YNP Fly Cast Painting the Calderon of Hell

With brimstone gurgling out of the depths of the heart of the earth like a festering zit that needs to be popped the Yellowstone National Park steams with the scent of sulfur and density of air being breathed as if there was no escaping the thick particles. The wind would pick up at intermittent spells and the harshness of the landscape is reminiscent of a passing hurricane that has strewn the rocks, trees and sense of the place into a wild array of captivating formations looming overhead. In the midst of all this chaos, flows a stream, that signifies the theme of the area called the Firehole River. Known as one of the prized fly fishing destinations within Yellowstone National Park it exhibits its own entomological wonder of varying insects and fly boxes carried by anglers would have its own unique patterns. Trout could be seen rising up and down the stream’s late summer lower depths that are unusually warm with the lower flow and warm springs trickling into its stem of existence. Upon setting up the easel for a fly cast painting tiny black flies could be found crawling all over my light long sleeved shirt in the bright sunlight. The temperature of this potentially hostile land is a very comfortable degree and the location for the painting is in the heart of Biscuit Basin with a number of hot fountains escaping the trappings of the solid earth above. Looking into the water for the fly cast painting the algae was the only sign of vegetation under the surface but the most intriguing part of this stream would be the color that ties it all together a Burnt Sienna warmth that would translate to the rocks and the rocks would have varying pits of unpredictable depths in a lava flow formation running its entire length. One of the moves to create more of a watery feel to the fly cast painting is to start with the highlights on one side of the painting and then flip the painting over for the action and colors taking place underneath the water’s surface. The mood of the stream was a mix of hearing and feeling the current as the shallows lent itself to a two inch depth 1/3 of the way out into the stream and the torrent of flow just behind my legs. The sun was showing all shadows and highlights of the stream bed’s skeleton and the layering of the colors would go from a hard dark contrast to a lighter contrast with varying intensities of vibrant interpretations of orange and gold. When finding gems of places like this to create a unique painting, that invokes the culture of fly fishing, Biscuit Basin is as unique and far reaching of a place that could be imagined.