Standing beside the Firehole River, it's a world of bright colors and steaming pools...what a sight!! Yellowstone is famous for its stunning geothermal features...including geysers, steam vents, and thermal pools. This is the first of two stories I have to tell about one of my favorite Yellowstone rivers...The Firehole!! I have to go back to June 2009. The beginning of my fly fishing journey. I took a beginner fly fishing class that took us to some wonderful places...four destinations in fact. What I didn't know, was that this would be a fast learning experience on what NOT to do when in a river....Ya, leave it up to me to try to get all the attention. Ha. Well, let me tell you first, why this river is so special...where else can you find one of the most exotic free-flowing rivers in the country? And with trout to match! The excitement builds as you rig up your five-weight and head down the path to an unbelievable sight...it's really hard to explain...you have to experience it... And Old Faithful geyser basin is just down the road!
Ok, so I can act like a Dork!
The Firehole is great for wildlife viewing... I spotted a moose and bison on the river bank just two miles north from Old Faithful geyser basin, near Lone Star geyser. I love to watch the animals...something you don't see everyday. (Unless you live in Alaska!) The Firehole River is as unique as it is beautiful. It runs about thirty miles and runs through the Upper, Midway, and Lower Geyser Basin's. The current can be quite strong, but there are plenty of eddy pools that you can get into and stay in one place as you feel the water swirling around you. Here is a picture of me enjoying life as it was...before the fish that pulled me out of my comfort zone! So, I'm thinking that this is the life! I'm fishing with some really good people in the class and we are all having a great time. I am in the water and ready to cast away! Oops! Tangled line...Oops! A snag underneath the water...Maybe this isn't as easy as I thought it was going to be! A couple of class helpers were very patient and kind and got me going in the right direction. I was just starting to feel in my zone...yep, a quick set and a fish on!
I believe that this was my 3rd fish as I remember. It gave me a fight, which was fun until my foot just happened to find some soft crust and down I went...fishing pole in hand, fish still on the end of my line! Haha. Oh no, he wasn't going to get away!! Now, being a novice and all, I didn't think to cut the line. No, I chose to follow him for some reason...down the river for about 20 ft or so...My arm was straight up out of the water still...Who did he think he was dealing with anyway? Ha. By the time I got back up on my feet with him still fighting for freedom, my flybox took a swim!!
I thought that I had zipped my inside pocket all the way up. But, now my fly box was riding the current away from me... Oh no, I wasn't going to let my first box of flies (about 100 of them) go down the river! I reached out to get my fly box and down I went again! I really wish that someone had this on video...!!! I'm sure it was hilarious. The fish was still on my line...unbelievable. And on a barbless hook to boot! By this time, I was waterlogged from head to foot...the only good part about this was that the water was very warm...It was June and the Firehole River is like 70-75 degrees!! No kidding. So, enough of the hot tub experience. I reeled the fish in and found someone to take a picture of this little bugger...Yeah, he was squawking...heck, he had quite the ride. But, so did I! Lesson learned...Cut the line if you have to instead of taking a swim down the river...and always have all zippers zipped!