January and the new year bring with them a chance to visit the places I guide in the summer, during winter's off-season. The 2020 Yellowstone National Park fishing season won't begin until late May. And on this day, the beautiful Lamar Valley was void of the fly fishers I normally see, replaced by foraging bison and wandering coyotes.
Though the Lamar River is nearly all ice-encrusted, Soda Butte still shows veins of summer's trout water.
While trout receive a respite beneath the ice for much of the winter, the Park's other wild residents must face the cold and hold on till spring.
Ruthann and I had one final fishing trip to Yellowstone's Gardiner River in late September before the pull of elk season took us elsewhere. The river's edges were already lined with skim ice this morning.
I love the stark beauty of Yellowstone's winter but eagerly look forward to a new guide season and summer's rising trout.