Bird Season Just Around the Corner...

I just pulled the last package of last fall's upland harvest out of the freezer which made me both happy that none of the birds I collected would go to waste, and excited that Bird Season is now thankfully just around the corner.  I'm already well into the planning phase.  So far I've penciled in a couple of days of ptarmigan hunting in AK with my friend Bob Ledda (www.AllAlaska.com) in early September, followed by what I hope will be a great adventure hunting grouse in British Columbia. Other trips on the planning board include prairie grouse in Nebraska and mountain quail in California.  My dance card is starting to fill up.

I'm entirely shooting from the hip (so to speak) on the Canada grouse hunt because I'd never even considered bird hunting in BC until I started researching hunting opportunities that might present themselves on my travels south from Alaska after a family vacation in late August.  By all accounts there are a lot of grouse - ruffed, spruce, blues, and even sharp tails- and plenty of public land to hunt on.  Stay tuned for additional reports to come!

In 2014 we hunted ptarmigan in a down year but managed to collect a few birds.  I've wanted to go back when the numbers are up ever since.

In 2014 we hunted ptarmigan in a down year but managed to collect a few birds.  I've wanted to go back when the numbers are up ever since.

Before we move on to bird season though, there is still plenty of fishing to be done here in Wyoming.  Last week Ann and I spent several days over in Dubois, participating in the annual Casting For Recovery retreat.  This is a wonderful event that supports breast cancer survivors through a weekend retreat centered around fly fishing (https://castingforrecovery.org/wy/). 

We participate every year and  usually stretch it into a long weekend to allow time for fishing with our friends Rick and Mary while in town.  Although we will spend time fishing the Wind River when its in shape, we generally concentrate on the smaller creeks that give up plenty of smallish, hungry cutthroats, rainbows, and brookies.  On the right rod, even small trout can feel like trophies and this year we came equipped with short, 3-weight fiberglass outfits that turned out to be just right for casting in tight spaces and fighting smaller fish.  We all had a blast casting dries and nymphs to eager fish in absolutely beautiful surroundings. 

This fish was interested in just one thing - getting back under the roots where he'd come from to take my fly.

This fish was interested in just one thing - getting back under the roots where he'd come from to take my fly.

A "trophy" cut throat that aggressively took a dry fly and put up a great fight!

A "trophy" cut throat that aggressively took a dry fly and put up a great fight!