Archive for August 2013

North Shore Steelhead   4 comments

Ten hours north of here lie dozens of rivers as fertile as the Brule River, and wilder to boot. Naturally-reproducing, wild Steelhead and Coaster Brook Trout swim in rocky, wild rivers.

A trip is in order!

Late April is only eight months away. Better get it on the calendar!


 

 

  2 comments

Here are some pictures from our last day on the trail in Montana. Enjoy!

 

Heading West, East Rosebud Trail

Heading West, East Rosebud Trail

 

 

Our troupe, with Ouzel Lake behind, East Rosebud Trail

Our troupe, with Ouzel Lake behind, East Rosebud Trail

 

Russel Creek, East Rosebud Trail

Russel Creek, East Rosebud Trail

 

Tom on the East Rosebud Trail

Tom on the East Rosebud Trail

 

The piney woods near Russell Lake

The piney woods near Russell Lake

 

A meadow above the Clarks Fork River, East Rosebud Trail

A meadow above the Clarks Fork River, East Rosebud Trail

 

Stephen, Wes, Bode, and Heron at the west end of the East Rosebud Trail

Stephen, Wes, Bode, and Heron at the west end of the East Rosebud Trail

 

Stephen, Tom, Bode, and Heron at the west end of the East Rosebud Trail

Stephen, Tom, Bode, and Heron at the west end of the East Rosebud Trail

 

 

Feynman on Trees   3 comments

I wish I’d had an instructor with Richard Feynman’s passion. What an inspiring figure!

Posted August 19, 2013 by troutseeker in Biology

Tagged with , , , ,

Fishing For Steelhead   Leave a comment

The space that steelheading occupies in my conscience continues to grow as the season approaches.

Here’s another beautiful short film from Oregon.

Fishing for Steelhead with Curtis Ciszek from Poler Outdoor Stuff on Vimeo.

Lapland In Waders   2 comments

Here is a fine video of fishing for trout, pike, and Arctic Grayling in Lapland, Scandinavia. The sight of Caribou running about, the long summer days, the wild fish; all of it appeals to me. Wow, what an experience that would be!

Damian Wilmot and Tim Pearson Steelheading on the Brule   1 comment

Check out this great episode of “Discovery”, a UP outdoors show, featuring Damian and Tim on the Brule. They sure do catch a lot of fish!


 

Montana’s Beartooth Mountain’s – Installment 6   Leave a comment

Our fourth day on the East Rosebud Trail found us walking over a snowfield and peaking out at the Continental Divide, made obvious by a large rock cairn that we each contributed to. It felt great to know that we’d climbed all the way to the top, and that in front of us the trail would descend again. However, the effort of walking downhill is not negligible, just different, from walking uphill. Your back feels it differently. Your toes do too. Your lungs though, they get a rest.

We came upon Russell Creek, every bit as beautiful as East Rosebud Creek, and flowing westward into the Pacific. More flowering meadows were laid out before us, and the rocks took on a different color and tone. Things looked a bit more rounded at their tops, and angular along their faces.

We passed a few hiking parties on the way to Bald Knob Lake, all of whom were headed “over the top” to the East Rosebud trailhead. Many people choose to start at Cooke City and end at East Rosebud, due to the fact that the elevation gain is significantly less.

We arrived at Bald Knob Lake and put down our packs and got out our fishing rods. The Brook Trout were rising everywhere and we had no trouble catching them, either on flies or spinners. They were all about six inches long, making them a bit ineffective as a main course for dinner, so we put them all back. They were all beautiful though, with their blue and red dots and silvery bodies.

I took a swim in the lake, finding an island to dive off of into a deep pool. The water was cold, but the refreshment overpowered the chill and I stayed in for ten minutes and relaxed. “No worse than Lake Michigan” I told myself.

Heron joined me for a very brief moment, throwing himself in and immediately getting back out. Bode came along too and waded carefully into the water, only going up to his knees until a little encouragement from Heron and me got him in up to his neck. He also got back out quickly but we all found the swim fun.

Our campsite was well suited for a campfire, so we indulged and got warmed up after swimming. The night brought fierce winds and we were all relieved to find the next morning that none of us was blown off the cliff and down the waterfall adjacent to camp.

Knob Lake was a beautiful enchanted place to visit and I’m glad we stopped there. Ouzel Lake is just a bit further down the trail, and it too looked to be a gem, so consider it for camping, swimming, or fishing as well.

After our night at Bald Knob Lake our final day on the trail lay ahead of us, another big hike of seven or eight miles.

 

Off to conquer the Divide! East Rosebud Trail

Off to conquer the Divide! East Rosebud Trail

Wes crossing the snowfield at the Continental Divide, East Rosebud Trail

Wes crossing the snowfield at the Continental Divide, East Rosebud Trail

Continental Divide, East Rosebud Trail

Continental Divide, East Rosebud Trail

Bode, Stephen, Heron, Wes, and Tom at the Continental Divide, East Rosebud Trail

Bode, Stephen, Heron, Wes, and Tom at the Continental Divide, East Rosebud Trail

Bode and Heron take in the view at the Continental Divide, East Rosebud Trail

Bode and Heron take in the view at the Continental Divide, East Rosebud Trail

Fossil Lake falls from view as we continue west, East Rosebud Trail

Cairn Lake greets us as we continue west, East Rosebud Trail

Onward through stunning alpine meadows, East Rosebud Trail

Onward through stunning alpine meadows, East Rosebud Trail

Walking westward through the Russel Creek drainage, East Rosebud Trail

Walking westward through the Russell Creek drainage, East Rosebud Trail

Stephen amongst wildflowers, East Rosebud Trail

Stephen amongst wildflowers, East Rosebud Trail

Our troupe descends toward Russel Creek, East Rosebud Trail

Our troupe descends toward Russell Creek, East Rosebud Trail

A lovely butterfly near Russel Creek, East Rosebud Trail

A lovely butterfly near Russel Creek, East Rosebud Trail

East Rosebud Trail

A small lake forms from Russell Creek, East Rosebud Trail

Granite Peak (?) fades from view, East Rosebud Trail

Granite Peak (?) fades from view, East Rosebud Trail

Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Brook Trout filled Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Brook Trout filled Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

The sun gets low near Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

The sun gets low near Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

Bode warms up near the fire, Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Bode warms up near the fire, Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Our bear hang at Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Our bear hang at Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

Fishing rods at rest at Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Fishing rods at rest at Bald Knob Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

Montana’s Beartooth Mountains – Installment 5   1 comment

Last we left off our troupe had just arrived at the unparalleled Fossil Lake. The guidebook stated that the lake is full of Cutthroat Trout, but they are often hard to locate as they tend to school together. Well, somehow, whether because of our superior collective intellect or our luck, we happened to camp in the vicinity of a very large school of these delightful and delicious fish. Bode and Heron were thrilled to have another dynamo fishing spot and were more than happy to put 5 tasty trout in our frying pan.

The boys started off fishing with their spinning rods and an assortment of old reliable Panther Martin Spinners (#6 sized). Stephen, after having set up hammocks for he and Heron, came down to the lake and assembled his fly rod, topped off with a size 14 adams parachute. His first three casts yielded him three nice trout and the boys picked up on this. They demanded to use their daddys’ fly rods and were given them unflinchingly. Some instruction ensued and before long each of these young men were catching 12″-14″ Cutthroat Trout with ease on dry flies. After our first night at Rainbow Lake the boys decided it would be worthwhile to tally the number of fish the boys had caught versus the number the men had caught. At this point I think the score was something like 70-10, in the boys’ favor. What more could a fisherman father want than for his son to catch the trout fishing fever at age 11?

After dinner we wandered across the way to the snowfield to have a snowball fight and look around. This was a moment we’d all been hoping to have and it was a great time. Afterward Bode and Heron and I walked up to the top of a prominent dome overlooking Fossil Lake. The flora was incredible and setting sun gave the surrounding peaks that wonderful warm hue that seems to make them glow. As we were sitting on top of this knob taking in the view I noticed a marmot not ten feet away resting on a rock, joining us in our repose. We sat there for a while admiring one another and then Heron grabbed my camera and tried to see how close he could get to snap some photos. As it turns out, Heron is good with marmots, so now we call him “The Marmot Whisperer”.

Night fell and all went to bed, but I decided to lay back on a slab of rock above our campsite to watch the stars pop out and see the moon rise over in the East. I saw one shooting star and couldn’t help but think to myself how fortunate I was to have taken on this new and unfamiliar challenge with my mates. We hadn’t really known what we were going to find or how our bodies would perform on the climb, but now with over half the trip behind us and each of us settling in to our routine I felt assurance that we wouldn’t run into undue hardship.

 

Heron and Bode fish Fossil Lake barefoot, East Rosebud Trail

Heron and Bode fish Fossil Lake barefoot, East Rosebud Trail

 

The headwaters of East Rosebud Creek trickle down the moutain into Fossil Lake

The headwaters of East Rosebud Creek trickle down the mountain into Fossil Lake

 

Stephen with a nice Fossil Lake Cutthroat, East Rosebud Trail

Stephen with a nice Fossil Lake Cutthroat, East Rosebud Trail

 

Dinner at Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Dinner at Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

How's that for backcountry cooking? (East Rosebud Trail)

How’s that for backcountry cooking? (East Rosebud Trail)

 

Bode chills at Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Bode chills at Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

Wes watching over Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Wes watching over Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

Snowfield on Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Snowfield on Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

Let the snowball fight begin! (Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail)

Let the snowball fight begin! (Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail)

 

Let the snowball fight begin! (Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail)

Let the snowball fight begin! (Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail)

 

Stephen brings out the big guns, Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Stephen brings out the big guns, Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

Round two, this time with feeling (Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail)

Round two, this time with feeling (Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail)

 

Where's Wes? Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Where’s Wes? Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

Castle Peak and Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Castle Peak and Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

Heron wandering the alpine wonderland around Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Heron wandering the alpine wonderland around Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

Bode and Heron at Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Bode and Heron at Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

Incredible wilderness all around, Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Marmot spotted, Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

Amazing tiny flowers at Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Amazing tiny flowers at Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

Our campsite was in the trees above Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Our campsite was in the trees above Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

Heron's marmot, photo 1, East Rosebud Trail

Heron’s marmot, photo 1, East Rosebud Trail

 

Heron's marmot, photo 2, East Rosebud Trail

Heron’s marmot, photo 2, East Rosebud Trail

 

The marmots ducked for cover when a hawk was spotted overhead. East Rosebud Trail

The marmots ducked for cover when a hawk was spotted overhead. East Rosebud Trail

 

A baby marmot at Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

A baby marmot at Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

 

Montana’s Beartooth Mountains – Installment 4   Leave a comment

I was awoken at Dewey Lake in the morning by my son Bode, asking me if he thought it would be okay to wake his friend Heron to go down to the lake and fish. I said it was, then got up myself and started breaking camp, packing away hammocks and sleeping bags, getting things organized for the day’s hike.

I walked up to the top of the knoll to see about my dad. He was sound asleep, and I left him alone. Today was going to be the push up to the “top of the world”, Fossil Lake, at 10,000 feet. Billed in the guidebook as the gem of this route, I was looking forward to seeing it, but worried about cold winds and high elevation.

Down to the lake shore I strolled ready to make coffee and oatmeal. It was a glorious morning with fish rising all around, and a little arctic tern was swimming just out of reach, picking away at the insects rising from the depths, wondering if we had anything to offer it.

Coffee was made, and oatmeal was eaten, though to the dismay of the boys who would have preferred bacon and eggs. I dunked my head in the lake to give my hair a wash, and then Wes came down to say hello. He ate and drank and dunked as well, and we cleaned up, packed up, and headed on our way, hoping for an enjoyable and rewarding day, ambling toward the headwaters of East Rosebud Creek.

We headed up the trail toward Fossil Lake, passing through incredible alpine meadows filled with flowers, spotting Pika and Marmots, and pushing our legs upward and onward. We made it to Fossil Lake by about 2pm, which was a welcome change to the previous two days’ hikes when we arrived after 7pm.

Adequate trees were located to hang our hammocks, the fishing rods came out, and we all enjoyed a relaxing afternoon on top of the world. I even took in a swim in crisp and refreshing water only feet from a snowfield. Fossil Lake is truly a crown jewel.

Below, some photos of our hike and a teaser of more Fossil Lake photos that I’ll post tomorrow. Enjoy!

 

Through the meadows along the East Rosebud Trail we go.

Through the meadows along the East Rosebud Trail we go.

 

Wes and Heron on the East Rosebud Trail above Dewey Lake

Wes and Heron on the East Rosebud Trail above Dewey Lake

 

Bode and Stephen admire the high alpine meadows on the East Rosebud Trail

Bode and Stephen admire the high alpine meadows on the East Rosebud Trail

 

Upward toward Fossil Lake on the East Rosebud Trail

Upward toward Fossil Lake on the East Rosebud Trail

 

Up switchbacks and back down to cross a creek on the East Rosebud Trail

Up switchbacks and back down to cross a creek on the East Rosebud Trail

 

Incredible views along the East Rosebud Trail

Incredible views along the East Rosebud Trail

 

Heron clowns it up on the East Rosebud Trail

Heron clowns it up on the East Rosebud Trail

 

Tom on the East Rosebud Trail near Fossil Lake

Tom on the East Rosebud Trail near Fossil Lake

 

Wes on the East Rosebud Trail near Fossil Lake

Wes on the East Rosebud Trail near Fossil Lake

 

Stephen on the East Rosebud Trail near Fossil Lake

Stephen on the East Rosebud Trail near Fossil Lake

 

Bode on the East Rosebud Trail near Fossil Lake

Bode on the East Rosebud Trail near Fossil Lake

 

A broad beautiful meadow on the East Rosebud Trail

A broad beautiful meadow on the East Rosebud Trail

 

The snowfields get closer on the East Rosebud Trail

The snowfields get closer on the East Rosebud Trail

 

Amazing alpine wildflowers on the East Rosebud Trail

Amazing alpine wildflowers on the East Rosebud Trail

 

Bode and Wes resting along the East Rosebud Trail

Bode and Wes resting along the East Rosebud Trail

 

A long view up high on the East Rosebud Trail

A long view up high on the East Rosebud Trail

 

Heron and Stephen hike up to Fossil Lake on the East Rosebud Trail

Heron and Stephen hike up to Fossil Lake on the East Rosebud Trail

 

Amazing alpine meadow blooms on the East Rosebud Trail

Amazing alpine meadow blooms on the East Rosebud Trail

 

Bode with the first Cutthroat Trout from Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail

Bode with the first Cutthroat Trout from Fossil Lake, East Rosebud Trail