Idaho 2011, Day 33—Gulpers, Wolves, Bison, Elk, and Coyotes

IMG_2527BThis was a busy day, animal wise and otherwise.  We began early with a trip to Hebgen Lake to allow me to fish for gulpers.  The pull off that had been recommended was blocked, though we suspect other fishers had pulled the tree limbs across the road, but just a couple of hundred yards further was another.  I unloaded the float tube, donned waders, grabbed the fins and rod, and headed for Hebgen Lake.  The bottom was more solid that expected, and I kicked out a hundred yards from shore to some rising fish.  All the activity apparently put them down, so I waited several minutes but saw no more action.  IMG_2529BI noticed other float tubers further out, so kicked out another three hundred yards or so, and found fish rising sporadically, then after 30 minutes or so, the hatch got fast and furious, as did the gulping, and I managed to cast to and catch a nice 16-inch rainbow.  Despite several more casts, the single rainbow was all that took to my fly today.  However, it was a lot of fun and I’ll be back out tomorrow.

After a late lunch at a Chinese restaurant in West Yellowstone, Kay did some basic grocery shopping, and we returned to Red Rock RV Park for some much needed naps.  At the last minute we decided to drive to Hayden Valley in Yellowstone NP for some animal viewing.  Since all the traffic was leaving the park, we made good time.  Arriving there at about 7 PM, we were immediately rewarded with views of a wolf and her 2 pups playing in a far away meadow.  Some of the other viewers told us of a bison carcass being fed on by a grizzly just down the road, so we inched our way down the park road, made an intermediate stop and saw a lone bald eagle, then continued ever so slowly to where the bear had been seen, found a parking place among the many other cars, only to find that the grizzly had left.  We did see a pelican, great blue heron, several bison, a small herd of elk, and a couple of coyotes crossing the Yellowstone River.  By then, dusk had begun to settle over the area, and we began the drive back to Red Rock, only to be met with near standstill traffic following a lone bison bull up the road.  Finally, the lead vehicle passed the bison, and we came to another near stop to find a HUGE bull elk grazing along the road.  By then, it was near dark, and photographing the elk was impossible.

We finally made it back to the RV park, a warm RV, and a welcoming bed.  

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