We began below the Soldier Creek Dam. The trailhead there has a Bear Country sign, and it indeed looks like great black bear country. On a walk there years ago, we saw bear scat on the trail. Today, we didn’t see any bear sign.Ripe black berries loaded the twinberry bushes along the trail. Wax currants had ripe red burries. Chokecherry bushes were loaded, but the fruit is not yet ripe. Many wild roses grow along the trail, but their bloom, and that of the numerous cliffrose bushes, was past. Penstemon, leggy Indian Paintbrush, and some globemallow still bloomed. The plant life is a mix of desert and riparian zone, with sage, gambol oak, a few junipers, and Douglas fir growing down to the stream along with sedge, berry plants and lush grass.
There were lots of tall red thistle blooming beside the trail, with bees busily working over the blossoms.
Of course, the reason for being there was fish. We saw quite a few large cutthroats in the pools created by beaver dams, but they proved hard to catch. Steve counted coup on four of them, dry fly, catch and release. He didn't have much luck fishing with a grasshopper pattern. Did best with a homemade black ant.
We strolled about 2 miles down the stream. Daisy had a great time in the water, and even did pretty well at staying out of the casting zone when given the “back” command.
Tomorrow, on to the Yellowstone, we hope.