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The clients were ready and eager when I got to the shop at 8:15 and after the usual paperwork, looking over the gear and picking out a few flies for the day we made our way for Springdale. Rob Olsen was my guide partner for the day and we were being joined by four ministers from around the country. Jeremy was from Memphis, Glenn resided in Washington D.C., Bill was from Austin and Tom hailed from San Antonio. They were all minister that meet in seminary school and had been making an annual trip somewhere each year to catch up and enjoy each others company.
When we got to Springdale Doug and Mike were at the ramp getting their boat ready in a steady 20 mph wind with gust into the 30's. I talked to Rob to see if he was interested in changing our plans and wading the Boulder instead of taking a sailing trip down the Yellowstone. He told me he was up for anything so I headed over to talk with the group about the new plan. They were open to anything and told me all they really cared about was catching some fish, seeing some nice scenery and having a good time. My job was to guide them through the day and make sure they had a great time. I headed over to Rob and told him they were up to driving the extra distance to try and get a break from the wind. We left Doug and Mike and wished them luck with their sailing venture. When we arrived in Big T we dropped the boats at the Super 8 and headed up the Boulder Valley. As we crossed the river at the 8 mile bridge the river was pretty off color, I hoped it was just the West Fork and by the time we got to the next bridge the river had turned to a rustic red color and I had thoughts of spending a wasted day driving around burning fuel for no good reason.
We arrived at the Forks and thankfully the West Fork was the culprit and the Main stem of the river was in great shape. The guys pulled on their waders and Rob and I rigged the rods. The wind was still blowing pretty hard but at least we had a bit of protection in the river bottom with all the trees and high banks. We headed down stream and got everyone into their fishing positions. I set Tom in his spot and headed a bit further downstream with Glenn. Glenn hooked and landed a nice rainbow right out of the gate and I knew we had made a good choice. We spent the rest of the morning landing some very nice rainbows and by lunch we were pretty satisfied with the fishing. The river was starting to get some color as the day progressed and when we met back up with Rob, Bill and Jeremy it had gone from gin clear to a couple feet of visibility.
We had a very nice lunch on the bank of the West Fork and after everyone had a full belly we headed back to the truck for some more fishing. We headed up the river to another spot and when we arrived at the new access the river clarity had taken a turn for the worse. Clarity had dropped to around a foot and there was starting to be some floating debris in the water. I was sure that we were in for a quick end to the day but as the afternoon progressed the clarity got a bit better and we ended the day with a foot and a half of clarity. The afternoon fishing was not as consistent but we did manage to catch a few more fish and the hot bug of the day was a wire worm. The day ended with a few more fish under the bridge and we sent the ministers for a quick sight seeing trip up to the natural bridge. I headed back to town to fulfill my fatherly duties and attend the coaches T-Ball meeting to pickup the equipment and the team roster for the 2008 Season. We should have a fun team full of friends and cousins who will surely bring plenty of smiles and laughs to all of us as they swarm after the ball.
Round two of 5 Bighorn trips for this spring begins today. The bags are packed and I will be dropping Reece off at school and heading East. A couple of quick stops in Livingston to finalize next weeks guide trips and to pick up a new pair of bootfoot waders. Then it's on to the middle of the Crow Reservation and a date with a group from San Diego for three days of netting fish. The trips to the Bighorn are usually a good time but life takes a turn from reality with a lack of contact with the outside world. The isolation from Television, the Internet and even newspapers is a great relaxation but I would have no idea if George Bush got an itch and decided to invade another oil producing country to help line his buddies pockets with even higher fuel prices for American consumers.
With that being said my fuel cost for getting to the river and back will run around $200 which takes a bite out of buying new clothes for the boy or taking the family out for a nice weekend getaway. My tax rebate won't be going back into the economy as our trusty government officials hope it will. No new TV or electronic purchases, no new cars, no new toys. My rebate will be going to household bills and into the pockets of excessive profits for Exxon, Cononco and BP.
Enough with the tirade, for those few readers who visit the site I hope that you have a great end of the week and I will post a full report of the good times and the mishaps that take place on the Bighorn for the next few days. I am sure there will be more memories like last years alteration of the table in our cabin so that I could fit my fly tying vise on it. Until then good luck fishing and have a great weekend.
Bozeman was treated to another great "American" event with the Monster Nationals taking over the Brick Breeden Field house for two nights of shows. Once my 5 year old son Reece saw the commercial on TV I knew I was obligated to take him to the show. Fortunately our friends Cora and Len had free tickets from Cora's advertising job with the local TV network so I could free up some extra cash for a few over priced show souvenirs.
We arrived just as the show got started and thank god I took the advice of some friends and purchased some ear plugs prior to hitting the field house. The noise of these beastly trucks is amazing especially when you couple it with being held inside of an arena that amplifies the sound. The trucks were actually pretty amazing and the power and speed at which they travel was something to see. The evenings highlights for Reece were when one of the trucks attempted to do a donut, like we used to do in the High School parking lot and his tires got a bit to much grip sending him onto his roof. They quickly pulled the truck back over onto it's wheels with the lift and readied the truck for the next event. The next event was racing around the oval track and jumping the piles of cars. The same truck made his first run around the oval and on the second set of cars he went high in the air and landed hard, breaking off his front tire and nose diving into the stadium dirt. The crowd cheered with great enthusiasm and I am sure the owner of the truck wants to never return to Bozeman after all the cost he ensued from the his disastrous evening in the field house.
The evening finished up with a visit from megasaurus the fire breathing, car eating dinosaur. The lights went black in the "Brick" and the three story monster entered the arena. The kids loved the fire and flames but the dino was really a let down when he started to chew the car in half. I am also pretty sure the facility managers were not real excited about all the glass, metal and car parts being mixed in with the high dollar rodeo dirt that was laid on the field house floor for the event. The show ended with a stop at the souvenir stand and parting with 30 dollars for a couple of flags, a hat and a whiz bang boomerang. I can honestly say that the show was a pretty good time and it will be a couple weeks before Reece talks about anything else.
Hook: Tiemco #200r Size 4 and 6
Thread: Flo. Orange 210 Denier
Egg Sack: Black Elk or Deer Hair
Body: Salmon Fly Orange Dubbing over Dyed Black Elk Hair
Ribbing: Two Brown Saddle Hackles
Wing: Long Blond Elk Hair
Legs: Black Rubber Legs, Med
Head and Collar: Bullet Head Dyed Brown Deer Body Hair
I am very honored to know Bob and I have always enjoyed our conversations both in his shop and when he would stop by to say hello when I owned my shop. Bob's love for the sport and his compasion for sharing is second to none. Be sure and bookmark the weekly fly and check out all the great tiers who will be sharing patterns and stories.