Perception Makes The Pudding
I really wonder at the idiosyncratic and myopic views that we have about the phenomena that surround us. Just why, do you suppose, is there even a word such as inclement? The wind disperses seeds and rain, the rain nurtures plants and animals, the snow is a water bank for the summer, frost stimulates flower buds, and fog allows quiet stalking for predators. What is “not kind or merciful” about that?
There was a note in the Register Guard about the “Deadly Beetles” – a reference to the Mountain Pine Bark Beetle.
The fear of beetles stems from logic that goes something like this: “Deadly Beetles cause an Infestation that Kills Trees and Devastates the forest which then dies and provides fuel for giant Forest Fires“ – and we hate forest fires – thank you Smokey.
Well, woodpeckers need beetles; the more beetles – the more woodpeckers. I’m sure the woodpeckers see this as positive. Dead trees provide nutrients for ferns, mushrooms, and other plants, (including trees.) I’m sure the forest sees this as a good thing. Forest fires renew meadows for Bambi, (and elk, and song birds, and even lodgepole pines and their serotinous pine cones.) So where is the devastation?
Of course the perceived devastation is economic. Perception makes the pudding! I often hear people extolling the virtue of the “Native Forests” that must have existed before “man” got on the scene. Well those forests were the product of: wind, rain, fire, snow, flood, beetles, beavers, moose, elk deer, etc.
AND – I’ve been fishing in the inclement, devastating, foggy, rainy, snowy, park. AND FURTHER – I had it nearly to myself. AND FINALLY I remembered the camera.
I left early, and skipped my second cup of coffee. The snow was about 4″ deep and melting rapidly. There were only a few tracks in the snow. The air was dead still and the gray was beautiful. I stopped to watch the swans at 7-mile bridge and marveled at how still the water was. I even took a picture that I called “Madison Glass.” I’m rather proud of it. The thumbnails don’t do it justice but it does look better if you click on it and see it full sized.
There was also a coyote above the bridge, (about 9-mile hole,) and I took it’s picture too. And of course the swans had a protrait too – going away – as usual. They lost both cygnets this year, and that’s contrary to the trend of 150% recruitment.
Then up to the meadow at Madison Junction. There were only the three of us. The fishing residents of West Yellowstone wait for this opportunity to fish in solitude. John was at the meadow bend and I fished at the wildlife run. We waved, I took his picture, and he hooked up.
I threw an olive green woolly leach and fished down to the bend. The dark holes were very apparent in the uniform gray light and, as I turned to fish back up toward the car, a tug announced the fish’s presence.
It was not an epic battle, though I did get to see the backing on my reel. The fish went to an undercut part of my bank and just sulked. I kept tension on the line and walked right up to it. It ran to mid stream and then back to my feet. I skidded it up on the bank, (a mossy chunk of indurated mud,) and took its picture. See I did remember the camera. The critter was exhausted so I took a long time to revive it. It felt good because the water was warmer than the air.
I’ve really enjoyed the WET FLY SERIES in the Contemplative Angler. This two part series was just what I needed as I continue to wonder at the attitude that suggests that fishing is best if done only with a realistic dry fly. The quote I like best is in the box below.
By the late 1940’s, phrases such as “I take my flies and my Martinis dry” gave some indication that the fishing of wet flies was considered passe, if not just one short step removed from poaching.
I even took a picture of the Hunter Class rifle. That’s my antique Swiss Army Blanket in the background. The rifle shoots just like it ought to. I went to the range the other day and qualified the gun. 50/5x at 100 yards is just where it ought to be. The Old Burris 6-power is crisp and clear. I shot 10 rounds, five on each target. My incremental judgement is going to need some improvement with this scope, however the targets are proof that the rifle will do it’s job. I posted the targets on the target page (Link.)
I also changed the order for the new Hunter rifle. Same caliber, (.308,) but since stocks and triggers are hard to come by for the Tikka, I’ve decided to go with another Remington. The only difference in the two will be the chamber. We’re going to try to make the new one shoot with a SAAMI minimum chamber to avoid fiddling with the brass. We’ll see.
There is another pertinent post in the Wine Hiker, (comments on!) about the need to be aware of the political impact on environmental concerns. The phrase “Mute Majority” strikes true!
Well it’s drizzling nicely outside, a few snow flakes are mixed with the rain. I did fish the Firehole after the Madison, and the Baetis were plentiful. I took several fish in the afternoon. I’m going to run around town, get real soggy, and then decide if I want to take advantage of this last fishing day in Yellowstone’s inclement weather.