Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Sexy Beast

There's simply no way to explain this. I refuse to try.
Let's all just nod as if we understand and move on.

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Upper Ruby

Sometimes words just get in the way. Mindful of that, I'll simply let this handful of images depict for you a day on the Upper Ruby River. I struggle to recall time on the water spent any more pleasurably.

Heading for the Distant Hills

Up from the Reservoir - A Surprise Cutbow

Friday, August 26, 2011

It Was a Crap Day

It started early. Breakfast. Time for an omelette. Some juice. A quick post about our arrival in Montana. Hard drive goes up in smoke. Acrid, burned electronic circuitry smelling smoke. 

The laptop is toast for the rest of the trip.

It was a crap day.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

On Our Side - Trout Unlimited

"If you’re fishing for trout anywhere in the U.S. and you are not a Trout Unlimited member, you seriously need to ask yourself why not."

Chris Hunt - Communications Director for the Sportsmen's Conservation Project

This is a No Politics Allowed! blog. Because of this, you won't hear me rant about my profound disappointment in the impending extinction of elected officials who are able to think independently rather than as party lemmings, who are unafraid to at least listen to the ideas from across the aisle, who understand that compromise is not a sign of weakness, and who are capable of hearing the quiet voices of the majority of their constituents above the din created by the political fringes, twenty-four hour news bobble heads, and perpetual re-election campaigns.

Such things have no place on Mike’s Gone Fishin’.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Think It's Getting Lighter

Yes, there has been fishing since Montana. Not enough, perhaps, but some. So here's a quick diversion from that western story, just long enough for an image from last week's Tour de New, our annual getaway to Virginia for smallmouth and an occasional trout. The shot above was taken from under a Virginia Creeper bike bridge where we stood and watched the rains roll in and listened to the thunder-boomers shake the heavens.

It's important to note that repeating constantly "I think it's getting lighter" doesn't make it so.

Trust me.

Note: My special thanks to Chris K. for this image of T'bone and I, watching the light show and regularly observing that we thought... well, you know.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Cast of Characters

Before we go any further with this Montana narrative, I think it’s important to introduce the main cast of the production. From left to right in the above shot, taken as we prepared to head our separate ways at the end of the TU/OBN adventure:

Travis “The Kid” DuBios – I call him “the kid” because he’s about the same age as my youngest step-son. But, despite those tender years, I have never met a more complete outdoorsman. He’s a hunting and fishing machine with enough backcountry experience to fill a lifetime - and he’s just getting started. Always smiling, ready to get on to the next adventure, infinitely prepared for whatever comes his way. I knew he was hard-core when after dinner our first night at the resort, well after dark, he grabbed a float tube and headed for the lake. He was simply a joy to have around.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Elk Lake, MT

11:00am - Elk Lake Resort - somewhere west of Lima, MT: Two questionable-looking characters wander in and belly up to the bar that serves as the base of operations for the place.

Good morning gentlemen, how can I help you?

Howdy. We’re with the Trout Unlimited – Outdoor Blogger Network group, here for a few days of fishin’ and bloggin’.

Nice to have you. I’m sorry, but your cabins won’t be ready until about 1:00. You’re welcome to hang here in the lodge in the meantime.

Great. Thanks. So, while we’re here at the bar, can we get a couple of beers?

I’m afraid we don’t serve alcohol until noon - in about an hour.

Really? Well, I’ll bet it’s noon somewhere right now... don't you think?

She smiles - a warm and genuine smile.

It probably is. How about a couple of cold sodas?

It seemed that Lerrina, the wonderfully hospitable I’ve-heard-it-all-before proprietress of the fine hunting and fishing establishment, was immune to our boyish charms.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

A Change of Address

A brief and exciting administrative note. Mike's Gone Fishin' has changed addresses. It can now be found at its own domain name, www.mikesgonefishing.com. Much easier to remember and communicate. Blogger made it a pretty easy transition and I understand that all current .blogspot references will be redirected transparently so, basically, you have nothing to do. But be aware, if things seem squirrelly with anything MGF related - content not included as that's always squirrelly - or if you have any questions about the change, please let me know here.

I suspect that if you have MGF links, in blogrolls or any other intertube pointy thingies, it wouldn't hurt to update them at some point in time. You see, I have no clue how all this works. I just trust that it does.

THANKS for reading!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Centennial Valley Arrival

Recalculating…. Drive point-one miles and do a U-turn

The Girl, my Garmin nĂ¼vi GPS, had done a stellar navigating job to this point. She had placed us on a lightly used, beautifully scenic diagonal route through northern Colorado and southern Wyoming rather than along the sterile square of Interstates 25 and 81, she had all but parked us in the Lander Bar back lot where we found our buddy Russ, and she had motored us through the great national parkland, keeping track of where we were and where we were going so that we could gawk like slobbering fools at the delights of the Tetons and Yellowstone without getting hopelessly lost.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Iconic Waters

It takes gut-wrenching discipline – that, or incredible stupidity – to gaze upon iconic trout waters and not race wildly back to the car to rig up one’s 5wt. But that’s how we found ourselves as we entered Yellowstone early Saturday morning with the intention to scoot through the park ahead of the tourist traffic. The plan would get us to our Montana destination with some time to spare, but doomed us to little more than longing glances at streams we’ve dreamt of since we were tiny fisherlings.

And while the variety of terrain in Yellowstone is mesmerizing, it was the waters that captivated our attention and imagination. The names alone are poetry to the fly angler.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Teton Sunrise

Dubois, Wyoming - 5:30am: We slipped quietly out of town, under cover of pre-dawn darkness, like a couple of ranch hands dodging their tab at Miss Kitty's Saloon and Boarding House of Delights.

Sanders and I had arrived a few hours earlier, just shy of midnight, after a day on the road and some Wyoming trout waters. We drifted into town expecting to find a room, shake the trail dust, and get a few winks before remounting for Centennial Valley. But, to our surprise, as we rode in we saw more than a few happy cowboys and cowgirls wandering Dubois' main drag and, at our first hotel stop, learned that the rodeo was in town. It seems that the rodeo is in Dubois all summer and, at least this particular Friday night, there was no room at the inn - the Stagecoach Inn. And none down the street at the Super 8. And none at the.... well, you get the idea.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Cruisin' Big

Cruisin' in the boat
In the big ol'e hoopty ragtop Eighty-eight from another time and another place
Outward into that wide, wonderful Wyoming expanse
Big hats and big skies and big dreams
And doin' it, of course, in big style

It's all big out here

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Old Friends I'd Yet to Meet

My Montana traveling companion, Sanders, made the comment recently that my decision to fly into Denver and spend four days traveling the west with him was a leap of faith on my part. Granted, I'd never met the guy and had committed myself to twenty-four hours of in-your-face car time, not to mention a couple of nights on the road in remote reaches, so the comment holds some creditablity - particularly with my wife - but I had little in the way of concern. You see, I'd been reading his blog.

Hopefully, he'd been reading mine.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Lander, WY - My Montana Moments Begin

Grab a beer, boys and girls, belly up to the bar, and prepare to sit a spell. I have a story, maybe a couple, to tell about some boys who went to Montana.

And it’s about damn time.

Yes, I’m finally crawling out from under the steaming remains of a week of meltdowns – a hard drive gone all chernobyl on me, an AWOL DSL connection, and a visit from the ever delightful virus fairy – the real world, kick-your-physical-ass kind, complete with seventy-two hours of 103-degree fever spikes and energy sapping, sheet soaking cold sweats.

You just gotta love air travel.