• Visit: Moldy Chum
  • Visit: The Horse's Mouth
  • Visit: Chi Wulff
  • Visit: Parks' Fly Shop
  • Visit: Montana Cowgirl
  • Saturday, January 20, 2018

    Don't Try This At Home

    Neighbor Kids Stoked
    very young superstar
    .. The neighbor kids waylaid us at the Post Office door. "You need to post about Chloe," they said.
    .. "Who?" "Huh?" we replied. An education was in the works from our snowmachine dominated youth culture. Even the skiers were stoked. Other folks gathered in the crowd-blocked doorway.
    .. They educated all of us old farts in the small crowd that they had created.
    .. So we ambled home and looked at the You Tube videos. "SPIFFY STUFF INDEED."
    .. A perfect score at age 15!
    .. Going to the Olympics at age 16!

    Friday, January 19, 2018

    We Gots Guns

    T & T & P
    So there you have it.

    Thursday, January 18, 2018

    "ALL HAT"

    All Rod & Reel
    bull riders don't brag

    World Champion Charles Sampson At Bonnet Palace Dallas

    .. The poseur is a great mimic. BIG hat or FANCY rod. Snake skin boots or $500 reel. We have a few of each in this little village. We also have the real McCoy.
    .. The night clerk at a local convenience store took home the bronc rider buckle at last year's rodeo.
    .. A couple of trinket store clerks have creased jeans, new boots and dime store chrome belt buckles. They wear big hats and tell the visitors wonderful stories.
    .. Our local bronc rider will pump your propane with a smile and show you where the potato chips are. Next customer.
    .. The stories floating in the aisles of feather merchants are entertaining: full of hubris and hyperbole. They sell things.
    .. Our neighbor at the bank continually takes giant trout on a fly. She doesn't say much about it. But we know and, it surfaces in normal daily conversations.
    .. There are a couple of working ranches in the neighborhood and there's no question about who works them.
    .. There are old trucks that have a gun rack, (with rifle and rod,) and, fly gear on the front seat. They go fishing constantly.
    .. It's hard for us to get our head around the reasons for the pretense. We see it and wonder. Is there any authenticity about the image? Who knows these deep things?
    .. Self aggrandizement is rampant in our society and we, (in general,) are happy to believe it rather than call it out. Such a state of affairs!
    .. Winter time is a good time to cogitate about these mysteries.
    .. Warm today and snow tomorrow. The neighbors went out early. They're back now and at the job. Tonight about dark thirty the fish will be hungry. We'll dance with them if they are willing.
    Spaghettini, Salchicha ‎Ragú, Parmigiano Reggiano

    Wednesday, January 17, 2018

    The Mind Wanders

    Oh So Soon
    now: the ineffable
    .. In just four days the winter solstice will be upon us. How now? Here, in the high country, it does not pass unnoticed.
    .. Despite our love of this little village and it's setting in winter  we do have a little more time for the things that require less mobility and activity.
    .. Our skiing days are fast coming to an end. Ice fishing no longer calls us. Bar hopping sends way too much money to the sewage lagoon. Wood chopping and splitting does take some time though. Moving the white stuff is also required.
    .. Reading, right now, is not the luxury that is in the warmer times. It is a habit long nurtured and cherished. While we are reading there are things that come to mind. Between passages, paragraphs, chapters, and books, the ineffable claws to the surface of consciousness.
    .. Nameless and ethereal bits poke from the fog of the synaptic jungle between our ears. On occasion thoughts form. Infrequently ideas are pondered. Time disintegrates and is not missed or noticed.
    .. The mental whirlwind slows to the reality of perception, desire, regret, volition, purpose, needs, or other base bits of our existence.
    .. Winter is good for pondering the ineffable. It is that transcendent substrate that psychologists and other behaviorists seek to codify. Codifications end with the "name it and, nail it syndrome."
    .. Just as if assigning a name in some way imparts understanding - HAH! Would that it were so. The open ended ambiguity of words plagues the conscious mind and verbal speech. Humpty Dumpty knew this: why don't political pundits and psychologists? The words need definition  --  and then some.
    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.” “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master—that’s all.”
    .. So: beyond words or, beneath words or, without words there is this mental stuff that, (on occasion,) comes near to being perceived. Winter is a good time for this in our high country.
    .. One deep bubble recently burst into reality, (of sorts.) The thought formed with a surprisingly vivid presence. Perhaps there are fish to be caught in other reaches of our globe.
    .. Perhaps there are warmer places during the winter time. Perhaps they will take a fly. Perhaps they will take a worm. Perhaps they will come to the surface. They may even  fly through the air and put a trout to shame. Could it be?
    .. Then, perhaps there is stuff other than flies and worms that fish will eat. Could it be?
    .. The thought moved toward an idea. The idea seemed to embellish itself. The embellishments became images and flickered into a movie.
    .. Roads, mountains, prairies, deserts, trees, oceans and rivers. Such was the vision that emerged from the ineffable æther in the gray stuff beneath my balding pate.
    .. Perhaps Florida, San Diego, Corpus Christi, Louisiana, Mexico, New Zealand, or other places.  Perhaps!

    Thursday, January 11, 2018

    Give Me Your . . .

    The World Watches
    we have done it
     .. Liberty Enlightening The World is the name of the statue. It was given to the United States by the people of France, and was dedicated on October 28, 1886.
     .. Emma Lazarus (July 22, 1849 – November 19, 1887) was an American Poet. Lazarus was born into a large Jewish family, the fourth of seven children of Moses Lazarus and Esther Nathan.
    .. Inscribed on a plaque is the final stanza of her sonnet entitled the 'NEW COLOSSUS.'
    .. The sonnet was written in 1883 and donated to an auction, conducted by the "Art Loan Fund Exhibition in Aid of the Bartholdi Pedestal Fund for the Statue of Liberty" in order to raise funds to build the pedestal.

    Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
    With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
    Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
    A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
    Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
    Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
    Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
    The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
    “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
    With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
    Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
    Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

    Wednesday, January 10, 2018

    Stealth War Emerges

    No Superficial Reads
    our earth is complex
    .. Just as a trophic cascade takes a considerable amount of time in both plant and animal communities; so too does the environmental repercussion of societal and political decisions.
    .. Most folks believe that if there is no immediate effect from political behavior there will not be any at all. Our society is rooted in instant gratification and, this mentality permeates a wide spectrum of belief.
    .. The introduction of the wolves into Yellowstone National Park in 1995 is still being felt today. Hunters and ranchers bemoaned the immediate result of fewer elk and their predatory behavior on domestic livestock.
    .. The cascade effect is ongoing with the resurgence of beavers, willows, and aspen trees. There are both 'immediate' and long term results. This will continue for some time to come.
    .. The supporters of our current administration say that the sky has not fallen given the 'immediate' results of political decisions and rule making. Therefore, (they say,) it's not as bad as they were led to believe.
    .. Of course not. Those folks have no concept of the intertwined nature of our planet's ecosystems. If it hasn't happened this week  -- THEN it probably won't happen. Yippee Shit: we can ignore the decisions and behaviors of the administration.
    .. It does take a certain semblance of intelligence, education, and concern for the future state of our environment to appreciate a trophic cascade or a political cascade.
    .. Be you a Fisher or, a Hunter or, a Tree Hugger you are under siege by a stealth war. If you are an industrialist, real estate developer, energy company, or extractive tycoon; you have been given your dream of instant gratification.
    .. American business defines long term planning as results for the third quarter. A political cascade takes longer to manifest itself. Woe be us come the third decade. [[ As an aside; there is even some lend/lease debt from WWII still outstanding.]]
    .. Fixing, (should we choose to,) will be a monumental task. It will be beyond the resources of any single nation: especially our nation with a giant debt.
    .. Commercial fishers have some idea of the impacts of over fishing and the length of time it lasts and the time it takes to partially recover.
    .. However sport fishers enjoy the non indigenous species that proliferate all across our nation. "Hey, y'all, lookee here at the big fish!" The impacts of the trophic cascade in this arena are ignored by most sport fishers. Just catch 'em while on vacation.
    .. We, here,  are in the minority. We have no advertisers to placate. We have no trinkets to sell. We have no giant ego or cute phraseology to bolster this little newsletter.
    .. We only have a vested interest in gentle wanderings in the woods and meadows and an occasional fish to catch. We have, over the past 50+ years seen changes that are the result of decisions long gone and applauded.
    .. The changes are interrelated and a combination of the environmental, social, political, cultural, and educational milieu that we partake of. Some we like some we don't. They will continue as our society continues our paradigm of short term gratification;  well into the future.
    >> Short read with headlines,
    >> Detail of ongoing stealth attack, (longer - PDF.)
    .. Getting a good dump of the white stuff. It has fair moisture content and is building up nicely. It's warm enough to fish a little and maybe catch some - if we can avoid the sledheads.
    .. Some visitors are firmly ensconced in the few soft chairs in the dusty aisles of a couple of feather merchants. Many neighbors are gathered around barrel stoves telling stories. Time enough to shovel some and take a nap.
    WALLPAPER:   Strawberry Crêpes For Brunch

    Tuesday, January 09, 2018

    History In The Making

    You Heard It Here
    the circus heats up




    Saturday, January 06, 2018

    Birds Of A Feather

    Neighborhood Variants
    pardon the rust
    .. For a myriad of reasons the original COACHMAN fly pattern (LINKS: #1, #2, #3,)  is gaining popularity in our neighborhood.
    .. The fly is quick to tie, it is cheap to tie, it is easy to tie, variation is easy,  AND: it works!
    .. It can be wet or dry. It can be hackled or not. It can be drifted, floated, jerked, bobbed, dapped, jigged etc.
    .. Right now the neighbors are selecting and tying their own variations for use through holes in the ice of Hebgen Reservoir.
    .. With our recent cold temperatures the ice on the reservoir has firmed up very nicely and a couple of weeks early. Most ice fishers use bits of worm or, maggots or, meal worms or, coarse ground hamburger or, minnow jigs or, even a Swedish Pimple.
    .. Our neighbors do the same but frequently put a fly in front of the offering. Sometimes just a fly will out fish anything else.
    .. It's a catch-as-catch-can sort of game and multiple rods and lures are the most successful. Hanging around and telling stories in the lee of a shelter is also a requisite talent.
    .. Right now there are several variants that are emerging as favorites for the sub ice fishers.
    .. Each is, (interestingly,) a successful fly in our local waters during the conventional fly fishing fiasco that exhibits itself in the neighborhood during warmer weather.
    .. The "BEAD HEAD SOFT HACKLE COACHMAN" is similar to the 1847 "MARLOW BUZZ" fly. It was also known as the "LADY BIRD" fly, "HAZEL FLY," and "WELSHMAN'S BUTTON." 
    .. It was initially fished dry in supposed imitation of a trapped and buzzing fly. Today the neighbors usually drown it and use it as an attractor fly.
    .. This fly is most often fished beneath the ice all by itself. It is usually found in the arsenal of those ice fishers with a fish finder and, used for luring big fish.
    .. The "BEAD HEAD COACHMAN"  is a rather standard neighborhood variation that is fished as a dropper beneath a large dry fly for searching in the early Spring. 
    .. Beneath the ice this fly is frequently paired with hamburger or a kernel of corn. It is dropped near weed beds and the edge of structure. It is a deep fly and a useful bit of weight for the ice fisher.
    .. The "HACKLED COACHMAN" is a favored fly for both dry and wet fly fishing during the Summer months.
    .. This is very close to the original coachman fly. It is a persistent pattern that is tied by most fishers and should be in all boxes.
    .. Under the ice it is used with both maggots and meal worms. It is frequently used as 'depth specific' fly once the cruising fish are found. The choice of 'meat' is an individual preference.
    .. The "ALBINO EMERGENCE" is a Summer fly that has made it's appearance under the ice as the bright head of a bit of earthworm.
    .. It was initially designed to work the film during those periods when fish are seen rising and nothing else works. It is an excellent ice-out fly as well.
    ..  Yes indeed there is rust on some flies in the pictures. Sad, but true, these flies have been used to catch fish. We're not selling flies. We're not winning photo contests. We're showing flies that work.
    .. Some have been 'retired.' Some have been lost for some time in the organizational system of a less than anal fisher. What ever the reason these rusty flies have been in the water and poorly curated. Most of them can be, (and will be,) salvaged with a few quick swipes of a diamond hone. Some certainly will break: absolutely earth shattering and devastating. Probably put us off our feed for months.
    .. So there you have it.

    Tuesday, January 02, 2018

    Our Mountains

    They Influence Weather
    they catch our water
    .. In this new year, as we sort through the things around us, our mind comes to rest on our mountains. They are but a small part of the Rocky Mountains yet they are ours.
    .. They are just down the road. They divide the western continent into separate drainages.
    .. They block some weather. They push some weather. They harbor the species of our neighborhood: plants and animals. They contain the geologic record of our past  --  AND, the past of our neighborhood. They are playgrounds and refuges for all things living.
    .. They are inviting and dangerous. They are beautiful and menacing. They push and pull in so many ways.
    .. Right now they are pushing weather toward the eastern expanse of our continent. They shelter us from tornadoes and hurricanes and the like. They provide fuel for fire and a barrier to it.
    .. They give us sunsets and clear skies. They roil the clouds and divert some snows. They stop some clouds and squeeze out some moisture.
    .. These are the mountains that capture our precious water: the water that nourishes the nation.
    .. As the water leaves us it nourishes our fish and bison and bears and voles and wolverines and trees and grass and flowers  --  AND  us.
    .. These very mountains, our mountains, hold the headwaters of mighty rivers like the Snake River, the Madison River, and the Gallatin River. These rivers feed the Missouri River, Mississippi River and of course the Columbia River: our mountains.
    .. Along its way to the Gulf Of Mexico, and the Pacific Ocean, the water nourishes farms and wheat lands and alfalfa fields. It waters orchards and gardens. It creates small streams and giant rivers. These are the waters from our mountains: millions drink from it!
    .. Each year about this time we are drawn to the treasure that is being deposited in our mountains.
    .. We watch the snow accumulate. We take note of it's moisture content. We speculate on it's depth in the nooks and crannies that are removed from the data gathering stations.
    .. We wish for deep and wet snow in the playgrounds of our mountains.  We enjoy the view from our little village. From afar we squint toward hunting camps of our past. We envision the frozen and buried 'secret' streams that will give us the pleasure of quiet fishing and catching and wandering.
    .. There are trees and trails that disappear in the green and black and white collage that is our mountains. We know them but can't see them.
    .. We are pleased to be near to our mountains.
    .. Our village is fortunate to be so close to our mountains. We drink from them in many ways: not just the water.
    .. Come springtime we will worry about runoff and floods and erosion.
    .. Come springtime we will plan our visits to our mountains and their waters. For now, however, we bask in the knowledge that they are there and we can see them and their treasure.

    Monday, January 01, 2018


    Another One To Go
    make it a good one
    .. So it has come down to this: our cultural reckoning of annual episodes - as if something stopped yesterday and something starts today.
    Le Penseur
    .. The machines of the universe grind on. The winds blow, the sun shines, the snows come and go, the recycling of all biological stuff continues and all is continuing constancy. Yet we choose to stop something and start something else: curious.
    .. We're not fooled by the rationale for our midwinter revels. We know that today has only an artificial status as the first day of a "NEW YEAR." Tell it to the Chinese.
    .. The upcoming year of the dog, (4710,) begins on February 16, 2018. Another beginning and another ending. Such are the bits of cultural audacity. The mental ordering of sequential events are seemingly chopped short every 365.2422 days. So be it: we'll play.
    .. In most reckonings now is a time of stock taking and resolve based on accumulated evidence from the past.
    .. In this cultural milieu we have "New Year's Resolutions." In the Chinese way they have a two week celebration consisting of spreading money around and eating well, (not a bad way for it to be.)
    .. 恭喜发财 to you. Resolutions are not as big in the orient as they are here.
    .. This might have something to do with the fact that in early Christianity the first day was used to reflect on the past and vow to do better.
    .. In the Orient it's best not to repeat the past or reflect too deeply on it. After all the cyclic nature of existence will bring it around again. Just do the best that you can  --  in all instances. There is a realization that no real sundering of past events from the present reality or future occurrences is sensible or comprehensible.
    .. A new age for the occidental Christian started about 2018 years ago. and each year was finite and encapsulated.
    .. So resolve to "DO BETTER" at something personal.
    .. Better manners, better fishing, better catching, better at weight loss, better at gathering wealth, and all things better from a personal perspective. It's as if the past is not connected to the present or the present to the future.  My, my.
    .. Most of the various Chinese peoples provide new year wishes for others to have health, wealth, and good fortune.
    .. In the Chinese fashion we have had a wish for our president - but the golf club wouldn't fit.
    .. For our own thought we wish for the understanding that this is as good as it gets in this cycle, (apart from petty concerns of money, position, advancement, status, ego satisfaction, and all other things valued so highly by fly fishers and other plutocratic sub cultures in our society.)
    .. So we wish for you a Happy Disconnected Future  --  free from all past influences. May you be richer, happier, and more healthy than ever before. May you catch all the fish you set out to catch. May you have no worries or anxieties. May all your dreams come true.
    .. For us we'll plod along with the frustration of fishless days, bills beyond our means, fatness of the midriff, slowness of stride, anxieties about the health of our water, and fears about the health of the American Rule of Law and and it's vaunted democratic republic  --  one vote for each citizen - HAH!
    .. We have no resolutions  we do have a wish: to live a few more healthy years with fewer fishless days and more loving friends.