Buffalo Fork Creek campsite.
Finally a rest day! Wahoo! Time to do some trout fishing!
Got up at 7:30, got the packs down, pumped water, and backwashed the filter but it's still pumping harder than it should. Still serviceable though. In the morning light we found the campsite fire ring. As the sun rose, and I boiled water to prep for breakfast, I spotted an ermine (short-tailed weasel) as he scampered along a log by the campfire. Too quick for my camera to capture.
Made coffee, and oatmeal with papaya, cranberries, and other fruit Tom has been lugging over hill and dale as extra gorp rations. Even with all those goodies, the taste of the Ya Ya Gumbo from two nights before lingers on. That was some powerful Ya Ya!
Tom and I removed the tops to our Osprey Aether 70 packs and re-rigged them with the hip belt for an ultra convenient and functional fanny pack! This is a great feature of this pack!
Put our rods and reels together, tippits on - Blue Ribbon flies (hoppers and terrestrials, irish caddis, black caddis, Adams, damselfly nymphs, etc) out and ready!
As we walked to the stream, I told Tom to catch a few of the grasshoppers that were abundant in the meadow grass. He wondered why out loud. As we neared the stream edge, I picked out a run and tossed one of the hoppers at the head. As soon as the hopper got into the tailwater - gulp! I explained "highcountry chumming" as a means to determine where the fish were holding. Cheating? Maybe a little, but we were both novices in the ways of the highcountry so this one act of hopper chumming gave us the knowledge we needed to be effective.
With a single Blue Ribbon chaos hopper, I caught dozens of cutthroats. Beautiful fish! The largest was perhaps 9-10 inches, but it didn't matter because they were beautiful and plentiful. Although the water seemed shallower than I'm used to in eastern streams, each tailwater contained an eager fish or two or three!
We also fished some pools that had been formed by the placement of brushpiles across the stream. Beavers? Looked like human engineering to me....
A little after mid-day, Tom and I got chased off the river by a thunderstorm and we retreated back into the tent hoping that the storm would be short lived so we could resume fishing and make our way to Hidden Lake and try fishing for trout with damsel nymph flies. We spent an hour or two recounting our hiking mishaps from the day before, cursing the map makers and carin maintainers, comparing trails in WY and MT, and generally celebrating our bushwhacking prowess. Good fun!
After the thunderstorms and lightening subsided, we headed back upstream for more cuts. After dozens of trout caught, I lost my BR chaos hopper in a tree and switched to a BR Flies Royal PMX and that worked just as well.
Here's Tom with one of his many fish...
Tom and I fished along Buffalo Fork Creek among the mineral deposit outcroppings that marked its volcanic past.
We coaxed a few trout out of these pools and runs.....
Really....We didn't plan matching outfits! See our shorts are differet! Really!
As dusk approached, around 7:30 pm, we beat it back to camp ahead of another approaching thunderstorm. We made Will's couscous with chicken and sun-dried tomatoes for dinner (still tinged with Ya Ya seasoning), hung the packs and food, and hit the hay.