This isn't a skiing report, but what the heck. One skiing-related aspect is that I was actively scoping ski lines in the adjoining Absaroka Range peaks. The second is that the guides we went with on this trip both work for the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and we see them almost every day of ski season.
Ruthie and I and a couple of skiing friends just got back from a camping/fishing trip on Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park. The trip was guided by "Dutch" Gottschling and John Fournelle, who guide fishing and scenic float trips on the Snake River in Jackson Hole for A J DeRosa's company, Wooden Boat River Tours. Dutch and John set up a tent camp on a beautiful little promontory on a south-facing shore of the lake and we spent three days fishing for wild Yellowstone Lake cutthroat trout.
Yellowstone is a magical place. Once you're at the camp, it's impossible to imagine that millions of tourists drive through the park every summer. We had beautiful views of the lake and surrounding mountains and hardly saw anyone.
The fishing was really good and we caught dozens of big, strong trout. These are pure, native cutthroat trout that averaged 20 inches long and probably three pounds in weight. It was an outstanding trip and I would highly recommend it if you're interested in a backcountry experience deep in the heart of the very first national park in the world.
Here's Ruthie with her first fish on the afternoon we got there. For those of you who aren't very familiar with trout, that scarlet stripe just under this fish's jaw is where the name "cutthroat" comes from:
This is Dutch scoping out some of the remaining evidence of the epic forest fires of 1988. That charred tree was burned in the fire and the lodgepole pines behind it are some of the billions of trees that have sprouted since the fires:
Here's Russell, the camp cook, with our first night's dinner:
This is me fishing from the dock at our campsite early the next morning. That snow-covered peak in the upper right is the one I'm thinking about trying to ski next year:
And this is me landing a cutthroat while wade fishing at Plover Point. The Dolly Parton peaks of the Absaroka Range are in the background:
Dave and I having lunch at the Plover Point campsite, which is closed to overnight camping due to high water. This winter's unbelievable snowfall led to extremely high levels in Yellowstone Lake. The lake peaked about five days ago at a level that was one inch lower than the all-time record. The ground this picnic table is sitting on would normally be about four feet ABOVE the level of the lake.
Hot shore lunch. Mmmmm...
We had to wait out an afternoon thunderstorm that rumbled over the lake. Yellowstone Lake is a huge and very cold body of water and it can be very dangerous in windy conditions. The storm passed over in about half an hour and we were able to casually motor back to the campsite. The lake was absolutely gorgeous as the storm rolled away:
One more storm while we were eating dinner and then the skies pretty much cleared out. After dinner, we went back out on the water to catch more trout and watch an incredible sunset:
Yellowstone is one of the greatest places in the world.
Edited by Bob Peters - 7/21/11 at 3:06pm