• PARTNER: PROTECT YOUR WATERS
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  • Go To: YELLOWSTONE FISHING WEATHER
  • Go To: YELLOWSTONE FLY FISHING MAPS
  • Visit: Moldy Chum
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  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Wednesday, March 30, 2016

    Currently

    SLOW MELT
    Slow Breakup
    neighbors to neighbors
    WALLPAPER:  GREAT SPRINGS BAY
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    .. It's a bit odd for this time of year. Yellowstone Lake is breaking up nicely and the outlet is full of icebergs chugging down the Yellowstone River.
    .. Quake Lake has some clear and fishable water at both the inlet and outlet. The boulder field above the debauchery is still a bit treacherous for aged legs to navigate. The inlet is seeing some heavy visitation clear down to Beaver Creek which is finally flowing nicely.
    .. The surprise is that only bits of the inflow estuaries at Hebgen Reservoir are clear enough to legally fish. All of the major tributaries to the reservoir are flowing nicely. There is a good, (read dangerous,) slushy layer across most of the water BUT, the shoreline is being stingy about giving up open water.
    .. The fishing neighbors among us are busy renewing congenial relations with other neighbors for access to those small bits of the reservoir that need ingress through private property.
    .. There are, (not so secret - but seldom exploited.) warm springs that debauch along the shoreline of the reservoir. All but one, (that we know of,) require the traversing of private property. It's usually quite a long trek through mushy and messy snow.
    .. The open water at the Great Springs Embayment is concentrating both fish and waterfowl in a glorious Spring extravaganza. Catching is spectacular as this is the largest non-estuary chunk of open water on the reservoir and, the birds and fish are gorging themselves. Know thy neighbor.
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    WALLPAPER:   HEBGEN RESERVOIR
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    .. There are some early bison on the roads around town and along the north side of the reservoir - one dead so far, (car totaled but no human causalities - please drive carefully.)
    .. Some of the neighbors are making a morning pilgrimage to the culvert on the highway at Duck Creek. There is a good run of fish in the air as they enter the culvert on their way to Yellowstone National Park. The fish ladder is on private property and the stream is closed for another month or so but the entertainment value is fairly high.
    .. The flats at the east end of the reservoir and along Duck Creek are still untrammeled snow. The bison will mess it up soon but for now the kite skiers and kite boarders are having a grand time in the clear and warm days.
    YEE  HAW  !!!
    .. Catching in the Hebgen Tailwater is better than acceptable for those folks willing to torment the fish during their annual orgy.
    .. There are even some folks that believe that they can see all the redds as they slosh through the crystal bedroom of the trout. Our eyes are not that good- neither is our egomaniacal need to disturb those fish.
    .. We're about to exercise our cheap gas and head down the canyon. Snowflake Springs and the Taylor Fork are prime locations on the Gallatin River at the moment.
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    WALLPAPER: GRAYLING CREEK

    Tuesday, March 29, 2016

    Curious Iterations

    MELDING OF TRADITIONS
    Strange Bedfellows
    we enjoy them now
    WALLPAPER: WEST YELLOWSTONE SPRING TOAST
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    ..We've been told that the curious breakfast behavior of some of our neighbors at this time of year is a West Yellowstone original invention.
    .. Given the idiosyncratic nature of our neighbors we are inclined to believe it.
    .. This behavior, (unbeknownst to most,) is a melding of British seafaring cultural practices with the Christian incorporation of Pagan calendric dates and some American excess in revelry that combines to provide what some of the neighbors describe as "Our Easter."
    .. The unique historical background of "WEST YELLOWSTONE SPRING TOAST" is a bit of fun.
    .. We've put off revealing this  tradition until now, (after Easter Sunday, and Easter Monday,) in the hopes that the collective memory of our readers will forget it during the coming year. {{ A condition imposed upon us by the revelers around the village.}}
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    .. So then: The earliest mention of "French Toast" is from the 5th or 6th century and is bread soaked in milk and, by the middle ages it was in use with eggs to "reclaim" bread. So far so good.
    .. Contemporary French toast is similar to early recipes with milk, eggs, cinnamon, vanilla and various other regional or cultural additions.
    .. At Easter time eggs are prominent in the annual celebration of the day by both Christian and non Christian celebrants. So lets use some eggs with the milk.
    CHRISTIAN EGG
    .. Decorated eggs are as old as the carved ostrich eggs of antiquity and at least 60,000 years old.
    .. The Christian, (and Jewish,) use of the egg stems from the earliest times of those particular belief systems and, was influenced by cultures in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Crete. The association of a Springtime rebirth and 'Eastertide' with eggs is a simple connection to envision.
    .. Less well know is the early Christian connection between the empty egg shell and a risen god figure.
    .. Colored eggs in Christianity stem from the association of red color on the eggs for Eastertide and sacrificial blood.  My my how it goes.
    .. The Christian adoption of the mid winter celebrations, (thanks to Pope Gregory 1st,) such as the Christmas transformation is pretty well known,  It mirrors the Roman feast of Saturnalia, and the Roman 'birth day of the unconquered sun.'
    .. Other Pagan influences such as the yule, trees, beards, elves, and several other Germanic and Scandinavian rituals come into play as well.
    .. It was easy for the early missionaries to expropriate local celebrations and incorporate them with their own dogma, (the strategy of Interpretatio Christiana.)
    Y'ALL COME
    ..What is not so well known is the association of eggnog with the midwinter celebrations.
    .. Simple facts point the way: cows and chickens lived indoors with families in the northern European Pagan cultures.
    .. Pigs and chickens and the occasional cow lived with folks in Ireland and Scotland.
    .. Many of these early cultures were incipient agriculturalists. Surplus grain storage was in a primitive state and alcohol was plentiful - both as a byproduct of in situ fermentation and as purpose made libations.
    A FAMILY AFFAIR
    .. The middle of Winter provided a time of less physical labor in the field and also provided several celebrations to pass the time, (yule, etc.)
    .. Cows + Chickens + Alcohol = Warm Winter Pick-Me-Up and, loosening-up for festivities.
    .. Of course as Christianity spread to the northern reaches of the continent expropriation of the indigenous customs made acceptance of Christianity easier.
    .. But the name of eggnog is used by most contemporary Americans for the "Traditional Beverage." Why should that be?
    .. The United States can trace it's invasive settlement to Europeans, (British and French primarily in the North and Spanish and French in the South.) The invasion of the North brought agriculture and mid winter sloth to the continent. It's traditions and vocabulary were adapted to the new place and time.
    INGREDIENTS
    .. The old vocabulary included eggnog. The entomology is fairly well known. 'NOG' derives from such backgrounds as the cup that grog was served in and the Gaelic 'noggin' - your head of course.
    .. The British seafaring words 'grog' and 'nog' and 'noggin' are easily associated with the condition of revelers on the morning after, (groggy!)
    BEST CRYSTAL
    .. Eggnog in one form or another is at least as old as the British "Butterbeer," or "Lambswool," or "Egg'n'grog." It's not hard to get from "Egg'n'grog" to eggnog. But why is it served cold instead of warm like so many other midwinter libations?
    .. Do you want scrambled eggs in your rum
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    .. Now: about the neighbors! Being midwinter revelers of the first water, they explore beverages in the same manner that a friendly Labrador Retrivit explores new crotches.
    .. Eggnog is high on the list of preferred evening beverages during the midwinter sloth. French toast is very easy, tasty, decadent and preferred to many other breakfast choices on the morning after.
    .. Darest we say it: there is may be left over eggnog on the morning after. It makes the French toast that much easier for the muddled mind and aching body. Hence the birth of West Yellowstone Spring Toast for our Eastertide. Just soak and fry some bread - simple!
    .. Of course none of the neighbors have quit drinking the popular libation after New Year's Eve. Certainly not!
    .. [[ The question of why the Easter Bunny brings eggs and children's presents is addressed by a Germanic judgement tale initially adopted by the Lutheran Sect of Christianity and carries overtones of the Jolly Old Elf in red at Christmas time. It does not seem to influence many, (if any,) of the French Toast recipes or traditions - certainly not in this village.]]
    ..  There is, however, the lingering question of how do bunnies lay the eggs? Perfect fodder for a morning after discussion.
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    WALLPAPER:   LOCAL BARN/HOUSE - empty

    Monday, March 28, 2016

    Monday, March 21, 2016

    Win For Losin'

    IS SIXTH A LOSS ?
    Not Since 2002
    american F1 roars
    WALLPAPER: A REAL STREET COURSE
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    .. Romain Grosjean’s sixth place at Melbourne, Australia yesterday ensured that Haas has become the first brand-new team to score points on their Grand Prix debut since Toyota finished sixth in 2002.
    HAAS + Dallara + Ferrari + Melbourne
    .. Haas are also the first American team to score points since the similarly named (but completely unaffiliated) Team Haas finished sixth at Monza in 1986.
    .. Worth noting is that Grosjean only finished in the top six once last season with Team Lotus.
    .. Grosjean started 19th and was passing cars at the end of the race. The team was aided by a red flag bunch-up and never looked back.
    After starting 19th, Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean finished an impressive sixth, earning the team eight points in the constructor standings. The last time a Formula One team scored points in its debut race was in the 2002 Australian Grand Prix when Mika Salo finished sixth for Toyota. - See more at: https://www.haasf1team.com/news/haas-f1-team-earns-points-debut-race#sthash.MErYztPB.dpuf
    After starting 19th, Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean finished an impressive sixth, earning the team eight points in the constructor standings. The last time a Formula One team scored points in its debut race was in the 2002 Australian Grand Prix when Mika Salo finished sixth for Toyota. - See more at: https://www.haasf1team.com/news/haas-f1-team-earns-points-debut-race#sthash.MErYztPB.dpuf
    After starting 19th, Haas F1 Team driver Romain Grosjean finished an impressive sixth, earning the team eight points in the constructor standings. The last time a Formula One team scored points in its debut race was in the 2002 Australian Grand Prix when Mika Salo finished sixth for Toyota. - See more at: https://www.haasf1team.com/news/haas-f1-team-earns-points-debut-race#sthash.MErYztPB.dpuf
    YESTERDAY
    .. It's a pleasant pastime when the fish are in need of a rest and the weather is a bit grumpy.  And, the BBQ is in need of a workout.
    .. Spring is happening today. The sun is out. Little flakes are zipping in the breeze. The grill is just about right and the neighbors are deep into their revels.
    .. We'll fish the evening swarm between the lakes.
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    WALLPAPER:  SPRING VISITORS

    Thursday, March 17, 2016

    Roll Your Own Pancake

    IRISH LOVE ENGLISH
    Saint Patrick Was English
    get soused it's o.k.
    WALLPAPER: IRISH PANCAKES
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    .. It has always been a fascination to us the way the domestic "Irish" allow other ethnicities to define them.
    .. Let's all celebrate being Irish by getting drunk and celebrating the rowdy and bawdy behavior that is the stereotype.
    .. Heck, drinking on the feast day was illegal in Ireland until 1970. It's still frowned upon during this traditional feast day.
    .. Let's all wear green because the green Irish Catholic Confederation flag with the harp is a national symbol and, because the shamrock was adopted by the Friendly Brothers Of Saint Patrick in 1750. A symbol with distinctly exclusive and racist overtones.
    .. It's just fine to be brash, crass, drunk, rowdy, belligerent, lawless, hateful, and insular because "I'm Irish:" at least that's what everybody says.
    .. Americans that are in Ireland on this day will be bewildered. No giant pub crawling mobs will be found as they are in Butte, Montana where it's just fine to be drunk. Heck it's expected of the most Irish metropolitan city in the U.S.A.
    .. Americans in Ireland on this day had better go to church and return home to a genteel feast in honor of the man that Irish brigands captured and tortured. He forgave the Irish and converted them all to Catholic Christianity. Along the way he drove out all the non existent snakes.
    .. There is one sanctioned drunken parade in Ireland. It's the shortest St. Patrick's Day parade in the world. It's 100 yards long and traverses the distance between the two pubs in Dripsey, County Cork, Ireland.
    ..Today people even revel in the wearing of leprechaun costumes. This is just a contemporary reenactment of the derogatory 19th century caricatures of the Irish; oh well it's O.K. - we're Irish.
    .. Pshaw, the original leprechauns didn't even live in Ireland, they lived in the middle of the ocean and tried to drown you; they were mean spirited and were conjured up to mock the Irish.
    .. Well, enough of that drivel. We're as Irish as the next person.
    .. We're continuing to eat boiled Irish bacon, (cured in our own kitchen,) and we continue to eat Irish pancakes, (by far the best pancakes in the world,) and we drink a bottle or two of fine Scottish Ale, like any proper person with decent taste buds would in Ireland.
    .. Guinness, as we all know, is an acquired taste for those that would be Irish.
    .. We're even going to fling an Irish fly or two today down between the lakes.
    .. They will probably gall some English trout - it's O.K., we're Irish too.
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    WALLPAPER:  TRADITIONAL IRISH FEAST
    WALLPAPER:  COLCANNON MASH

    Saturday, March 12, 2016

    Bullseye

    WE'RE TARGETED
    Spring Mix Afoot
    monster dump predicted
    WALLPAPER: BACK TO WINTER
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    .. The storm predicted by NOAA is taking dead aim at our neighborhood.
    .. Just when pavement was visible on the streets and abandoned vehicles were emerging from their snowy cocoons we're about to get some precipitation.
    .. Predictions for up to two feet of snow are mentioned in the alert. The snow will be accompanied by some blustery winds and other precipitation like rain and hail and graupel.
    .. Here it is:

    Event:Winter Storm Watch
    Alert:
    ...WINTER AND MODERATE TO HEAVY SNOW RETURNING TO THE WESTERN 
    MOUNTAINS... 
     
    .A VIGOROUS UPPER LEVEL DISTURBANCE WITH COPIOUS MOISTURE FROM 
    THE EASTERN PACIFIC WILL BRING VERY GUSTY WINDS AND MODERATE TO 
    HEAVY SNOW AT TIMES TO THE TETONS AND WESTERN WIND RIVER MOUNTAINS 
    BEGINNING SUNDAY. 
     
    ...WINTER STORM WATCH IN EFFECT FROM SUNDAY MORNING THROUGH 
    MONDAY AFTERNOON... 
     
    THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN RIVERTON HAS ISSUED A WINTER 
    STORM WATCH...WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM SUNDAY MORNING THROUGH 
    MONDAY AFTERNOON. 
     
    * TIMING...ONGOING ISOLATED TO SCATTERED LIGHT AREAS OF SNOWFALL 
    WILL BEGIN TO EXPAND IN COVERAGE SUNDAY MORNING...POSSIBLY 
    BECOMING WIDESPREAD BY LATE AFTERNOON TO EARLY EVENING SUNDAY. 
    CURRENTLY...HEAVIEST SNOWFALL POTENTIAL LOOKS TO EXIST AFTER 
    MIDNIGHT SUNDAY AND CONTINUING THROUGH MONDAY MORNING. 
     
    * SNOW ACCUMULATION...A POSSIBLE 10 TO 20 INCHES WITH SOME HIGHER 
    WEST TO SOUTHWEST FACING SLOPES RECEIVING UP TO 24 INCHES OF 
    NEW SNOWFALL BY THE END OF THE DAY MONDAY. 
     
    * WIND AND VISIBILITY...SOUTHWEST 20 TO 35 MPH WITH WIND GUSTS 35 
    TO 50 MPH. VISIBILITY WILL POSSIBLY DROP TO UNDER ONE QUARTER 
    MILE AT TIMES IN HEAVY SNOW AND WIND. 
     
    * MAIN IMPACT...TRAVEL WILL LIKELY BECOME DIFFICULT OVER MOUNTAIN 
    PASSES...INCLUDING TETON PASS....AS ROADS BECOME SNOW 
    PACKED...SLICK AND SLUSHY WITH POOR VISIBILITY. BEFORE TRAVELING 
    MOTORISTS SHOULD CHECK THE LATEST ROAD CONDITIONS BY VISITING 
    WYOROAD.INFO OR BY DIALING 5 1 1. BACKCOUNTRY TRAVELERS SHOULD 
    ALSO BE ALERT FOR THIS SIGNIFICANT STORM WITH PLENTY OF WIND AND 
    SNOW.
    Instructions:A WINTER STORM WATCH MEANS THERE IS A POTENTIAL FOR SIGNIFICANT SNOW...SLEET...OR ICE ACCUMULATIONS THAT MAY IMPACT TRAVEL. CONTINUE TO MONITOR THE LATEST FORECASTS.
    Target Area:
    Teton and Gros Ventre Mountains
    Yellowstone National Park
    ..
    .. At least the fishing pressure Between the Lakes should slow down a bit.
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    WALLPAPER: IRISH SODA BREAD
    http://www.chocolatemoosey.com/2014/03/12/guinness-shepherds-pie-for-two/
    Guinness Sheperd's Pie:  from Chocolate Moosey

    Friday, March 11, 2016

    The Coming - The Going

    IT'S HERE NOW
    It's Entertaining
    it'll be gone monday
    WALLPAPER: FACTORY TEAM-(parts and machine shop)
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    .. Lately, (during the recent drought, & warm winters,) the "WORLD SNOWMOBILE EXPO" has enjoyed bare streets, rain, (yesterday and last night,) freezing rain, warm temperatures, (45° F now & 50° F tomorrow,) and diminishing attendance.
    FREEZING RAIN
    .. There is a trade show, vintage sleds, snowcross races, big concerts, new model unveiling's, bingo, raffles, etc.
    .. At night the sparks from carbide skegs light up the town as the sleds roar from bar to bar across the bare streets.
    .. It's an entertaining spectacle to behold. The aerobatics show and the vintage races gather up their fair share of spectators.
    TOY HAULER
    .. It used to be that the folks on sleds were those that could not afford a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Now the folks that can't afford a sled drive the Harley.
    .. Big sleds are now in the stratospheric range of 18 - 22 thousand dollars. Some discounts on 2017 models are available during the three days of the EXPO .
    PARTY TIME !!
    .. At night the pubs and restaurants get a workout just like it was mid July. More so, indeed.
    .. With Yellowstone National Park closed and seasonal employees pausing in the village there is an interesting mix of conversations to eavesdrop upon.
    .. The local constabulary has every officer on alert and some covering double shifts. Search and rescue is very busy, (only one death so far this year.) Some of the town merchants that have been closed all winter open for the five or six days around this time of year.
    GREAT FUN
    .. Every few years St. Patrick's Day coincides with the EXPO and the pubs and police get an extra workout. Missed it by a couple of days this year.
    .. The neighbors do their grocery shopping, Post Officing, and other 'town chores' early or tomorrow. A few capture dark tables or booths in the pubs a bit earlier than usual and nurse the brews through the visiting entertainment. Not too late, mind you; it does change from entertainment to rowdy. After all: "MY SLED IS FASTER THAN YOUR SLED !"
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    .. The Madison River is free of ice and flowing free and clear and cold into the Madison Arm of Hebgen Reservoir.
    .. There has been a pretty good midge hatch on these bright warm days. Fishing is closed on the river proper but there are some midges to be found in the estuary.
    .. There is also good catching to be had at the edge of the ice with leeches and nondescript junk flies that resemble the debris rain from the melting ice.
    .. Ice out should start very soon. Right now the estuaries are legal but it's hard to get there.
    MADISON RIVER FREE FLOWING AND RIPE
    ..The trails to the Hebgen Tailwater are getting close to mud and the catching has picked up for the pre spawn fish. A few redds are visible up near the road - stay out of the water and practice your L.D.R. techniques if you can. Keep the fish in the water - in the net - release quickly. Better yet stay away and let them have their orgy in peace.
    ..Both the inlet and outlet to Quake Lake are exciting fishing and catching right now. Even the discharge from Beaver Creek is producing submarines of the first water. Dark Black or Purple Leeches and Woolly Buggers are the ticket.
    .. If you are any good at stealth techniques you can sight fish to the monsters in shallow water at the edge of the ice or even near shore. Be gentle - it's a tough life under the ice.
    .. We're headed to a dark corner for some early entertainment and the best gossip.
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    WALLPAPER: FRESH SOURDOUGH


    Monday, March 07, 2016

    Down Time ?

    LOCALS HANG OUT
    Workers Are Working
    some do other things
    WALLPAPER:   NOT HERE
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    .. In our village the neighbors recognize several loosely defined categories of residents. There are visitors, transients, summer people, part timers, summer workers, etc. AND "locals."
    SNOWED IN
    .. Among the fly fishing coterie there are very few locals.
    .. Some of the fly shops make their money in summer and close for the winter.
    .. Most of the guides leave for warmer climes as soon as the bawdy summer sports and their tips dwindle to a dribble.
    .. A few guides hang out and scrape up some suds money doing miscellaneous jobs for the winter. A very few owners and guides keep their doors open and tend to the business of serving customers and running the shop.
    .. For this latter small group of locals our village is home. They have committed to the visitors or fishers who live here year 'round and who know the pleasures and satisfaction of winter fishing. These are the locals.
    DOWN TIME  ??
    .. For the local fishers and fly merchants the concept of down time is a fallacy.
    .. The shop needs tending to. The stock must be inventoried. Orders for clothing, flies, gear, and sundries must be placed.
    .. Permits, licenses, and official impedimenta must be dealt with. Customers must be attended to. Regulations must be scrutinized for changes and updates. Building maintenance and repairs have their place in line.
    .. Most customers visiting  our village expect exceptional quality from our specialty fly shops. They deserve it.
    .. A very few fly fishers appreciate musty smells, dusty merchandise, chaos in fly bins, and randomly placed merchandise. They can find their joy in town, if they seek it.
    OPEN DOOR
    .. For the locals fly bins must be inventoried, sorted, dusted, polished and culled.
    .. Floors and walls must be dusted and swept.
    .. Carpets cleaned and vacuumed, (a constant given the state and condition of waders.)
    .. Reels and rods and other accouterments need to be inspected, polished, (or culled,) arranged, and placed in clean and neat cases and racks.
    .. The local shops and guides have great insight into our fishing and catching. They have the advantage of seeing the seasonal fluctuations of our weather. They watch the changes of the rivers and streams.
    .. They don't face the sometimes crippling quandary of having to reacquaint themselves with our waters. Their  memory is of last week or yesterday - not last season or last summer.
    ENDURE THE MUSH
    .. Yes, dusting, cleaning, sorting, and such is given a rest for time to fish.
    Fishing becomes almost rote. It's not quite religious  but, it is a sort of homage. It is a respectful obeisance for the resource.
    .. There is open and enthusiastic admiration of our place in this world.
    .. There is also an honest evaluation of our waters. Not the best in the world. Not the hardest nor the easiest to be found. Certainly, however,  one of the most varied and accessible assortment of opportunities in the fly fishing universe.
    TIME OFF
    .. Most of the locals will take a couple of weeks or a bit more to explore other venues.
    .. Broad experience is a trait that is demanded;  given the range of visitors we receive in the village.
    .. Conversational familiarity with the "elsewhere" is a must. Expertise of the "here" is mandatory.
    .. We salute the neighbors that need not leave here for months on end. We appreciate their anchor in our neighborhood. Our thanks to you: both to the guys and gals that have found a home amongst our waters and their fish.
    .. Mayhaps we too, should organize a few piles of flies. Mayhaps we should tend to the gear. Mayhaps we should patch the waders. Or, head to the pub and visit with the locals.
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    DUCK CREEK RUNNING FREE TO THE RESERVOIR