Thursday, August 10
Having driven several miles over the past few days attempting to get out of the smoke from forest fires, this day I choose to relax in our peaceful camp by the Yellowstone River.
Grey Bear Fishing Access Site at Yellowstone River, Big Timber, Montana
Partly reclined in my lounger, I read my Paperwhite. I pause to observe a pair of gulls over the river or to break up the boys when their play battle intensifies too close to a real battle.
Also my attention is frequently diverted by the parade of fly fishermen and fisherwomen who float past our camp in their boats.
Intently they go about the business of luring fish with their flies, unless in charge of the oars.
One might wonder why folks in boats cast their line a few feet from shore when one could drop a line in the same spot while standing on the shore. I guess it’s all about luring the fish away from the shore.
The white plume in the next photo isn’t from the boat. It is caused by a submerged rock.
I hear a vehicle coming up the road to the other campsites.
Soon thereafter a young man appears upstream from our camp. He carries a surf board down to the river. A few moments later he appears in front of my lounger. I put down the Paperwhite and pick up the camera.
This ought to be interesting.
The young man allows himself to be carried into the plume. Then he kicks and paddles with all his might against the strong flow of water until he’s in the best spot for the next step.
He hops into a crouch and then, for a moment, he stands!
He tries again several times. The crew and I watch his performance.
Oh, to have the strength and endurance and daring to do that!
Later I talk with the young man when he returns to his car.
He has an open, tanned face with a friendly smile. After complimenting him on his surfing, I ask him if he’s practiced here before.
“No, I went through here yesterday on a raft and saw that it was next to the campground, so I came back today to see what I could do.”
“Do you have photos? I have some for you.”
“Yeah, I do, but that would be great!” He grabs a card from his car. It has his email address on it.
While chatting I mention how nice it is here. However, the fee is $18 for me because I’m not a Montana resident and I don’t have a fishing license.
“Go to Big Rock,” he suggests. “I camp there and never pay.”
“I know where that is! I saw it on my map. It’s a fishing access a few miles south of Big Timber, right?”
“Yeah, take Old Boulder Road, just past The Fort [a travel center at the east end of town].”
That’s what we’ll do . . . We’ll enjoy this camp for the rest of today and tonight and . . . .
My thoughts are interrupted.
We’re walking the two-track path to our camp with the river on our left, when a bird in flight catches my eye. It’s following the course of the river downstream — some kind of raptor or hawk, I can’t tell what — and it carries in its talons a fish as long as itself.
I stop the crew to watch.
There goes another participant in a splendid river parade.
Yes! Tomorrow morning we’ll break camp and move over to Big Rock!
THANK YOU FOR SHOPPING AMAZON FROM MY BLOG!
Aww, wipe out!