So far this year Yellowstone’s other season, Winter, has been full of wildlife, steamy mornings and a few hardy folks who endure those bone chilling days.  Luckily, we haven’t had too many sub-zero days.  The last week has felt more like late February than mid-January. The picture perfect weather has brought no snow and things are getting a bit thin.  Thin in our neck of the woods means that there is still three feet on the ground, but there has been no new snow to help out next summers river flows.  On a positive note, we normally don’t get much snow in Jan. and there is plenty of time to improve upon our snowpack for the Madison Drainage.

Winter in the Park is my favorite season in Yellowstone. As the sun burns off the morning steam, elk and bison emerge from the fields to eat for yet another day.  The wolves have been very active on the west side of YNP taking down bison and elk to sustain their hearty appetites.  A wolf will eat 5 pounds of meat per day if there is ample game to hunt. I have seen several wolves thus far, but only at a distance, nothing up close and personal like last winters encounter with a wolf pup 10 feet from the snowcoach.

Tomorrow I am headed for Gardiner, MT to start a 7 day trip in Yellowstone with 15  photographers. We will spend 2 nights in Gardiner, 2 nights in Cooke City and 2 nights in Old Faithful. I will post a few photos from that trip when I return.

As for the fishing – I have been down to the Madison three times in the last 2 weeks.  Super windy and the fishing was about normal for this time of the year.  Stone flies, sj worms and red midge pupa did the trick. I have yet to see a solid midge hatch with noses in the air….

Below is a photo of a bobcat lounging in the morning sun along the Madison River, taken by Jay Thrift. bobcat-mt-haynes-pullout-2009-jay-thrift-photo.jpg