Showing posts with label Yellowstone. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yellowstone. Show all posts

July 13, 2016

Wednesday Nibbles - Summer Vacation Edition

The weeklong summer vacation is over. It's actually been over since Sunday afternoon, but you know, needed a few days of recovery before sharing something on the blog.

Our trip from Mt. Rushmore to Yellowstone to Grand Teton/Jackson to Salt Lake City was not a fishing trip, so if you read this blog purely for the fishing expertise (ha!), feel free to click off now. However here's a quick week in review, via captioned photos...

Day 1 & 2: Rapid City, SD / Crazy Horse / Mount Rushmore

Wheels down in Rapid City, and there was quite a storm on the horizon to greet us!

The hotel had a small lake out front, this was the only fishing I'd do on the trip.
Bass put up a good fight though.

The bus. Home away from home for a week

Didn't know what to expect from Crazy Horse.
They've evidently been blasting and carving since the late 1940s.
It's quite the sight, much, much bigger than Mt. Rushmore.
Maybe I can get back in a few decades to check the progress.

Down the road about 20 minutes from Crazy Horse, there's a spot on the highway where you can stop and see Washington's profile peer from the side of the mountain with no other presidents (or sign of the park) in sight. It's cool, but kind of eerie at the same time.

I was pleasantly surprised by Mt. Rushmore. Figured you just went and stared at the side of a mountain. Instead, there's a whole complex with walking trails, museums, etc...
Could have spent the whole day there if we had the time.

Day 3: Repositioning to Cody, WY

Day 3 was pretty much a waste, we were in the bus pretty much all day as we moved from Rapid City, SD to Cody, WY. Did catch this "wild" pic of the girls in the Wyoming visitor's center.

We drove by Devil's Tower...

Stopped for lunch in Sheridan, WY...

Drove through the Bighorn mountains...

Before ending up in Cody for the night - home of Buffalo Bill, and never-ending cowboy-kitsch

Day 4 & 5: Yellowstone

The first day was kind of rainy, but we did see a lot of wildlife.  Bison, bear, coyote, elk, & deer

And some really cool old park buses

Elk can walk on the travertine

But we stuck to the boardwalk to take selfies in front of it

The following day's weather was much better.
All of the thermal features were amazing

As were the falls in the canyon

The photo doesn't do this one justice!

Wouldn't want to swim in that hot tub

Gotta take a picture of Old Faithful, right?

More pools

Standing on top of the hill looking down at the river surrounded by geysers was breathtaking.
Two days were not even close to being enough to sample Yellowstone's wonders 

Day 6: Grand Teton / Jackson, WY

On Friday we headed South from Yellowstone down Rockefeller Parkway through Grand Teton National Park

We stopped several times along the way - there were so many scenic views

I mean come on, is this for real?

The highlight was a lakeside picnic lunch

I'm not a holy man, but the view out of this roadside church window was amazing

Once we reached Jackson, we took a ski lift up to the top of the mountain overlooking town

And then descended to take in the Cowboy meets Hippie vibe

Watched a street performance (don't worry, the good guys won)

And washed the day down right

Day 7: Repositioning to Salt Lake City

The last real day took us to Salt Lake City via Logan Canyon

Lilly approved of the scenery

I approved of lunch. If you're ever in Logan, UT, Angie's is amazing.

Our trip ended with a tour of Temple Square

With beautiful architecture

But no Tabernacle Choir, (they were on the road).

And after that, a night of sleep, then home to Florida the next morning.

Our vacation went so quickly, but it was certainly a memorable one. I feel like I shared so many pictures above, but I took TONS more. So many neat things to see and experience.

As for the bus tour aspect, I'm not certain I'd do a bus tour again, as I felt that while we saw a lot of incredible things, we really didn't get to spend enough time at any one particular place to really enjoy them. We kind of figured that was going to be the case heading in; it was sort of like when you go on a cruise ship and visit several ports of call, but spend a lot of time "at sea."

It was more a quick sampling of some magical Western sights, many of which I know we'll head back to in the not too distant future. K.C. is already scoping out a return to Jackson & the Tetons, and I just saw so much beautiful water out the bus window that was screaming to be fished!

June 27, 2016

Summer Vacation Prep Week

Dang, that snuck up quickly.

Don't think I mentioned it here before, but the Griswold family summer vacation this year is one of those week-long guided bus tours through some of the western National Parks - most notably, Mt. Rushmore, Yellowstone, & Grand Teton, with a few stops at touristy cowboy-towns in between.

I've been wanting to see the parks for a while, like I can watch those damn Ken Burns documentaries over and over, and doing one of these tours was the only way to get K.C. & Lilly to agree to go as they require, no demand, hotel accommodations and whatnot each night. No roughing it for the ladies...not that I blame them BTW. Scheduling it near the 4th of July only means that the utter chaos and crowds will be amplified, but who cares...not me. I survived summers at the Jersey shore. And if you've been there, you know.

In preparation, the agenda seems pretty straightforward - wander off the marked boardwalks, take a dip in a volcanic hot spring, and rescue the suffering baby bison, because they're cold. If one fits in the carry-on luggage, I'll bring a tiny Tatanka home to Florida to warm up. Because that's evidently what we as tourists do now. God Bless America.

All jokes aside, I'm up against it in terms of preparation. We're out of here in a few, and with only a handful of days to prepare, I should probably get started...

I think I've got the clothing situation sort of in check, as well as the minimal gizmos & gear we're planning to bring along. It's not a fishing trip by any stretch, but I am going to bring a tenkara rod (aka the travel rod) and a fly box just in case we have down time amid our tour guide's rigorous schedule near any water. Any suggestions on what flies to put in said box?

Truthfully, I'll take any recommendations - sights, sounds, food, bug spray, bear spray, whatever - this is a totally new experience for all of us, so if anyone's been to any of the places above, I'm all ears...

January 19, 2013

Sandy Hook, CT Fundraiser - Where The Yellowstone Goes

A few weeks ago I reviewed the DVD "Where The Yellowstone Goes."  While not entirely about fly fishing, it's a really interesting movie for folks to watch that enjoy the outdoors and all of the opportunities they provide.

As such, Leigh at also did a review and is holding a contest for the same DVD, but even more exciting...he's received the go ahead from the producer of the DVD that 100% of the proceeds from any sale of the DVD that came from readers of Finfollower would go to the victims of the Sandy Hook, CT tragedy.

So if you're at all interested in watching this movie (& you should be), and are thinking about making the purchase, head over to, read the review, then use the coupon code love when you purchase the DVD HERE (not from me, but the store in the link).

Sound good?  It does to me.

December 26, 2012

Gear Review: 'Where The Yellowstone Goes' DVD

A week or two ago when I settled in to watch a copy of 'Where The Yellowstone Goes' I have to be honest, I had seen a Facebook post here or a blog post there noting the movie, embedding a link, or doing what people do in this social media age, but I never really gave much thought to viewing it.  I don't know why, I just didn't.

But following the viewing, I'm pretty happy I did.  And honestly, it's not really a film about fly fishing, as I thought it might be, but more on that later.

To set the stage, a brief overview...(stolen from the back cover of the DVD...why reinvent the wheel here...?)
...Experience a soul searching and inspirational 30-day drift boat journey down the longest undammed river in the contiguous United States.  Connect with colorful characters, get lost in the hypnotic cast of a fly rod, and save silhouetted moments of fireside stories on this heartfelt river adventure...
And with that a quick review...

First off, if you are expecting a fly fishing movie with lots of fish porn action and an aggressive soundtrack to match, go somewhere else, this isn't for you.  Yes, there's fishing footage in this movie, but the trout, whitefish, bass and carp are present in more of a supporting role to the Yellowstone River, as well as the many story lines interwoven into it's current.

What will you find?  A pretty damn (but no dams) enjoyable film that speaks to the Yellowstone River past, present, and future.  The film touches on the people - The Cake Ladies, Margot Aserlind, Roger Muggli - being three notables that you'll probably not soon forget.  It also hits some of the Western towns - Emigrant, Reed Point, Hathaway - each with a uniquely interesting character of their own.

On the flip side, you'll also unfortunately find the omnipresent environmental concerns of industrial developments in and around the river.  I'm not just talking about oil spills and hydrofracking, but simple things as building of homes to support population growth that eventually encroach upon and inadvertantly damage essential riparian areas. 

Much like a 30 day trip on the river itself, this film has its peaks and valleys.  Sometimes it drags a little bit as our adventurers travel from point to point, but a random sandstorm here or a sheep drive festival there picks up the pace almost immediately and you're just as engaged as when the boats first left shore.

It's a story that in my opinion was needed to be told well in order to make it both entertaining and informative.  Documentary can be dicey that way.  Director Hunter Weeks uses many tools - humor, bluntness, gorgeous visuals, etc... to convey his view of the river, and did a very good job tiptoeing that line, delivering from both angles.

Now I'm not going to tell you that much more about the film itself...because it's one you should carve a little under an hour and a half to form your own opinions about.  For not being what I'd call a "fishing film," I enjoyed it, and if you thoughts ever turn toward our Nation's great natural & physical resources, I think you probably will too.

The copy of 'Where the Yellowstone Goes' featured in this product review was provided to me at no cost by Hunter Weeks, the filmmaker; I currently hold no association with Mr. Weeks or any of the film's sponsors (Trout Headwaters, Montana, Simms, Costa Sunglasses, or American Rivers) whatsoever. That said, if Mr. Weeks ever decides to make a sequel on the ridiculously dammed Schuylkill River, he knows where to find me.  As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous!, I try my best to keep my reviews honest and unbiased. If something is good, it deserves applause; if it sucks, I'll let you know that too. That said, I probably wont waste my or your time writing a post about something that sucks, unless it's really that bad.

May 4, 2011

Wednesday Nibbles - Hint Dropping Edition

Wednesday Nibbles.  Let's get this over with.

Saw this interesting UL spinning rod in a Cabela's mailer that came to the house this week.  There's no cork on the rod, thus providing extra sensitivity.  Whoever at Norseman Outdoors, the makers of this ESP Series rod, thought up that particular "feature/benefit" sure knows how a guy's mind works.

Anyway, it's a pretty interesting rod, and relatively inexpensive too, one I'd like to try in the 5'6" version (hint-hint Norseman Outdoors or Cabela's social media eyes-in-the-sky).  Maybe I'll spring for one and see how it compares to my trusty BPS Micro Lite graphite rod.  Or maybe not...
So sensitive...

Here's a video I found yesterday.  It's a conversation between a dog and its owner.  I don't usually go for videos like this unless the animal is wiping out and taking a header, but I kinda liked this one.  Dogs evidently love bacon (I mean who doesn't), and also evidently don't like cats either (I knew there was a reason I liked dogs).

In tenkara news, c'mon, did you think I'd forget about it this week...there's two things going on.  First a Tenkara Summit (hosted by Tenkara USA) is coming up in late August in West Yellowstone, MT.  A whole bunch of tenkara-ites will be there likely explaining why Owl Jones should like tenkara.

Raffle you say? Fingers crossed for Bingo too!

Now a I go to this, or the OBN Rendezvous which is also in August?  Decisions, decisions.  This tenkara one already has a specific location, hotel, etc...picked out.  I could actually make reservations now if I so chose.  The OBN Rendezvous, well...not so much...(, I'm dropping hints like crazy today).

So did we tell you about the suspected scamming in the scavenger hunt held here the past few weeks?  Yeah, I kind of made a somewhat veiled reference to it on Friday, but today I'll just come out an say it...we have reason to believe somebody entered like a jillion times by opening a ton of free email accounts.  Can't prove it, but contests will likely be held in a different fashion moving forward.  I actually don't really care, if somebody wants to work that hard for a $50 Cabela's GC, man, they can have it.
The last time you'll see this picture, I promise!

Oh yeah, and those $40 HD spy camera sunglasses arrived straight outta China today.  I'll give you some more on that later.  Here's a sneak peek of me in my basement lair writing this very blog post.  Doesn't get more exciting than this.

To wrap it up, blog love.  Have been kinda fond of what Anthony at FlyFishinado has been up to lately.  Can't exactly put my finger on it, just seem to be pickin' up what he's puttin' down.  Doesn't hurt that he's from Southeastern PA either.
That fish smoking a wet cigar?

September 28, 2009

Ken Burns' The National Parks

I've been watching Ken Burns' The National Parks: America's Best Idea the past two nights and have been amazed by the beauty, especially of the parks featured in the Western United States.

The first two episodes have been primarily about two parks, Yellowstone & Yosemite, and men like John Muir who set the stage for them to become the first National Parks in the world. While I'm watching this, seeing the beautiful landscapes awash with large game, beautiful mountain vistas overlooking vast canyons, towering waterfalls emptying into cool valley streams, all I kept thinking was, "Damn, that looks like a great place to do some fishing."  

So if you're like me, here's an overview of fishing for both (courtesy of the National Park Service):

Yosemite Fishing Regulations  

Fishing regulations for Yosemite National Park follow those set by the State of California, including the requirement that people 16 or older have a valid California fishing license. The season for stream and river fishing begins on the last Saturday in April and continues through November 15. 

The only exception is Frog Creek near Lake Eleanor, where fishing season does not open until June 15 to protect spawning rainbow trout.  The late opening includes the first 1/2 mile of Frog Creek up to the first waterfall, including the pool below this waterfall. The late opening also extends 200 feet from the mouth of Frog Creek out onto the surface of Lake Eleanor and along its shore for a distance of 200 feet from the creek's mouth. Otherwise, all lakes and reservoirs are open to fishing year-round.  Six native fish species occur in the Merced River in Yosemite National Park, from Yosemite Valley to El Portal. 

Of these, only rainbow trout and Sacramento sucker occur as high in elevation as Yosemite Valley. Waterfalls created by Pleistocene glaciation blocked fish from populating the Merced River above Yosemite Valley and the Tuolumne River inside the park boundary.

Native Fish Species 
  • Rainbow trout 
  • California roach 
  • Sacramento pikeminnow 
  • Hardhead — California Species of Concern 
  • Sacramento sucker 
  • Riffle sculpin 
Nine non-native species and one hybrid of non-native fish occur in Yosemite National Park. From the first recorded planting in 1877 until 1990, more than 33 million fish were stocked into waters of Yosemite, primarily trout in high elevation lakes and streams.  

Rainbow trout, although native to lower elevations, are non-native to waters higher in elevation than Yosemite Valley. Arctic grayling, Dolly Varden and Piute cutthroat trout are believed to be extirpated, no longer existing, in the park. 

Nonnative Fish Species 
  • Smallmouth bass 
  • Arctic grayling 
  • Brook trout 
  • Dolly Varden 
  • Brown trout 
  • Lahontan cutthroat trout — Federally threatened 
  • Piute cutthroat trout — Federally threatened 
  • Golden trout 
  • Rainbow trout 
  • Rainbow-golden hybrid trout

Yellowstone Fishing Regulations

The fishing season begins the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend (usually the last weekend in May) and extends through and includes the first Sunday in November. Exceptions are noted within the Exceptions to General Regulations table within the Fishing Regulations handbook. Also note that there are areas within the park that are permanently closed to human entry and disturbance, have seasonal area and trail closures, off-trail travel and daylight hour limitations, and party size recommendations. In addition, some streams may be temporarily closed to fishing on short notice to protect fish populations in mid-summer due to low water levels and high water temperatures.  

Native cutthroat trout are the most ecologically important fish of the park and the most prized, and highly regarded by visiting anglers. Several factors, mostly related to exotic species introductions, are threatening the persistence of these fish. The Yellowstone Fisheries Program strives to use best available science in addressing these threats, with a focus on direct, aggressive intervention, and welcomed assistance by visiting anglers.

Native Fish Species 
  • Arctic Grayling 
  • Westslope Cutthroat Trout 
  • Yellowstone Cutthroat Trout 
Nonnative Fish Species 
  • Brook Trout 
  • Brown Trout 
  • Lake Trout 
  • Rainbow Trout