Visiting Angler’s Bill of Rights

Guest Blogger: Mike Cline, Bozeman, Montana

Being a lifelong angler and living in SW Montana, it is predictable that one will inevitably be asked to host or fish with visiting anglers. There’s no doubt that the rivers and lakes of SW Montana are a mecca of all sorts for trout fishers across the U.S. It happens two or three times every summer. Someone, a relative, a friend or a client is coming to Montana and wants to fish. I am mostly to blame for these opportunities, invites, impositions, adventures or whatever they might turn into as I freely advertise through pictures, videos and stories the exceptional angling in SW Montana (including Yellowstone National Park). Some of these visits are a direct result of my inviting friends or clients, especially those who I know to be avid anglers. Others come out of the blue. An email-“We’re making a trip to Montana and would like to fish, what do you suggest!” Regardless of how the visits are initiated, every year there are two or three that come to fruition. So, for the visiting angler here’s a Bill of Rights (of sorts from my perspective).

Continue reading → Visiting Angler’s Bill of Rights

Bear Charge

Guest Blogger: Clay Cunningham, Cody, Wyoming, retired National Park Superintendent

bear charge pelican_ck_signLocation: Pelican Creek, Yellowstone National Park, 7,700 foot altitude
When: Summer 1968
Who: Clay Cunningham, Madison Sub-district ranger, Yellowstone

Yellowstone’s Pelican Creek originates in the tributaries of the Mirror Plateau of Yellowstone then flows through the incredible wildlife habitat of Pelican Valley and empties into Yellowstone Lake at the 7,700 foot elevation level. The creek was a primary spawning area for Yellowstone cutthroat trout until 1998, and during subsequent years when the population was severely impacted by Whirling disease. This parasite attacks the nervous system of young fish and kills them outright or leaves them as easy prey for larger fish. In recent years, the trout that survived or had a natural defense against the disease have reproduced and the population is recovering.

Continue reading → Bear Charge

New Guest Blogger – Former National Park Superintendent – Clay Cunningham

Clay Cunningham - Reprinted from Fairbanks (AK) News-Miner circa mid-1980's
Clay Cunningham – Reprinted from Fairbanks (AK) News-Miner circa mid-1980’s

Our newest guest blogger is Clay Cunningham who is retired from the National Park Service where his long career included roles in law enforcement, research biology and as a Park Superintendent.

Most notably, Clay served as Park Superintendent of Denali National Park and Preserve (AK). Over the years he also worked at Yellowstone (Madison sub-district ranger), Theodore Roosevelt (ND), North Cascades (WA), Gateway National Recreation Area (NY/NJ), Southern AZ Group Parks. He retired from the Park Service in 1994 and now lives in Cody, Wyoming.

Author of two books, Yellowstone to Denali and The Christmas Drink, Clay has been a university instructor and has lectured at Washington University, Alaska University and Arizona State University. He has a graduate degree in wildlife natural history.

And Clay says he has been “a fly tier for, good grief, 68 years”.

We welcome Clay to the JS Blog.