Friday, August 5, 2016

A Day Off

The Slide Inn 2016

In the early days of our Slide Inn trips, way back some 12 odd years or so, we originally fished four days straight and stayed five nights. On more occasions than one, I was told by folks that they were completely exhausted by the end of the trip, and could have used a break. We also advertised that we were 35 minutes from Yellowstone Park yet nobody ever got to get to there cause we were working their asses off on the Madison or Yellowstone.

Alas! About 10 years ago or so we added a "day off" and extended our stay to six nights and 4 days of guided fishing. I'm glad we did......

I've been able to spend some of my days off in fantastic fashion here in the "Epicenter of Western Fly Fishing". Last year with Tyler Treece on the Henry's Fork. Two years ago with Derek DeYoung and his wife Janell at their home in Livingston. Three years ago with my wonderful lady Cristina in the park. Five years ago with my Dad......and the list goes on. So many memories...

My memories of Yellowstone go way....way back. I made my first trip here with my family when I was 17 years had been a dream since I was a youngster. The years after saw my return to Yellowstone each Summer until I was late in my twenties....usually with friends or fellow anglers, most notably being the legendary trips that I made with my Uncle Bill. I then began running trips to the area through Mad River Outfitters somewhere around the mid-nineties. Once my old friend Kelly Galloup purchased the Slide Inn around 2001 or so, I had found a permanent "home away from home". So many memories.....

So on Tuesday night, I was faced with a "day off". The rest of the group was headed to Yellowstone to sight see, and maybe fish a little. My roommate Eric was hot to

I told him about a Lake in the Park called Grebe Lake which is inhabited by Rainbows, but also contains a population of Grayling. I believe one of the few places in the lower 48.  Also told him some funny stories about the time my Uncle and I fished and camped there some 26 years ago.

"How far?", he eventually asked. "About 6.5 miles round trip", I replied and he said, "Let's do it".

And off we went, to the park, at about 5:30 on Wednesday morning.

I'll make a long story short. It was a highly memorable day, one that I can add to the many memories.

We covered over 14 miles on our own two feet. We fished three distinctly different watersheds in different areas of the Park. We saw a grizzly, a bull Elk up way too close. We caught cutthroat, rainbows and yes.....our goal for the day....we caught a grayling.

We hiked into areas on the Lamar I had never seen. We hiked to the mouth where she dumps into the Yellowstone and hiked up. Then fished just below the Slough Creek campground for a mile or so "bend walk" that was absolutely gorgeous. We caught some nice cutthroat there on hoppers. Maybe one of my favorite things to do on Earth.

We then ended the day at the famous Buffalo Ford on the Yellowstone. A place of many wonderful, and habit forming angling experiences in my lifetime. A lovely place, and I will probably always go back, but let's just say I haven't seen a fish there in many years now. Sad, but the topic of another time.

The highlight of the day though, was surely the way the day started. A 3.2 mile hike back to Grebe Lake which was totally exhilarating. It was just as gorgeous, or even more so, than I remembered.

Despite hurricane force winds, we did manage to fish for about two hours, making our way along the South shore of the lake. I did wind up catching a rainbow on a Goddard Caddis not too long into the morning. It was a fantastic little specimen. Gave us hope!

About an hour passed. We changed a few flies and fought the wind, trying a few different spots along the way. We were thinking about making the trip out, and I had just changed to a hopper to see what might happen. And it did! We got our grayling! Mind you a very small grayling, but a grayling. Not all goals need to be huge.

Grebe Lake Grayling

Hope you enjoy the pics and short video. I could go on but need to be up at 5 and ready to go at 5:30. We'll be posting more once we get back to civilization.

Consider joining me here at the Slide Inn sometime. We do it every year and always will. Come enjoy a "day off".

Brian Flechsig

August 4th, 2016

Grebe Lake in Yellowstone National Park

Grebe Lake Rainbow

Lamar River Cutthroat

Mad River Outfitters
Annual trip to Kelly Galloup's Slide Inn