• 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, August 29, 2016

    Current West Side Fire Map

    CLOSURES
    Areas And Trails
    watch for fire crews
    (all images courtesy NPS)
    UPDATED TODAY
    -------
    .. The Maple Fire continues to be a perimeter fire. Most of the growth is to the east and northeast. Some backing is taking place along the west flank and burnouts are underway.
    BIGFEET #1 CAMP CREW
    .. For the next 2 - 3 days the weather will be a factor as temperatures and winds increase and relative humidity falls. Nighttime temperatures will not fall very much.
    .. The inversion continues and smoke drains down slope towards Hebgen Basin and West Yellowstone. People with respiratory problems and the elderly are cautioned about the air quality.
    1,500 GALLONS AT A TIME
    .. Fuel reduction measures and helicopter retardant drops along the West Boundary of Yellowstone National Park are in place.
    .. Diane Hutton’s Wildland Fire Management Team has assumed command of the Maple Fire and is stationed in West Yellowstone. Several crews and a command center are located in a closed administrative area at the West Entrance to the park.
    MASTICATOR
    .. Abatement efforts are concentrated to protect value areas such as the town of West Yellowstone, Highway 191, Suburban Residences.
    .. Fuel reduction measures are proceeding around the clock and include brush clearing, timber felling, and cleared ground breaks.
    .. A 200' foot strip is currently being worked with heavy equipment, including feller bunchers and masticators, removing ladder fuels, dead/down timber, smaller vegetation and some larger trees that would carry fire.
    .. All hot spots are continuously monitored. The Maple Fire is now at about 35,000 acres. Continued perimeter growth is expected for the next couple of weeks with the next 48 hours critical in determining the direction and intensity of the burn.
    FUEL REDUCTION
    .. Visitors are advised to use caution when entering the West Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Fire crews, emergency vehicles, and park personnel have the right-of-way along all roads and parking areas. Traffic control is in place to avoid excessive "slowdowns" and "jams."
    .. Read about the status of the MAPLE FIRE HERE.
    .. A community Meeting for West Yellowstone is scheduled for tonight, August 29, 2016: 7:30 pm at the Church of Latter Day Saints, 245 Faithful Street, West Yellowstone, Montana.
    -------

    Apsaalooke Initial Attack Crew - Crow Tribe


    Sunday, August 28, 2016

    All Past Is Prelude

    CLANDESTINE MEETINGS ?
    Grumping And Groaning
    your license to whine
    PUBLIC  MEETING
    -------
    .. So it comes down to this. The final public input meetings for the proposed Draft Madison River Recreation Environmental Assessment, (EA.)
    .. This debate and proposed action started with conversations in the plush digs of wealthy Montana landowners way back in 2011 and 2012.
    .. The EA will address the means, modes, and density of recreation on the upper Madison River and the regulation and enforcement of those means, modes, and densities.
    -----
    IN  HELENA
    .. Although this is the least important public meeting from a public perspective, it is the most important meeting from the perspective of the Montana Department of Fish Wildlife and Parks, (FWP.) It signals the last public meeting prior to the release of the EA in November.
    .. AND, unless FWP staff have been totally asleep, the EA is mostly complete.
    RECREATION
    .. Should you choose to attend one of the three scheduled meetings, (see below,) there are several things to keep in mind:
    1, The waters of the state of Montana are owned by the citizens of the state. Not just fishing guides, not just fisher folks, not just landowners, not just float tube riders, not rafters, - all the citizens and their varied recreational predilections.
    RECREATION
    2, The FWP is a combined agency that is charged with multiple responsibilities. Rightly or wrongly the State Legislature and recent new constitution have lumped diverse responsibilities into a single agency.
    3, Citizens of the state of Montana are the employers of the bureaucrats that hold their position in FWP. Those bureaucrats are accountable for their actions.
    RECREATION
    4, Citizens of the state of Montana are also accountable for their own actions and participation, (or non action and non participation,) in the EA process.
    5, Both citizens and bureaucrats have a tough job. Both must uphold their rights and duties. Without due diligence there is no license to whine on the part of the citizens.
    -----
    .. Should you choose to practice due diligence it behooves you to do it right. Try the following:
    USE  IT
    A, Take a pencil and paper to write down what you think was being said and by who. Write down the names of the bureaucrats in attendance.
    B, Use your smart phone's camera to record things that are important to you and your concerns. Don't erase it.
    C, If you have pressing questions or concerns that you want addressed in the EA - write them down and give them to one of the bureaucrats with the admonishment that they should be addressed in writing in the EA. Keep a copy and record the name of the bureaucrat that you gave them to.
    D, If you ask questions rather than making comments be sure that the question is answered with specific responses to the question that was asked. Beware of weasel words: maybe, probably, possibly, try to, explore, address, many, often, science says,  etc. Note the name of the bureaucrat that answers the question.
    E, Followup. Make the phone call to make sure that your interest and concern is, indeed, addressed in the EA.
    -----
    RECREATION ?
    .. Be sure that you know the scope and extent of the planned regulatory scheme and enforcement policies. Be sure that you understand just "WHAT IS BEING REGULATED" and planned for.
    .. Ask the question. Do not assume that you and the bureaucrat are on the same page and speaking the same language. If the bureaucrats are masquerading as experts you should be the expert.
    .. Know the law and know the way that Montana implements the EA and EIS process. Don't you overstep the legalities and don't allow the bureaucrats to short cut the process or the intent of the law.
    .. Practice and demand honest and civil and pertinent questioning and answering.
    -----
     RESOURCES
    >  Montana FWP Telephone Numbers,
    >  Original Montana Open Meeting Act (PDF),
    >  Montana Open Meeting Code Annotated (2015),
    >  Memo Introducing Montana Bureaucrats to NEPA (PDF),
    >  Montana Environmental Policy Act (MEPA),
    >  Official MEPA Guidelines (PDF),
    >  Montana Secretary Of State Environmental Review Requirements,
    >  Guide To Montana Environmental Policy Act (PDF),
    >  Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (website),
    -----
     MEETINGS:
    BOZEMAN: August 29, Hilton Garden Inn, 2023 Commerce Way, 7:00 - 9:30 PM.

    ENNIS: August 30, Ennis Elementary School cafeteria, 7:00 - 9:30 PM.

    WEST YELLOWSTONE: August 31, Holiday Inn, 7:00 - 9:30 PM.
    -------
    READ THIS




    Thursday, August 25, 2016

    Alert

    Event:

    Air Quality Alert
    Alert:
    THE MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY HAS ISSUED AN AIR 
    QUALITY ALERT FOR GALLATIN COUNTY IN EFFECT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE 
    TO NEARBY WILDFIRE ACTIVITY.   SIGNIFICANT AIR QUALITY IMPACTS ARE 
    EXPECTED IN THE SOUTHERN PORTION OF GALLATIN COUNTY NEAR YELLOWSTONE 
    NATIONAL PARK AND THE COMMUNITY OF THOMPSON FALLS IN SANDERS COUNTY. 
    THIS ALERT WILL BE UPDATED AGAIN AT 900AM ON AUGUST 26...2016. 
    AN AIR QUALITY ALERT MEANS THAT PARTICULATES HAVE BEEN TRENDING 
    UPWARDS AND THAT AN EXCEEDENCE OF THE 24 HOUR NATIONAL AMBIENT AIR 
    QUALITY STANDARD (NAAQS) HAS OCCURRED OR MAY OCCUR IN THE NEAR 
    FUTURE. 
    FOR MORE INFORMATION... VISIT THE MONTANA DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL 
    QUALITY AT WWW.TODAYSAIR.MT.GOV.

    FIRE WATCH - 2

    DON'T FISH HERE
    ..
    .. MORE TO COME
    -------
    BRISKET BURNT ENDS

    Sunday, August 21, 2016

    FIRE WATCH

    MAPLE FIRE EXPANDS
    Traffic Control In Place
    brunouts planned
    animals on the move
    WALLPAPER:  ANGLER PREPARATION
    -------
    ..The Maple Fire has grown about 1,400 acres overnight. The inversion has maintained and the fire direction has not changed,(LINK-MM.)
    .. A community meeting is scheduled for tomorrow, August 22, 2016 (LINK-CC.)
    .. It will be held in the:
     Union Pacific Dining Hall,
    220 Yellowstone Avenue,
    West Yellowstone, MT 59758,
    6-7 pm
    UNION PACIFIC DINING LODGE - WEST YELLOWSTONE
    .. National Park Service personnel will be on hand to give fire updates and answer questions.
    .. Right now the west entrance road is still open. Fishers on the west side of Yellowstone National Park are advised to avoid fire areas and obey traffic controls.
    .. It is advisable to make sure that your bear spray is up to date and carried in your hand when not fishing. 
    .. The mega fauna of the region have responded to the smoke and fire in unpredictable ways. Normal feeding and migration routes are disrupted and many large fauna may become disoriented - especially bears.
    .. Catching is still excellent on the GALLATIN RIVER and BACON RIND CREEK. The smoke is pretty thick on FAN CREEK.
    FRIENDLY  CALIBAETIS
    .. Early morning Trico hatches are pretty consistent along the shores of estuaries on the HEBGEN RESERVOIR.
    .. The Trico spinner fall and the emergence of Calibaetis combine in some areas to make positive fools of the gulpers. In other areas some fish seem to key on one or the other of the bugs. Keep your fly box handy - or two rods!
    CUTE TRICO
    .. Many fishers bail out from fishing when the wind comes up. That's fine for those that want to avoid an excellent catching opportunity. Just because the fish don't have their noses in the air doesn't mean they stop eating.
    JUST LOOK DOWN
    .. The Calibaetis weed beds are full of nymphs, leeches, small fish, and snails.
    .. These are also food items for the trout - duh!  The feeding triggers within fish are not halted between one food source and another one.
    .. The neighbors, (many of whom depend on fish for protein,) hang out on the weed beds and fish for the submerged fish - wind or no.
    USE A SNORTLE
    .. Leech imitations on the edges of the weed beds are excellent attractors. Large nymphs in weed pockets can be worked in an up-n-down slow jigging motion and slid along the edges of the weeds in the open areas.
    .. Even big and ugly attractor flies will bring a fish to the net.

    .. Well, the temperature is getting low on the BBQ. Got to soak some more hickory and adjust the dampers. It's tough but somebody has to eat it.
    -------
    WALLPAPER:  SLAB O' RIBS

    Saturday, August 20, 2016

    Smoke And Moon

    MAPLE FIRE HOT
    West Entrance Attraction
    fish the 6 am moon
    MAPLE FIRE AT 7-MILE  BRIDGE
    -------
    .. The Maple Fire, (LINK 1,) has grown to 14,000 acres and is less than a mile from the West Entrance Road. It is moving toward Grasshopper Bank and 7-mile bridge.
    .. It has become a Yellowstone National Park attraction for visitors. It is in an old burn area from the 1988 fires and produces quite a bit of smoke.
    .. Visitors are warned to use headlights and drive very cautiously when the smoke covers the road. Rangers are along the road to assist with traffic and crowd control.
    .. The inversion and the north winds are back for the day and smoke and ash are visiting West Yellowstone. Cool nights and low fuel content have kept the fire in its current slow progress mood. A wind shift later today or tomorrow along with higher temperatures should push the fire back to the north and east.
    EARLY BUFFALO FIRE
    .. The Buffalo Fire is impacting fishing at SLOUGH CREEK, (LINK 2.)

     Closures:
    Campsites: 2S1, 2S2, 2S3, 2S4, 2S6, 2S7, 2S8
    • Existing reservations will be allowed to finish their stays, however no new reservations
    Trails
    • Buffalo Fork Trail from the trailhead at Slough Creek north to the Park boundary.
    • The Slough Creek trail is open for day-use and thru travel
    -----
    ..We've been remiss in reporting the last few days. The catching on the GALLATIN RIVER has been just too good.
    LOOKS LIKE THIS
    .. There have been some ant swarms reported - we haven't been lucky enough to see them but, the bounty is on the water.
    .. Near the park boundary and three to four miles upstream, (or down to TAYLOR FORK,) your favorite ant pattern will gather up the fish.
    .. It is useful to arise with the setting  moon, (hard as that may be.) It's a lovely orange at 6:00 AM and by the time you're on the water the fish will be more than happy to entertain you.
    .. The FAN CREEK trail is still open, (for now,) and the trout have recently come alive with boisterous behavior. It's smokey and eye watering. This is a grand place to use up your winter fly tying experiments. Float 'em or sink them - the fish won't care.
    JUST THE TICKET
    .. Catching on the SOUTH FORK OF THE MADISON RIVER has slowed just a bit. The thin water along the road still holds some heroic fish of the 8" to 10" variety. These are "one cast" fish and demand a modicum of stealth and observation. Have at it - there are oodles and boodles of them.
    .. There has been an interesting hatch of caddisflies on the little branch and the neighbors have found it delightful. It's not in the park but, hey it's easy catching.
    WAY UP BACON RIND CREEK
    .. Bacon Rind Creek continues to be popular with day hikers, photographers, and the occasional fisher.
    .. The willows in the long meadow have become thick and the trails beat by fishers are a genuine nuisance to follow - however, a three foot cast with five feet of line and an 18" leader will do you well for fooling the fish.
    ORANGE GOOFUS
    .. Beetles, ants, hoppers, and other curious flies will be readily accepted as an invitation to dance. Walk softly, point you rod behind you, sneak to the water and whoop with joy at the gullibility of the 6"  to 10" jewels.
    .. Time to tend the BBQ. Our smoke, the fires' smoke, the neighbors' smoke and the still days have created an overwhelming olfactory sensation the last couple of days.
    -------
    WALLPAPER: PINEAPPLE RIBS - REAL BBQ

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016

    Smoky Fire Day

    THREE HEREABOUTS
    Cougar, Duck, Fan Area
    inversion: wind shift
    FAWN FIRE: NPS PHOTO
    -------
    .. There are three fires on the west side of Yellowstone National Park that are smoky and could affect your fishing plans.
    .. The Fawn Fire, the Buffalo Fire, and the Boundary Fire are currently dumping smoke and ash on West Yellowstone. This is due to an inversion and wind shift. The winds are currently from the north and are light and variable. It was first noticed about mid day yesterday and has continued through mid morning today.
    .. There are some signs that the winds will shift again during the rest of today.
    .. The Fawn Fire is a mountain top fire caused by lightning and is currently approaching 1,000 acres. It's a slow growing fire due to the cool temperatures and cloud cover of recent days, (LINK-F.)
    .. The Buffalo Fire is also slow growing and is approaching 400 acres. It has given its' name to the complex of the current three fires in the west of the park, (LINK-B.)
    .. The Boundary Fire was reported last night along the park boundary between Cougar Creek and West Yellowstone. The fire is just four miles north of West Yellowstone and 1/4 mile inside the park boundary. It is growing at a moderate rate and is about 200 acres. It is being actively monitored and fought with helicopters, airplanes, and fire crews. The ground crews have worked through the night. (LINK-CC.)
    RESOURCES:
    InciWeb (LINK-W)
    Yellowstone Park Fire Activity (LINK-P)
    -----
    .. The smoke is affecting folks with respiratory problems and those with sensitivity to suspended particulates. Runny eyes and noses are common. Dry hacking coughing is also common.
    .. Fishers are urged to avoid the fire areas and roads leading to them. Emergency vehicles have the right of way.
    .. Avoid Duck Creek and Cougar Creek. Fish the Gallatin River - the fish are friendly and active. They even are looking up due to the ash and debris fall from the two northern most fires.
    .. We're headed toward the little known meadow meanders of the South Fork of the Madison River. You won't see it mentioned by the counter help in this town - happily.
    -------
    WALLPAPER:  LIGHT LUNCH - RIB EYE


    Monday, August 15, 2016

    Down Memory Lane

    FOR YOUNG AND OLD
    The Other Glitter
    debris of a misspent youth

    -------
    .. For those of us of an appropriate age there was a time in our youth when we fiddled with old cars and dreamed of what they could be.
    .. Today those folks with the will and wherewithal have brought those dream cars to reality. The rods and customs driving around today are really cartoon cars. They are the embodiment of what we wished they were so long ago.
    .. These are cars of impeccable craftsmanship and imagination. They are not the way they were - "back in the day." They are, however, magnificent in their own right,
    .. Presented below are some wallpapers for those that either remember or appreciate the vehicles. These were seen at the 46th annual West Yellowstone Rod Run - just last weekend.
    --------