Since our last update, we've done another great backcountry trip. On Saturday, the group split in half and headed in two directions.
Snake River Group
Eli J, Wyatt, Tyler, Fletcher, David and Andrew drove to the very south end of the park to embark on a four day adventure on the Upper Snake River. Leaving from the South Boundary Trailhead, we started off hot with a quick ford of the Snake River. After changing out of our wading shoes, we sped through about five miles of thermal features, scenic meadows, and thick mosquitoes. Upon arriving at our first campsite, we were greeted by tall cliffs overhanging the rocky riverbed of the Upper Snake River. We set out with a variety of fishing tactics on our minds, but streamer fishing continued to be one of the best options. Despite higher water temperatures than desirable, we were able to land tons of fish, big and small. We managed to catch a great amount of large Yellowstone Cutthroat, Rainbow Trout, Brown Trout, and surprisingly even a few Lake Trout. After a great night at our first campsite, we set out for a strenuous uphill hike to our second campsite, where we would spend two nights enjoying great fishing! This section of river held a great variety of large fish, similar to the first site, but we quickly found that we needed to cover a significant amount of water to find new fish. So that's what we did! Heading up and down stream, we explored a large section of the Snake River surrounding our campsite. As a group, we were rewarded by a bunch of 18+ inch fish. We then hiked back to our first site armed with the fishing knowledge from our previous stay, and we yet again managed to land a bunch of really solid fish. The true highlight of our last sunset proved to be the natural hot springs located right next to our campsite, where we took a dip after our last dinner. After a quick and early breakfast on our last morning, we made quick work of the final 5 miles back to the South Boundary Trailhead, yet again through thick mosquitoes…
Yellowstone Loop Group
Eli A, Nate, Jasper, Henry, Tennison, and Finn embarked on a 4 day loop of the Black Canyon Area of the Yellowstone by dropping in at the Hellroaring Trailhead. We made quick work of the 4 mile hike, despite bad mosquitoes. The hike was beautiful, and included a ford of the Hellroaring Creek. Our first campsite was situated at the confluence of Hellroaring Creek and the Yellowstone River. The fishing was challenging because of high water in a canyon, but we were able to find some nice cutthroat with good high sticking. The following morning, we fished around camp, including some exploration of the Hellroaring Creek. After fishing in the morning, we hiked another four miles to our next campsite, which included close to 1000 feet of vertical. We found much better fishing conditions on mellower water. The mosquitos did follow us though. The following day, we hiked a l’eau surely two miles into our final campsite, where we spent two nights. Once again, we found great fishing and spent hot afternoons swimming in the Yellowstone River. One of our favorite activities was to hike a half mile upstream, hop in the river, and tread water all the way to camp. On the final morning, we did one more float lap before embarking on the five mile hike out. It was strenuous and hot, but the crew crushed it.
After reuniting with the other part of our group, we drove to Bozeman and enjoyed a special treat, Chipotle dinner, before continuing on to base camp in Ennis. We have just a couple more days, but they're busy: service project tomorrow, then a great day floating the Madison River followed by our banquet dinner. We'll miss these guys - they've been a really great group.
Until next time,
Ed, Cole, Burke