.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park

03/28/09

I am calling this series Yellowstone Journals and Additional Information. It is a collection of a
rambling mixture of experiences on the streams with some notes, tips and additional
information thrown in. Some of this comes from my video tape logs (record of video shot)
and  notes made on my daily note books.

Fly Fishing the Gallatin River - Part 4

You rarely get checked for a fishing license in the park but when a Ranger does
check my license, I feel good about it. It just makes me think the park is
concerned about the fish ( or money one or the other) I guess. One particular
day on the Gallatin River, I was not so happy about it for a short time. Yesterday
I mentioned the large holes along the banks. They are made by animals of some
sort I suppose. Walking the banks fishing upstream keeping your eye on the fly
can result in some hard falls. One afternoon I did just that and fell into a deep
one about chest deep. It skinned me up pretty good. I finally got back to fishing
even though the pain was on the verge of being almost unbearable.

It was almost dark when Angie pointed out a Ranger walking down the hill to
where we were fishing. The sun had already set behind the mountains and I
figured we were about to be checked for license. When he arrived, he asked
how the fishing was and to see my license. He didn't ask Angie because she
didn't have a fly rod and was just running camera. I reached for my billfold and
discovered it wasn't there. I had lost it. I explained to the Ranger that I had lost
my billfold during the day and then it occurred to me that I probably lost it in the
hole I fell in. I explained what had happened to me earlier in the afternoon. The
nice Ranger just shook his head and listened. Finally he said, well if you are
sure you dropped it in the hole, lets find it otherwise I will have to write you a
ticket.

I would have never known where it was. I had not paid any attention to that. I just
lost track of everything I suppose. I had bruised my legs and one was bleeding
through my pants. At least the Ranger could see the blood stained pants legs. It
was one day that I wished I had of worn my waders but it was a hot day that
reached about ninety degrees and I had decided to just walk the banks. Thanks
to Angie, she was able to take us downstream to the hole I fell in. It was about
an eight of a mile I suppose, and all the way there I wondered if my billfold was in
or near the hole. It wasn't just the license that were missing. It was about a
thousand dollars of cash and all my credit cards. We would be broke in West
Yellowstone. What a deal that would have been.

We reached the hole and I climbed down in it as Angie and the Ranger
searched the banks. I couldn't see anything in the hole, so the Ranger loaned
me his flashlight. There it was. In the bottom of the hole, soaking in the muddy
water. I looked up at the Ranger with a big grin on my face. He smiled back. We
all three laughed as we walked back to the highway. The pain was really taking
my breath after climbing down in the hole and walking so far. Even so, I was still
able to laugh and was very thankful. If it were not for the Ranger, we may have
never found my billfold. It could have been under water the next day. It would
have been much more difficult to find the hole the following day. By the way, wet
money spends just fine in West Yellowstone.


Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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