Last week the National Park Service briefly closed some park roads due to snowy conditions. That same day, I dug my ice scraper out of the back of my Subaru so I could clear my windshield of early-morning frost. And then I went fishing.
In some parts of the country, the months of September and October are a reliable extension of summer, with warm temperatures, sunshine and a continuation of summer adventures. And to a certain degree that’s also true here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country.
Most days during the fall months are mild and pleasant. We usually see some snow, but it typically doesn’t hang around too long. There are still plenty of days left for outdoor adventures like fishing, golfing and hiking. As long as you wear the right stuff.
There’s an old Norwegian saying: “there’s no such thing as bad weather; only bad clothing.” Anyone who lives in Yellowstone Country knows this is true. This time of year, we keep those base layers, wool socks and water-resistant pants handy. But we also keep much of our summer gear easily within reach for those warm days that we know we’ll still enjoy before winter comes to stay.
Fishing is a particularly fun adventure this time of year. With plentiful blue ribbon streams full of wild trout, you’ll see early-morning and after-work anglers studying the water and enjoying the hypnotizing appeal of rushing water on a mild day. The helpful outfitters in town are always ready to recommend the best spots.
It’s also an especially good time of the year to keep binoculars handy for safely viewing the winter preparations of the region’s wildlife. That’s because cooler temperatures mean more wildlife come out to play. In the fall, bison can be found throughout the region feasting on the remaining grass and plants to fatten up before winter arrives. Bears are active too, as they forage for pine nuts and berries before settling into their dens.
It won’t be long before the snow accumulates and the ice begins to form on the Buffalo Bill Reservoir. Sleeping Giant Ski Area will open and the ice climbers will return to the Southfork to test their skills on some of the best ice in the country. But until then, I’m going outside to enjoy these fun days of fall.
Until next time, I’m loving life and tying flies here in Buffalo Bill’s Cody/Yellowstone Country.