Okay NAFFF fans, I thought I'd never post these pictures because I was so disgusted at my effort. I made my first ever march into YNP a few years ago, and it was an embarrassing disaster. As many of you RM forum folks know, I am a huge fan of Rich Osthoff's RM book and love to hunt down many of his destinations. One of them was the Bechler River in southwestern Yellowstone. He talks of huge rainbows in the Bechler Meadows but warns they are some of the spookiest fish he's ever run into in the Rockies.
Well....I said, "I am ME!!! I shall overcome and dominate this drainage!!!"
NOPE!!! This place got the best of me like I'd been had in a joke or something. All I can say is that I walked away feeling like the most humbled be-yotch in FF history. I picked late August to make this trip because of the potential of biting insects in this drainage. I made the seven mile hike easy-nuff (I chose the long way from Cave Falls), but when I arrived at the river it started raining cats-n-dogs for 12 hours straight. They don't call it the Bechler Meadows for nothing.......these meadows have the most tallest grass of all times! I arrived to my designated campsite late in the evening and immediately set up camp in the pouring rain, which lasted all evening. I awoke to a bluebird day, and started to explore around my campsite. The previous night's rain had left the ground and tall grass saturated. Only then I realized I had haphazardly forgot both the leggings to my hiking PANTS, and GAITERS, and WADERS back at the trailhead. Here I was in the middle of high grass heaven.......yet I had no leggings or gaiters (waders are of no use as per Osthoff..the river is easily fished from shore so I left the waders back at the TH).
So here I was......surrounded by waist high, water-dense grass with no clothing protection. MY FIRST TRIP TO YELLOWSTONE WAS NOT GOING WELL!!!. I pulled on my long johns under my hiking shorts, laced on the hiking boots and off I went to explore the Bechler. If any of you have read Osthoff's description of the Bechler, he warns of the spook-ish nature of the Bechler rainbows. MY GOD!!!! Could there ever be a harder fish to pinpoint and catch???? Just like he says in his book, Osthoff is 100% correct about the spooky rainbows and the dry fly presentation on the Bechler. Whenever I was able to spot a rainbow (extremely difficuly due to the river substrate), they bolted faster than a turkey on Thanksgiving. If and when I ever did pattern a nice rainbow holding deep in the river, the current was so hard to present a fly to.........HATE TO SAY BUT I JUST GAVE UP!!!!
Then there was the fact that I was walking around in waist deep, saturated meadows. Within a day's exploring, my lower half was saturated in muck........it didn't take long before I said, "EFF this!!!! It sucks!!! Why am I doing this?!?!!? I am so uncomfortable..........I GIVE UP!!!!!!!"
Even after a full day of sunshine, the grasses were still saturated like a sponge from the previous days' rain storm. Again, "I GIVE UP!!!!"
The fish were way too smart for me and the ground was way too saturated for my gear. I don't wave the white flag very often in the wilderness, but in this story I have no problem admitting defeat.
YNP = 1
ME = ZERO
Here I am in my long johns and shorts (no long pants) in the dense, wet grass...........I didn't last too long.
The Bechler Ford
my campsite on the best part of the bechler....right on the ford, yet this river made me hiking off 100% defeated
the Bechler Meadows
On a side note, the camping and fishing right outside of the park boundary at Cave Falls is lovely.