Pop quiz: What do Vice President Dick Cheney, President Jimmy Carter, a 30-inch cutthroat trout and bigfoot have in common?
Answer: They're all featured in my new book, "Fly Fishing in Yellowstone National Park: An Insider's Guide to the 50 Best Places."
You may remember that this time last year I was out in Yellowstone doing "field research" for this project. If you'll indulge me, I want to tell you what I think makes this book good and unique.
- The book features the widest array of voices ever collected in a Yellowstone fishing guide. I talked to almost 200 biologists, anglers, writers, visitors, locals and even a couple statesmen, and I asked them all to tell the stories about their favorite lakes and streams, and share their best tips and advice.
- Voices in the book include heralded trout guides like Craig Mathews, Maggie Merriman, Bob Jacklin, Molly Semenik, Richard Parks and Alice Owsley. Also authors Tom McGuane, Doug Peacock and Jeff Hull. And Shelton Johnson, one of the standout speakers in Ken Burns' "National Parks" series on PBS. Even Vice President Dick Cheney and President Jimmy Carter.
- You'll read the ecological history of trout in Yellowstone, from the native cutthroats, grayling and whitefish that colonized the park after the last ice-age, to the introduction of rainbow, brown, brook and lake trout by biologists around the turn of the 20th century. You'll learn the complete, sad story about the recent decimation of the native Yellowstone cutthroat fishery in Yellowstone Lake after lake trout were stocked illegally. You'll also learn the neat story about the discovery, preservation and reintroduction of rare, native Westslope cutthroat trout in Yellowstone.
- The book has fascinating new details about a remarkable 1877 encounter in Yellowstone between members of the Nez Perce Tribe, including revered peacemaker Chief Joseph, and two early tourists named George and Emma Cowan. Emma was taken captive and George was shot three times, including once in the head, and survived. I tracked down two of the Cowans' great-grandchildren, who shared with me an unpublished, firsthand account of the ordeal that George dictated to his only daughter in 1920, which I quoted in the book. I also spoke with a tribe member whose ancestors fled from the U.S. Cavalry during the Nez Perce War; one of the most enduring, amazing, and ultimately tragic tales from of the Old West.
- There are also plenty of amusing anecdotes that could only come from Yellowstone including encounters with geysers, grizzlies, buffalo, wolves, moose, elk, eagles -- even bigfoot.
I'll be back in out west (hooray) for a few days at the end of August and beginning of September and have a couple book signings and readings planned. (Hoping to set up one or two more, so check back here for details).
Reno, NV -- Friday, Aug. 17 at 1 p.m. at the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show (Signing)
Jackson Hole, WY -- Tuesday, Aug. 28 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Valley Bookstore. (Signing)
Ennis, MT -- Saturday, Sept. 1 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Ennis on the Madison Fly Fishing Festival (Signing)
Bozeman, MT -- Tuesday, Sept. 4 from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Country Bookshelf. (Signing)
Livingston, MT -- Tuesday, Sept. 4 at 7 p.m. at Elk River Books (Reading)
Couple more stops TBA, plus hopefully some on the East Coast this fall.
As I'm prone to do, I'll likely pepper this blog with photos and notes from Yellowstone, and hopefully a couple reviews if they come in.
Hope you get a chance to look at the book and hope you enjoy!
Photo by Dr. Guy R. Muto
(Music you ask? I swear I'm still working on it...)