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Showing posts with the label spring

Not For Naught...

Took a drive out to the river the other day.  It's high water time, so I hadn't planned on fishing.
Still, it's good to get out of the house for a few hours.  Walk around, shoot a few photos, breathe the sweet spring air.
Everything is green.  Finally.  There's no annoying bugs yet either.  Don't worry, they're coming.  Do you know where your bug dope is?
Best of all, I came home with a prize. A massive haul of three morels.  Not quite enough for a meal.   Luckily I'd accumulated a stash of dried ones over the years. They've been stored in glass jars waiting for a date with the frying pan.  The fresh ones are more flavorful, less rubbery.  But, the dried ones do in a pinch.
So, tortellini with morels and asparagus.  Today was the day.
It's a simple dish.  Along with the tortellini, asparagus and mushrooms, butter and bacon round out the flavors.
And, there's a little garlic for vampire abatement.  A little parmesan.  A splash of milk.  Done.
Ma…

All Day Long

Some days are tough, the fish tougher.
On spring creeks, it's the season of in between hatches.
The day starts with great promise.
Blue sky.  Warm.  Calm.
It doesn't last.
The bugs fail to make their appointment.  It doesn't matter.  If they show they'd get blown off the water anyway.
Still, one doesn't quit for fear of missing something.  Maybe there will be a window.  An opportunity.
So you persist.
Squalls come through.  As if conditions aren't tough enough already.




But you hang in there.  You've made it this far.
Four o'clock.  Lunch time. 
Can't call it a day yet.  
Maybe the wind will lie down at dusk.
Maybe, anything.  A crumb.
Just one shot.
Please.
The sun pops out, now low on the horizon.



What's that? A dimple.  Up against the bank.
The fish eats on the first cast.
A gift.
All day for one shot.
It was worth it.




Bighorn River Day....

Every angler visits a piece of water for the first time.  These are my impressions as a first timer to the Bighorn.  I imply no level expertise.
It's a bit of a haul for a day trip, but doable for the young and the tough.  I left Bozeman around 4:30 a.m. and met up with Satoshi in Livingston.  He was the young and tough part of the venture. For Satoshi, it was a guides day off.  Of course he ended up rowing the boat.
As I'd lamented in recent posts, spring has been slow to appear in Montana.  It was equally slow in appearing as we headed east.  Patches of snow still lay in gullies as we drove through the Crow Reservation.  Frozen fields were covered with sheets of water from the slowly melting snow.  It was raining when we arrived at Ft. Smith.  In no hurry to launch, we took our time, visited a couple of the fly shops, decided on a float strategy, and arranged for a shuttle. 
No secret, the Bighorn is a known quantity among the western fly fishing crowd. Folks either fish wh…

March Minimalism

I like March.  It's an awakening of sorts.  After a winter of introspection, I revert to childhood.  It's time to get out and play in the water.  Except of course when one fishes a spring creek.  Then, it's best to stay out of the pool if possible.
Winter and spring in Montana.  One season morphs into the other, often with no discernible difference between the days.  In spite of the snow, a few fish nose their way into the creek from the Yellowstone.  Maybe the weeds start to grow.  A little green on the stream bottom is most welcome.  It's important too, bugs need something to eat, a place to hide.  So do the fish.



My fly rod has been strung for weeks.  Once fishing starts in earnest, it stays strung. All season.    After all, it's important to have a nice straight leader.  There's a fly attached too.  Now we know that a prudent angler doesn't tie on a fly until getting to the water.  But let's face it, the process of bug elimination is a short one.
T…

Another Day, Another Spring Creek....

With the valley rivers blown, and several days off, I needed an alternative if I wanted to fish.  I'd originally planned to fish the Missouri, but it doesn't offer much to the wading angler when it's flowing near 9000 c.f.s.  Given my soft spot for spring creeks, I booked a day on Nelson's Spring Creek.  It was a first for me, as I've spent my spring creek fishing career across the Yellowstone at Depuy's.








Nelson's is regarded as being the most difficult of the Paradise Valley spring creeks. Now tell me, who doesn't appreciate a little challenge?  Surely I could manage a fish or two.  Well the first piece of water that I looked into contained hundreds, maybe thousands of trout.  Did I mention that they also raise fish commercially for local restaurants?  Oh well, these fish weren't nearly as standoffish as their  spring creek brethren.





I spent the morning exploring while waiting for some sort of a hatch to come off. There were plenty of fish.  The c…

Kirk Hill

I refer here to the natural area, not the guy.  
Us fisherman need to stay in shape, sniff a few posies too.  Fact is, with high water, our mid-May fishing options are limited. We still need to get out of the house, get a little air and stretch the old legs. 
Kirk Hill is a short low elevation hike near Bozeman.  It's a popular nature and wildflower hike.  Trail runners like it too.  I got reacquainted with this trail yesterday.











With the cool wet spring that we've had, we're relatively early into green-up.  But, there's still lots of early season flowers for us naturalist types.  Here then are the common ones, along with a few sights from along the trail.....