Wednesday, March 30, 2011

brown out

Despite the snow and cold, I have been fishing a bit the last couple weeks, but in our next of the woods have been catching mostly whitefish. As I always check the Yellowstone Angler's fishing report online, I have been very envious of the guys up near Livingston floating the river and catching huge browns on streamers and heavy rods, so I borrowed an 8wt rod from Wendie's boss and headed up there on Monday.

Despite some good info. from the local fly shops about where to go, the Yellowstone is a huge river (300 feet across in some spots) and it took me a while to figure how and where to fish it. Finally, upstream of Carter's Bridge I waded in and started fishing. I had to go up to my chest in the 40-degree water but after about 100 casts, I got a nice 17-inch brown. Not as big as the ones the guys in the boats have been catching, but better than a whitefish no doubt. I proceeded to throw about another 500 casts but that was the only fish I got.

As it was getting dark, I drove the East River Road back from Livingston. It is a little more remote than the highway through the valley and I saw more deer than I have seen in my life. They were crowded along the road like New York City pedestrians hanging at the street corner waiting for the "WALK" light to come on.

Thankfully, after one more stop to check out some rising fish, I made it back without hitting a deer, which was probably a bigger achievement than catching the fish.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


While Steve was out fishing, I was taking a course at the Lamar Buffalo Ranch.

The course was about Coyotes & Ravens, but early morning field trips into the Valley turned up a lot of animals. Our first morning's stop was at Round Prairie, where there was a winter-killed bison. There had been a grizzly feeding here for the past few days (the first one spotted this spring on the Northern Range), but there was nothing on the bison when we pulled up. And then...the Lamar Canyon pack (wolves) showed up and we were able to watch them for several minutes as they fed.

And then, from the trees, they started to howl.


bighorn sheep,

and bison.

It was a beautiful weekend in the Valley.

Monday, March 21, 2011

first trout of 2011

Got my first trout of 2011 today. Actually got three, this decent rainbow and then two smaller guys - another rainbow and a cutt-bow.

This is my third time out on the Yellowstone River, but the first time I have lasted more than an hour and half, because it has been too cold or too windy. I got my first fish - a whitefish - of the year last week and caught a bunch of whitefish on Saturday, but on both days the wind was gusting to 20- to 30-mph which made fishing a bit of a pain.

Today's temps got into the 40s and the wind was under control so even though the water is still cold and the fish weren't rising, I was still able to get in a good 3 hours of fishing. It won't last, as we are supposed to get snow for the next 3 day, but it was good to break the ice so to speak.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

spring, for now

Today was our second straight day of sun and 40 degree weather. It won't last, but for now, we all have spring fever. Today I went on my first hike of year on the Rescue Creek trail.

Elk lounging in the sun.

The Gardner River is muddy with the start of the spring run-off.

The trail looked good,

but it was MUDDY.

It wasn't long before we came across a group of bighorns,

and bison in the distance.

It won't last, but we'll enjoy it...until the next snowfall.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

mesa: the rest

Aside from baseball (Kerry Wood!), we were also looking forward to getting some sun. This is what we left,

and this is what we went to. Sun and 80 degree weather!

We were also looking forward to getting some good food. I was ecstatic to discover that there was In n Out in Mesa

and it was our first stop, mmm Animal Style. Just don't ask us how many times were ate there...

Before we left, Mandi asked me what else we were going to do besides watch baseball. "Hmm, Starbucks, eat Thai food...oh and go to a mall!" was my reply. Which we did...because those are things we don't get to do here. But, shamed by Mandi, we also decided to do some sight-seeing that didn't involve baseball or food.

After Sunday's game, we headed out to Lost Dutchman State Park, on the famed Apache Trail.

The Superstition Mountains.

We went on a short hike in the park to walk off some of those stadium hot dogs.

On Monday, before we left, we drove around downtown Phoenix. One last Starbucks, and we checked out Chase Field, home of the D'backs.

Then it was back to the snow...

Monday, March 7, 2011

mesa: the cubbies

Steve, my dad, and I just got back from spending a long weekend in Mesa. The sole purpose of the trip? Spring Training! Go Cubs Go!

First things first, time to lay out all of our gear.

Day 1: Cubs vs. Padres


HoHoKam Park.

Autograph time...Steve waits patiently while we line the field, pens at the ready.

Sean Marshall:

My dad meeting Matt Camp:

Brett Jackson working the line:

Then we found out that Fergie Jenkins was in the stadium!

Cubs beat the Padres 9-4

Day 2: Cubs vs. Dodgers

Steve waits patiently again while we hunt for autographs...and catches a line-drive while the Dodgers take batting practice!

It's Len and Bob! First televised game on WGN.

Marlon Byrd warming up...

and then signing.

Cubs take the field.

Soto and Dempster, ready to go.

Before we headed down to Mesa, I told Steve that my goal was to get a picture with Kerry Wood. Probably not likely, he said. And then in the 4th my dad and I went down to buy a bottle of water, and who do I spot out of the corner of my eye? WOODY!

Nicest. Guy. Ever.

It took 10 innings, but the Cubs beat the Dodgers 5-3.