This past Thursday Rookie and I drove north to Townsend to pick up the 120 pheasant chicks (only a day-old) then 2 hours east toward the ranch. It rained pretty much the entire trip and we witnessed extensive flooding all along the way.
After a rather noisy ride, we found to our surprise both roads leading to the ranch closed because the Musselshell River had risen 10 feet.
Discouraged, chicks and all, we simply turned back around and drove home...
Only problem was "what to do with the chicks..?"
We improvised and stopped in Murdochs Farm Supply and bought two large tin bins, waterers, heat lamps, and feed.
Within seconds of release, in Alex's garage, the chicks took to the food and water and all seemed okay..
Two days later however, at least 20 had perished and we were left with roughly 100 for the second attemtped venture to the ranch...
I was unable to go on second trip so no pictures, but thankfully "both surrogators were still there"(we have two this season and both were pre-situated in areas there was concern 'they might have floated away..')
Thankfully the latter didnt happen, but another set-back was a heater malfunction in one and uncertainty both were fully operational after the recent hail and rain storms that swept through the area...?
We'll see how they faired next weekend when his father makes a return-trip, and I'll 'update' how they're doing here..
.... NOTE: We also have another 120 chicks due for our second-release in about 5 weeks (using both surrogators again).
.,Now on to the Madison..(go figure)..
Yes, there's not many dog owners out there I dont think who will drive their beloved pets 60 miles round-trip 'just so they can run...'
But after leaving them alone ten hours a day while I work (and/or play at work, its a fly shop afterall); I feel I owe it to them.
...And so we hit the Lower Madison, where they practicaly know every tree and rock by name'...
I do too by now, but it's just about the safest spot we can go and not encounter skunks, porkys, and snakes..
On occasion, I'll even break out the fly rod and fish a while...
...At 6,000cfs though, I usually just chill and watch the girls do their thing, check the hillsides for wildlife, and chill some more..
... With even more rain in the forecast and epic run-off due to record snow fall; its unlikely we'll be launching the 'new boat' on any local rivers this month.
Still, I'm jonesing to get out there so might be inclined to dip her into Hyalite Resevoir or Hebgen Lake here soon.