My first visit to Yellowstone National Park was with my two sons and sister in the mid-90’s. We arrived over the July 4th weekend to snow at our campsite. We saw bear, elk, moose, deer and all kinds of birds and hiked through some of the burned forest from 1988.

Judy and NancyThis week I entered YNP from the north entrance and found a spot to fish on the Gardner River near Mammoth Hot Springs, thanks to my friends, Nancy and Judy with whom I fished. The skies were gray and the air had that chill of fall. I decided to sport my waders in case the sky opened up to soak us with the much needed rain.

We made our way down a steep embankment thankful to have our wading staffs. We hiked a short distance upstream and I decided to try a side channel. Fishing on this day reminded me of a time on the Blue River in Colorado in January when I couldn’t stop picking up 5 – 6 inch trout.

I know they say a fish is a fish, but for me, normally I would just as soon not catch the younger generation – at least fish-wise. I used a dry/dropper rig and nearly every cast produced a small rainbow or brown trout. Normally I would have taken the nymph off at that point but my timing for catching fish had been really off over the last few weeks, and so I felt compelled to continue to try and make the set, which I did a lot – more than I felt ok about.

GardnerAlways aware of my surroundings, I really expected to see a bear foraging on berries or a moose claiming its territory, but birds were my only friends that day. I’m going back into YNP next week for another hike and fishing day. The weather is starting to tell me that it’s time to go south, but I really don’t want to leave the Montana area.

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