
    .. For some reason known only to the trout the catching has been a bit harder than in recent memory. The fish are still large, (medium and small too.) The fishers are still happy to have been there. The otters are still fat and photogenic. The hoppers are hopping. The beetles are beetling and the trout are eating.
    .. If you plan to lug a float tube up the hill be sure to get a boat permit for the tube. It's a park requirement and the rangers know.
    .. For those of us trapped on the west side of the park the mysteries of the northeast corner hold a fascination that can only be assuaged by the expenditure of time and gasoline. A few of us trek to Cooke City and stay with friends for a long fishing weekend. Some of us camp in the wild. The affluent grab a motel and hang out: fishing hard each day. A trip up the hill is always on the schedule.
    .. Closer to home, it's important to note that the Gallatin River is providing some excellent evening activity for both fish and fishers. Hoppers, ants, beetles and caddis are all active and providing entertainment for a the neighbors.
    .. It's a busy time of the year for the merchants in town. High summer shopping is in full swing. The streets are crowded and the grocery stores become genuine freak shows with a cacophony of children's shrieks, carts clattering, languages sputtering, and clerks smiling through it all. It's worth viewing if you don't need the groceries.
    .. We're avoiding it all and fishing a small little no name tributary of the Notellum River. We will spend the upcoming weekend enjoying the mass gathering of cartoon cars at the 44th annual West Yellowstone Rod Run.