• PARTNER: PROTECT YOUR WATERS
  • Go To: THE FLIES OF YELLOWSTONE
  • Go To: YELLOWSTONE FISHING WEATHER
  • Go To: YELLOWSTONE FLY FISHING MAPS
  • Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Monday, March 16, 2015

    A Different Place

    WONDERFULLY SOFT AND GRAY
    Empty Roads And Buildings
    abundant critters and vistas
    WALLPAPER:  A SUNDAY STROLL

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    NO VISITORS AT THE CENTER
    .. The west entrance to Yellowstone National Park is now closed to vehicular traffic.
    .. As roads are cleaned and cleared and, as facilities are made ready for the Summer visitors; the park is transformed into a different place for 3 or 4 weeks.
    .. Despite rumors to the contrary, the park is not closed. In fact, over the next few weeks folks will cruise the west side of Yellowstone on bicycles, roller skates, roller blades, skateboards, and even by walking.
    .. Few folks, even many neighbors, are aware of this wonderful transition. Even yesterday the park felt abandoned as we leisurely cruised to Old Faithful.
    .. Fish on both the Madison River and the Firehole River were rising to a couple of small caddis species and midges as well. It seems the trout are enjoying the break from winter visitation and cold weather as well.
    .. Down the deserted roads we went. Twenty-five miles per hour is a pleasant pace for sight seeing. And the pace is also conducive to shedding the burdens of daily grinds and groans.
    .. It becomes a gentle immersion in a place vastly different than the usual. Truly a pleasant change.
    A PRIVATE SHOWING
    .. Pausing to watch the elk, or bison or wolves, or coyotes, or the myriad waterfowl was as simple as pulling over. No condominiums on wheels were creatively parked. No visitors gawking and screaming.
    .. No hoards of visitors crowded the viewing areas. No army of photographers marched along the rivers edges trampling the stationary onlookers,
    .. Yes, it's a different and spectacular place. Fish noses poked through the surface film as if to defy a bit of fur and feathers.
    .. Catching and fishing these streams is still some time off. The trout, for now,  will enjoy a period of R & R.
    .. Minimal park staff and even fewer concessionaire employees are available to greet the visitors, We had the visitor center at Old Faithful to ourselves.
    .. That cavernous structure echoed to our footsteps. The sounds were so loud that whispers were the mode of conversation. They seemed loud too.
    INVITING EXPLORATION
    .. Although not a planned event; we were treated to a private showing of the showcase geyser in Yellowstone Park - Old Faithful treated us to a long eruption.
    .. It was as if the whole geyser basin welcomed us. Beehive Geyser roared and played noisily, Castle Geyser erupted through a full water and steam cycle, and the hot springs splashed. No eyes but ours enjoyed the display - rare it was indeed.
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    .. The early morning and late afternoon light in Yellowstone transforms the place into magical and mysterious nooks and crannies that demand exploration. With energy and/or a camera it is possible to snuggle in to these places.
    .. The magic that draws millions of visitors to the park in the vacation seasons is even more apparent when there are no visitors. Soft sounds of the running water are amplified in the stillness.
    THE PLAY OF LIGHT AMD MICROBES
    .. Broken clouds in the overcast sky allow shadows to play and dance across the spooky landscape of the thermal areas.
    .. The famous colors of the bacterial mats leap into the eye and change hues as light and shadow change moment by moment. Not a sight for bright Summer days - nor, for that matter, the heavy gray days of winter.
    .. In the popular mind, Yellowstone National Park is a giant petting zoo where it's illegal to do the petting. There are critters to be seen and admired, no doubt at all.
    .. There are wolves, elk, ravens, bison, eagles, coyotes, trout, bluebirds, pikas, voles, marmots, geese, ducks, swans, and myriad other fauna to be seen.
    RIVERSIDE CAFETERIA
    .. There is too, the reason for the park's initial creation: more geysers than anywhere else in the world. Thermal features and their rare associated biota. Very young and very old land forms greet the eye at every turn. Land that is being eroded and exploded, Land that is being built and expanded.
    .. This place was set aside as a geological wonderland. Indeed, it is.
    .. There is a dynamism in Yellowstone that goes unappreciated during the summer and winter rush to "SEE" the animals.
    .. It takes a moment, (or never for some folks,) to understand that the animals are just the frosting on a giant stage that shows the grand scale of geologic and ecological change that is taking place. The critters are fun. The geology is spectacular.
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    .. Fly fishers love the Firehole River for it's friendly trout and insect hatches. The trout are easily available and the scenery is different that your typical trout stream. The Firehole River valley is composed of several basins where geology and geologic processes are raw, apparent, diverse, and spectacular - for those that bother to see rather than look.
    THE DYNAMICS OF PLANET BUILDING
    .. Within a few dozen yards, in Biscuit Basin, erosion and deposition are taking place at the same time. Explosive deposition is set in juxtaposition to slow accretion.
    .. Dry land processes meet riverine processes. Stability and dynamism are reflected in vegetation patterns, river course, river depth, river speed, topographic variation and other bits of geology.
    .. There are fish too - in a stream that was devoid of fish prior to our introduction of these invasive species. Recreational fishing takes precedent over geological wonder in the fly fisher's eye - in the popular mind as well.
    .. Perhaps it takes a scene without fishers for most folks to appreciate the underlying structures and processes that make transient recreation possible. Then, again, probably not.
    WELCOME TO YELLOWSTONE
    .. We are blessed with the opportunity to visit this place. More so, to do it in a leisurely and contemplative fashion. Not in a bus or a tractor or other quick and dirty tour.
    .. We are thankful that fishing, (even without catching,) affords us the opportunity to become immersed in the processes that occur here and, around the world, that make our planet.
    .. The civilized processes of high rise, congestion, air pollution, crowding, and hustle are foreign to this place, (for a couple of months each year,) and we take advantage of the opportunity to escape.
    .. By the way, fishing at Snowflake Springs on the Gallatin River is producing outlandish catching opportunities if you don't mind the stench and stink and roar of large trucks and speeding automobiles.
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    WALLPAPER: A FIREHOLE VIEW