There are times when more than anything you need to fill your cup.
I'm sitting today in Bozeman at Nova Cafe (my fav. breakfast place out here) after my first week in the mountains. There sits a couple next to me with a pregnant mom and a 6yr old ADD boy and her husband. Not more than 5 seconds in one hour did he not talk and ask questions and rule the table. The dad wanting a break :) left to go to the bathroom and of course was followed by his son :) :) i looked at the mom and said "never a break". She sighed and said next month I'm leaving for a few weeks along. My first time alone in 6 years. Pregnant yes, but alone.
I applauded her and reminded her not to feel guilty.
Filling the cup means little to some people. They can just function at a high level without it. As a creative, I have to fill it up and then spill it out and start over again.
In a way, walking a round of golf does that on a weekly level and hanging with friends on a lake or athletic club will do that but, actual time away from your world where you have to talk to yourself, where you are alone, where you get to ask God alot of questions and there is no one else to talk to but Him and yourself is BIG. No Internet, phone service, cable news, papers or pundits. These things are what i use all to often to fill my cup. Well, that cup empties every 24hrs looking for a new fill of the same.This last week I hear there was some scotus ruling. This is why I vote when it's time to, and try to remember to pray for those elected, and try to remember that whomever is elected potus gets to change that scotus and that's a big dillieo as we're continuing to find out.
Out here, there is no voting, the largest mammal wins. Or, as we've learned, the smartest mortal with bear spray, a large caliber peacekeeper and enough smarts to never cook food in the camp where your sleeping.
I must admit now that as I've spent more time in Grizzly country where there are Danger Bear Paw signs everywhere, I don't even go to the bathroom without spray and won't walk a stream, fish or be in my camp without a sidearm and spray anymore.
My fishing partner BK told me about a place called cottonwood creek a few years ago. Been wanting to go there since. Well we hit it last weekend and had it to ourselves along with the plethora of bears and Mt. lions. I'm having to admit at this point that my love of the upper east side of Yellowstone Park in the Slough Creek climb and meadows was my fav. place out here. Well, after Cottonwood and the upper Ruby Valley, I've been converted. The most remarkably beautiful stretches of wade able fish filled river I've ever seen. I caught more fish in 2 hrs on a Sunday than in many entire trips out here. The waters are pristine until you reach ranch lands and feeder streams that suddenly have all the rocks turning moss green from cattle or buffalo i'm guessing.
But here, at Cottonwood the creek looks drinkable, the banks are walkable, the stream cross able without a staff or wading shoes.. Here's one rainbow of many that landed in my cast iron dinner plate or metal fish basket for cooking on the coals of a hot fire when not in bear country streams. The fish bellies were full of typical stick looking caddis cases with a bright yellow nymph in it if you squeezed what looks just like a one inch twig.
The landscape down there is, well, if i ever dreamed of a piece of land where Massive Elk, Bear and Mt. Lions would be hunted by horseback, this would be it. It honestly "it is". There are timber horse tie ups everywhere for those hunting in the fall on horseback.
This fence here with an opening for hunters was next to our camp and there was a horse tie up for camping just beyond this photo. Ironically I found a 3" strip of elk carcass near my fire ring and of course saved it to tie some new Elk Hair Caddis flies for myself next week wherever I camp.
Fish were hitting on Royal Coachmans drys in #14's and R.C. streamers. I couldn't understand why until I found a one inch black bug with a red ring around it's neck and a complete red belly the color of royal coachman "red" thread... Well there ya go. And the bigger fish? over 16", they would pass on the coachman and hit the bead head #18 copper body green midge, crystalflash cased emerger pattern, (I had only one of, and still have it after a dzn fish as beat up as it is).
Stopping to take pictures becomes the last thing on your mind when you hit epic fishing. That little midge got picked up in a 4Ft deep run by the largest Rainbow I've ever had on. Using a 12ft leader on my 7ft9 bamboo Sweetgrass rod left me in a pickle. how you say? if you hand tie a leader and tippet sections to make them stronger and they are longer than your rod, you can't take them onto your rod with a larger fish because at any time when fighting them close they can take off and run and "Snap" they will break your line trying to go by your rod guides.
So I play this fish for at least 5 min. trying to figure out how I'm gonna land him on 5x and this #1`8 midge. with arm fully extended behind me and my net in my right hand I pray the fish will back into my net as I'm in the middle of the stream. Just as his tail is coming to my net where I can sweep him in... , like Adrian Peterson, he turns on dime and swirls around my net and Zooom down the river he rips pulling my line as I'm saying my proverbial "are you kidding me" along with some salty language at the top of my lungs that ended with, I only wanted to hold you and take your picture you #@$%$#@%.
Yup, I start running down the stream trying to keep up with him and he then moves over to the shallow rocks and starts slashing on the rock in 6inch water with nose down trying to rip the nymph out of it's mouth or break the line.. Yup, in five seconds of me running the stream and reeling as fast as possible he "ping" got it out and was gone.. gone.. gone... back, to that hole after i left.. :) Oh I'll be back there this next week and see if my friend will come out again. Well in the 20+inch range he was.
Well, here's one of his little cousins perfect eating size.:) Just a reminder here on blogspot that if you click any photo, it will open in full size. Just sayin.. Now the first day in Cottonwood I'm sitting at the camp with my partner and crash.. there is a large tree felled nearby across the stream that is a very sharp climb straight up the forest. That had us picking up pepper spray and strapping on firearms even in camp. Considering there were no other people in the area, we were a bit more skiddish than normal. After a few days you begin to relax, but always wear a bell on your hat to make noise and be ready when "anywhere". So, my breakfast is done here at Nova and I'm headed to REI for supplies and then to the co-op for some portabella mushrooms to cook my tenderloins with somewhere tonight. I spent last night with a rod builder from Sweegrass Rods in Twin Bridges. They were repairing an old bamboo rod since last year I had received as a gift from my old friend Chuck Laubeshimer that needed new ferrules and guides and seat. Well, Luca was in the shop but owner Glen Brackett was stranded with a broken car near Idaho and only he knew where the rod was stored so I'll for sure be back there a few times this month. Photo of Glen and I in last years MT blog. Well last night I stayed at Luca's place. Wow a real bed.. and stove.
Luca wants me to hike up to an epic Mountain lake out of Sheriden this week before the 4th. Well with 3 new arteries in place, i'm game for sure and worst case is my legs get weary and my pack heavier than I'd like..
So stay blessed my friends I'm headin out to the mountains again tonight with rods and Iphone5 camera and my cooking gear to fill my soul cup with more memories and stories for the down times..
ps. I love rainbows at sunset over the orchestral sounds of cattle, birds, storms and rivers.