Wednesday, July 06, 2011

Fishing, Flowers and Fun on the Flats

Blog and photos by Nature Conservancy volunteers Nancy Elkins and Dave Katsuki.

Fly fishers have discovered that Henry’s Outlet on the Flat Ranch is one of the best fishing spots at this time of the year. With the rapid snow run-off muddying the surrounding lakes and streams, the outlet is providing clear and easy moving waters for excellent fishing.

Local fishing guides are bringing clients to the Flat Ranch to fish the outlet, and the results speak for themselves. Here are just a few comments written in the Flat Ranch guest book about the fishing, as well as the experience:

“Lovely, gorgeous, beautiful””
“Absolutely spectacular! Fish, flowers and sand hill cranes. Terrific investment!!!”
“12-inch rainbow, incredible place!”
“Two beautiful cutthroat. Marvelous, wonderful walk”
“19.5 inch cutt. Thanks!”
“4 cutts on lead-free conehead bugger on a 40+ year old UL spin rod”

And that’s just a small sample of the great comments in our guest book.

One thing that is making the ranch so lovely and beautiful are the fields of wildflowers. Carpets of mule’s ear, larkspur and camas frame the setting of the snowcapped mountains. Peeking their heads out from the fields are also sticky geranium, prairie smoke and mouse-ear chickweed. Many visitors have stopped by just to walk in the fields and take photographs.

The 2011 summer speaker series started with a roar on June 15th with a standing-room only talk about cougars by Marilyn Cuthill of Craighead Beringia South. The fun continued the following week with fantastic photos of fly fishing in international locations like Kashmir, Cuba and the Amazon, presented by Jim Klug of Yellowdog Flyfishing Adventures.

If you’ve ever been nervous about how to use your bear spray, the folks at the “bear aware” lecture, led by Leisja Meates of IDFG/USFS, had some hands-on time with water-based practice bear spray. It was quite a sight with everyone lined up in the yard, shooting off their bear spray.

The speaker series runs throughout the summer on most Wednesdays and Saturdays. More fun will take place on Friday July 22nd and Saturday, July 23rd when the Flat Ranch will host a Nature Art Expo in conjunction with the Idaho Art Lab. Local artists will feature their nature-related art for sale.

As you can see, lots of things are happening at the Flat Ranch in Island Park. Whether you are into fishing, flowers, fun, hiking, birding or relaxing, you can experience it all at the ranch.

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