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Showing posts from September, 2013


Once upon a time in the predawn darkness I climbed a mountain
It was horns I sought that September day
I made my choice and notched my tag a moment to reflect then the work began
Once upon a time as darkness fell I descended a mountain
With great satisfaction the weight of a full pack the ram of rams

Afternoon at the Flat Ranch

I needed to get out of town yesterday. So……I drove to Idaho.  I had an unused Idaho fishing license, and had never fished the Henry's Lake area.  Armed with Mike Lawson's book, off to the Flat Ranch I went.

Purchased by the Nature Conservancy nearly twenty years ago, the Flat Ranch property is located just south of Henry's Lake in Idaho. It's about fifteen miles from West Yellowstone, Montana. More info here.

It's primarily a nature preserve, with the opportunity to fish thrown in. There's a nifty visitors center. The porch is a nice place to kick back and take in the views.  I grabbed my cooler and had lunch before heading out to explore the property.

There are cows too.  It's still a working cattle ranch.  There are several large fenced pastures. Livestock are managed in some sort of rest rotation system.  Overall, the riparian areas appear to be in good shape.
During summer, speakers deliver weekly lectures on topics of local interest.

As for the fishin…

A Day at the Races (Bird Hunting)

It was forty two at sunup in blue grouse country.  What a great way to start the day.  Blue sky. Sunshine.  Endless mountain views.  A little dampness from yesterday's rain. The hooded sweatshirt felt good.  Early autumn in Montana……...
The girls were a little nutty this morning. But, it was their first day on wild birds this season. They  eventually settled down.  Each found and pointed birds.  Maggie and Addie got retrieves.

Emma had a run in with a stick, and required some emergency field repairs before being stapled together at home.

We called it a day by two.  Jo had her birds.  I'm sure the dogs would have hunted longer, but the humans were through.  Besides, we still had mushrooms to pick.

High and Dry

It was not quite dawn when we arrived at the end of the road.  The temperature on the truck gauge registered a surprising thirty nine. That would change. Quick.

No dew this morning, dry as the proverbial bone. We hiked up a ridge, in and out of grassy parks. I was soon reacquainted with the wonderful nagging sensation that is weed seeds in the socks.

Parks that had held birds before held none today. Up in the shadowed timber, the huckleberry bushes were bare, the years crop either done or nonexistent from the start. Back in the parks, the grasshoppers were scarce too. Basic formula…no food, no birds.  Probably should add water to the equation too.

On the way out, a single blue grouse flushed wild.  We jumped a couple of mule deer in the open timber.  Other than a pile of bear poop, game sign was scarce.

At least we got out and stretched our legs.  Jo commented that Addie had covered thirteen miles according to the gps on her collar.

We called it quits by ten, just as others were pull…


September, here again.  We're on the cusp of another season change.  It won't change today though. It's supposed to be in the nineties. It's the opening day of mountain grouse season in Montana. Out of tradition, we may get out for a couple of hours early on today.

Regarding changes.  I purchased a domain name ( the other day.  I promptly managed to take the blog offline.  Thankfully, the folks at Namecheap got me squared away.

The new issue of Northwest Fly Fishing may be of interest.  It contains some steelhead content with a Grande Ronde photo essay and a piece on the Clearwater River in Idaho.  Perhaps of greater personal interest is a biography of Sheridan Anderson, author of the Curtis Creek Manifesto.  I've always thought it to be the best fly fishing primer on the market, and still open it on occasion, if for no reason other than a good chuckle.

I picked up some beading wire at Walmart yesterday.  I plan to tie a few simple steelh…