The different species of Swallows are constant companions when fishing the rivers of the greater Yellowstone region. This tree swallow was taking a break from eating Baetis mayflies on the Yellowstone near Buffalo Ford the other day. The irredescence of their backs can be quite striking depending on the direction of the light!
The shade of Yellowstone this morning, September. All day rain yesterday left a mantle of snow on all the peaks this morning. Low hanging clouds gripping the mid section of the mountains, dreary wet rain, and temperatures in the 40's left me feeling that it was late September not the end of July. The weather is constantly changing in Yellowstone country, and contributes greatly to the infectious charm of this region. Love it!!!!
This shot was taken a few weeks back. At the time we were in the middle of some stifling heat for us, with daytime highs poking into the 90's. Things were looking a little bleak, as a low winter snowpack, coupled with the heat wave had us worried about the rest of the summer. I was sure our somewhat brief green season was going to be gone before you knew it. However, the heat subsided somewhat and in fact a few drenching rain showers have blessed the Yellowstone ecosystem to keep things a bit green in places. While flowers such as these Lupine in the foreground of this shot have mostly passed this summer on by, it was quite the floral show for a few weeks.
CLICK ON IMAGE TO SEE THE FULL PIC
An afternoon storm begins to clear just as the suns goes down behind the Gravelly Mountain range. Fishing the Slide section of the Madison River can be quite the challenge, but summer evenings in July provide the oppurtunity to cast caddis dry flies, such as the venerable "x caddis" to fast rising browns and rainbows.
Salmonflies just moved through the Madison River this past week. All the birds and the fish took advantage of these large morsels
One of the aspects of summer in the greater Yellowstone region that I enjoy the most is to observe the annual doings of some of the critters. Just about every morning I pass by a beautiful set of ponds just off of Beaver Creek. Every year there are a few of the same animals that use these ponds to raise their young. The past couple of seasons I have seen these Ring Necked Ducks raise multiple ducklings. Once again this year there are at least 6 ducklings if I count the flurry of fluffy activity correctly. Last night a few of them were capturing a little snooze.
Watching the sunset over the Madison River, after fishing the Salmonfly hatch.
Last year while spending the summer guiding fisherman in the greater Yellowstone area, I attempted to post 100 times over the course of the summer. This year, I am shooting for something half as ambitious and maybe slightly more likely. How about 50 posts all related to a summer season spent in Yellowstone. Day one is an evening on the Duck with a foreground of blooming Lupine. The official start of Summer yesterday, and we are awash in flowers and the height of the green season here in Yellowstone.
I have observed this a few times, but yesterday on the Henry's Fork I watched a half dozen red tail and swainson hawks, catch and feast, on salmonflies and golden stones. It was quite the spectacle until and equal spectacle of lightning and thunder chased me to the car
First of the year Warbler for me. The Yellow Rumped Warbler is a constant companion while fishing the rivers of Montana in the spring. This beautiful little bird seems to always be feasting on the same bugs the fish are feeding on.
First of a few shots of Mountain Bluebirds taken this past month as they returned to Montana in droves
East Gallatin River, MT
Bridger Mountain Range in the background. Unseasonably warm winter in Montana this year, has led to some great fishing opportunities in 2015. It has the feeling that this year is shaping up for a fantastic fishing season. Despite the warm weather we have a decent snow pack so far. March is just around the corner and soon the hatches of spring fishing will be gearing up!
Madison River, Montana
Winter rates on Pardise Valleys famous spring creek, usually requires a trip or two every winter and spring. This past weekend a group of great friends headed south of Livingston in hopes of winter midge fishing. Some fish were caught, some snow fell, a little sunshine peeked out, and a fun day was had by all. Topped off with a great mexican dinner in downtown Livingston.
Another 50 degree day in February. It makes for some beautiful sunsets throughout southwest Montana. It has also provided some reasonably comfortable days of fishing the local watering holes.
I captured this moment last year as the snow was receding in the spring. Love the energy and patience of a coyote hunting mice and voles. This piece now hangs in the board room of the Bozeman office of the Natural Resource Defense Council.
Check out their work at