What's not to Lek? 2014

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by ScottP, Apr 27, 2014.

  1. ScottP

    ScottP Active Member

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    Part1

    Stopped by aunt & uncle's house in Three Forks on the way to basecamp (couldn't turn down a dinner invitation); then off to the Beaverhead valley

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    set up camp

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    and then over to headquarters next door for the latest on the grouse; counts have been solid and the weather looked good for the next 3 days with clear skies and cold mornings (13, 15 and 18 degrees) to firm up the roads

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    wasn't sure which dog was going to be at camp this time; turned out it was my gal, Sal

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    plenty of light left and I needed to stretch my legs so I took a walk around town, especially to check out the damage from the July 17 flood; climbed the hills to get some bird's eye views

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    then up Hangman's Gulch, where the flash flood originated; streambed was somewhat scoured

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    nothing to stop it from slamming into town, destroying one of the buildings and leaving mud and debris in most of the others; the cleanup crews did a fantastic job getting things back in order and with a new boardwalk, the place looks great

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    one-car garage, detached

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    tools of the trade

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    overflow parking

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    headed down the creek to see how it fared - looked good, saw a few risers; by Opening Day in 3 weeks it'll probably be a good bit higher and more brown than green

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    luckily I didn't come across momma or her calf in the willows

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    first morning out; 9 males looking for love in all the right places, no hens seen although one was heard a couple hundred yards from observation point

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    pretty country

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    into town for fuel (carne asada tacos, yum)

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    and since I have afternoons to do a bit of this and that, the latest info

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  2. ScottP

    ScottP Active Member

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    Part 2

    Next morning it was off to a new, for me, site (the one I mentioned in the Easter Sunday report that had been inactive since 2012). Spooked mama and baby moose on the drive in; surprisingly, the only ones I saw all week, although there was plenty of fresh sign everywhere in the creek bottoms.

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    lenticular over the Tendoys

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    By 7:30 it was pretty obvious the birds weren't coming; waited 'till 9:00 and started walking, looking for mysteries without any clues

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    found some scat, but it was pretty old

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    back on the road and heading out of town

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    Next day was a washout

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    so it was over the pass for a little walk in the water; tons of olives coming off but nobody wanted to play. Struck out here

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    but managed a few in the main stem


    Next morning, back to day 1 site; again, a stag party. A large raptor crashed the party just about the time they announced last call. Didn't get a real good look, but from 1200 yards I don't think it was an eagle; the grouse didn't panic-flush like I've seen when goldens are in the vicinity, so it may have just been a noisy red-tail.

    Lots of fresh sign on this lek. The tar-like stuff on top of the scat is cecal matter (the grouse processes part of their sage leaf diet separately)

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    Side trip to the head of the pond

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    to see how this year's rainbow crop is doing; lots of active redds, lots of mosquitos

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    Rotated between 2 very active sites for the last 3 days; again, lots of males but no hens. Perhaps I've discovered a flock of hermaphrodites.

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    Don't have much of a zoom on the camera, and this lek's about a mile away on private property, so no chance to get closer. Tried some shots through the scope and got a few passable ones; the white dots are the breasts of the males, pretty easy to spot even in low light conditions

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    Last evening in camp

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    my neighbor drops over to say goodbye in the morning

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    Heading out of camp

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    Just as I turn onto the main road, I finally spot a hen; luckily she didn't end up a live speed-bump

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    Off to some fishing, a bit farther north


    Regards,
    Scott
     
    freestoneangler and Scott Salzer like this.
  3. creekx

    creekx spent spinner

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    Thanks for the photos. I would have expected a lot more flood damage.
    I've seen fish in RR so thick you could walk across them. Why didn't you fish Clark Canyon?
     
  4. Richard Olmstead

    Richard Olmstead BigDog

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    Nice report. Thanks for sharing some of your research.
    Dick
     
  5. ScottP

    ScottP Active Member

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    Left all my stillwater gear, including intermediate/sinking line at home. Judging by the location of the fleet, it looked like most of the action had moved offshore anyway.

    Regards,
    Scott
     
  6. Scott Salzer

    Scott Salzer previously micro brew

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    I was fortunate to spend a cold, early morning at a lek in southeast Oregon. It was nice to watch those birds do their thing.

    Great pictures, thanks for sharing. I gotta do more long road trips.
     
  7. freestoneangler

    freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

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    Cool pictures... makes me want to head off in the morning! I am also surprised how quickly the damage at Bannock State Park has been fixed. We were there last year when that storm hit... heading back from fishing the Big Hole. We could see the front coming from the south as we drove into it on I-15 heading back to Dillon. It rained and hailed so frigging hard our guide just stopped under an over pass to wait it out. There looked to be 2+ inches of water running on the ground. The images of Bannock looked really bad... but as Montanan's always do, they just pull together and get the shit done (WA would still be having committee meetings!).
     

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