Trout Fishing or Fall Mushrooms

3I obviously have not been writing lately, but I have a good reason Dear Teacher – I went fishing. It has been a long haul since I decided this past Christmas to run for a third term on the Anderson County, TN, County Commission. There was stiff opposition and August 7th seemed a long way off in January, but it finally arrived, and I was re-elected. The next day, Ellen and I headed for Montana on a fly fishing trip. I had originally thought about taking one day for mushrooming. It is my understanding that King Boletes (Boletus edulis) start showing around mid-August. I never was able to find a local mycology sort to go foraying with me, however,so we settled for fishing. A good choice indeed.

Just a note before I show you some pictures of a magnificent river. We got home Sunday, and I went out Monday. Picked a few pound of lobster and found my first honey mushrooms – four different trees; all chestnut oak. The L. corrugis are plentiful on the dry ridges around here, I also left a Berkley polypore to grow a couple of more days. My chef friend Seth likes them for making stock. It is raining at the moment and the woods are already wet. Guess I’ll foray tomorrow and Friday

67We fished three different sections of the Big Hole River, a total of about 25 miles. The Big Hole arises in the Pioneer Mtns west of Dillon Montana. After joining the Beaverhead River it has a confluence with the Ruby River to form the Jefferson which will join the Madison and Gallatin rivers to form the Missouri River. This is the land of Lewis and Clark as they faced the Bitterroot Mountains. In the spirit of America and exploration, a number of Eagles joined our journey.




The Big Hole River






Ellen was a “Big Brown” winner







Andy Bennett was our guide for two of our days. He not only guided but he was a wonderful, patient teacher in the art of finding trout and how to fish these waters.





A 17-inch brown. Ellen was kind enough to let me fish from the front of the boat so I could catch ones like this also.



Andy taught Ellen the fine art of holding the fish forward so it looks bigger.

We also caught a number of rainbow trout which are the most fun, because they leap out of the water and are great to fish.



Ellen and our guide, Andy, with another nice brown. There were rainbow trout and native Idaho whitefish also.


Lobsters Coming

lob1Last week Derek got one pound of lobster mushrooms from a patch we hunt. Yesterday afternoon I headed out to a different area where there are a number of patches. Two were producing, and I got four pounds. They were well hidden, but once I saw the orange, I was able to see the needle humps I had passed by. It’s much easier finding lobsters if you are in an area you KNOW produces. Only three of the mushrooms were turning spotty red and going bad (left them), and quite a few were small, so this should be the beginning. Going back on Thursday to my favorite patch – only found ONE there Sunday. Maybe the tennis-ball sized Sparassis crispa I left will be bigger.

So, get out and keep an eye out for lobsters. Around here I find them around pine – white pine or Virginia pine, but mostly Virginia pine mixed with a few hardwoods.

SpathulariaA cute Fairy Fan (Spathularia velutipes). I don’t see them much. On pine twig.