Saturday, February 13, 1993
Saturday, April 3, 1993
The weather was a sunny 55 degrees. The scenery is outstanding. Immediately below the dam the canyon walls are about 100 feet vertical and only 50 feet apart. The water has eroded a least two tunnels right through the rock. I was able to wade to one of them and walk through it since it was big enough to drive a truck through. I'd love to take a kayak or canoe up it and just explore for a while. It seems to be a mystical place.
Downstream for the next 1/2 mile the water is very shallow and clear as it quickly flows over rocks of all sizes. All along this part of the river are places to camp (no water or outhouses, though) and good 4x4 access.
I saw 43 bighorn sheep along the mountainside from the viewing area. Also saw an antelope and dozens of deer on the ride home.
Saturday, May 1, 1993
The day was not a loss though. I arrived in the canyon at about 2:00 and spent about an hour driving up Hannah Gulch. This is a rugged 4WD trail but fun.
Then I hiked into the Wagner Basin and watched the bighorn sheep. I got within 75 yards of a group of seven females and took some photos. I left after about an hour and met a guide from Bozeman on his way in. (He once worked with the Forest Service, but now guides in co-op with the Bar L Ranch.)
He showed me some Indian pictographs on the steep cliff wall at the point where you just enter the basin. The pictographs are brownish-red and depict a man, hash marks, and hand prints. At the same spot, a large brown owl lives. It swooped out of the overhead cave each time I walked by.
Sunday, March 6, 1994
When I first started, I saw two coyotes hanging out on the frozen reservoir. They saw me as I traversed the hillside. When I took a break for lunch, saw a herd of a dozen whitetails. The coyotes were still on the ice when I came back but they moved to the other side as I approached them along the trail. This is a nice trail, but it seems a long hike back in there to do any fishing along the river.
Sunday, April 17, 1994
Saturday, June 3, 1995
Stopped at a half dozen and found two that held trout. Both were "developed" areas that people could drive right up to. Just before the WMA Headquarters is Swazee Lake. It was murky and I didn't catch anything, but other people were also fishing it. There's a small camp area with picnic tables.
All the way across the WMA is Dickens Lake. It's actually easier to just park along the road to Gibson Dam and hop the fence. A half dozen people were here. I saw two people catch nice sized rainbows. A guy in a float tube told me he caught a four-pound rainbow just last week. It has clear water, but is pretty weedy. Best bet when the fish aren't surfacing is to use weighted streamers down real deep. I waded up to my waist in shorts. Very windy all day, and later a thunderstorm rolled in.
It seems that the only way in or out is via the road at the southeast corner. I came across several closed roads in the northwest corner.