OK, it’s been a while. And yes, as I look at the date of my last post here on 52TROUT I’m pretty embarrassed. But hey, I’ve had writers block and I’ve been pretty busy. And there haven’t been that many fishing trips this year… and there has been zero new artwork completed (except for the jewelry). But enough with the excuses.
A couple of weeks ago I had an experience that I never would have dreamed possible. I went back to Slough Creek after some 49 years (see this post) and I got to share the experience with 5 disabled veterans and their wives.
But we didn’t just go to Slough Creek – no, no, no, we went to the Silver Tip Ranch - the ranch that I’ve always known about but never dreamed of actually visiting! Situated just outside of the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park, the ranch is around 100 years old and is the foremost, leading, preeminent, supreme, unrivaled, second to none, without equal, unsurpassed, peerless, matchless, unbeaten, optimum, ultimate, incomparable, ideal, and perfect destination for any fly fisher.The owners of this exclusive private ranch offered the Trout Unlimited Veterans Service Partnership (VSP) a week of glorious, rustic luxury, and five lucky vets from across the land were invited to bring their spouses and enjoy their hospitality and fabulous fishing. Thanks to our Western VSP Coordinator, Dave Kumlien (who just happened to have a few contacts at the ranch) we got the invite and all of us had a fantastic time.
The native Yellowstone Cutthroats were a bit sluggish from the spring runoff and water temps in the very low forties, but we managed to catch our share of them. Their sizes ranged from 12 to 20 inches and they were gorgeous. We found that weighted streamers were the ticket – fished slow and down and across the crystal clear stream.
Without exception, all of the ladies – none of them with prior fly fishing experience – geared up daily and joined their best friends on the stream, and those occasions along with the evenings around the great log fireplace were special times for all of them. Dave and I, along with our two other volunteer guides, Jim and Jo Borowski, heard many stories from the wives and the vets of how the experience was truly life changing. Trust me – the healing powers of the water are real.
|Me and our vet buddy Bob|