Scrapbook Eighty Eight…




Hello Mr. Fenn,

My name is Pat and I live in Denver, Colorado.  I had not known of your story until I heard a morning news cast about Yellowstone Rangers rescuing a person (people) in one of their rivers and your name was mentioned.  I looked into it further and read different websites and blogs……very interesting.  I must admit, I tried to figure out the poem, too.  My family and I already made reservations to Yellowstone before ever hearing of your story…….we LOVE going there.  My husband and I have 6 children……the oldest will be 30 and the youngest will be 16……she’ll be the only one able to make it this trip.  We’ve gone ever since they were little and all the pictures and memories are quite the treasure.  We had always wanted to see the Perseid Meteor Shower there and this year we’ll get the chance to do that, as long as the weather cooperates.  We hope to experience different things, but memories are what’s important.


Forrest’s Wooly Worm (aka wooly bug)

I have a story I’d like to share with you in regards to the Wooly Bug fly…….I saw a video of you making one!  Many years ago, my husband’s family would travel on vacation and many times gone to Yellowstone.  They had fished in different areas, Fishing Bridge (which you can’t fish now, but was extremely popular as you know), Yellowstone Lake, rivers/creeks, etc.  My husband was given a Wooly Bug by his father when he was a kid and he kept it throughout the years.  His father passed away nearly 21 years ago and when he travels there, I can see his heart is still there with his dad.  He walks through where the Fishing Bridge campground use to be, now belongs back to the bears, and searches for the rock he use to climb when they camped there.  Several years ago in particular while in Yellowstone, we decided to fish at Yellowstone Lake.  My husband cast his line, with Wooly Bug and bobber in tow, out into the water.  After a few bites or the Wooly Bug coming to shore, he reeled in his line and made a cast and it happened………..the line broke and his Wooly Bug his father had given him went into the water and was caught in the waves!  I’ll never forget the look on my husband’s face when that happened.  It was as if he had totally lost all the connections he had with his father…….the last bit of physical memory he had of him.  It was a very sullen day for him.  The following day we returned to the spot we fished and I could see it still bothered my husband.  While throwing his line into the lake with a different fly, I chose to walk the shore.  Yes, I found his Wooly Bug!  My husband Ray was extremely happy… if I had brought back his life!  He hugged and thanked me and I could tell it came from deep within his soul.  Ray placed the Wooly Bug back into his tackle box and swore he’d never use it again.  About three years or so ago, I took the Wooly Bug, with a picture of a trout Ray caught with it the very last time he used it before he lost it in Yellowstone Lake and placed it in a shadow box for display.  I’m attaching a picture of the Wooly Bug and trout for you to see.  We plan on doing some fishing this coming week…….vacation is Aug. 9-16.  A quote my husband loves to say is, ‘A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work.’

Mr. Fenn, in regards to the Wooly Bug, do you sell any of the ones you make?  I would LOVE to present one to my husband rather than finding one at the store…..they’re a bit hard to come by here.  Any information is greatly appreciated.

Mr. Fenn, I wish you continued success in unearthing history and telling their stories, not wanting history to go silent.


From dal-
You can watch Forrest make a wooly worm and talk about them on the “Gone Fishing” videos:


22 thoughts on “Scrapbook Eighty Eight…

    • My favorite keepsake is my granddad’s fishing hat with a wooly worm fly that he tied still attached. He was a native Montanan who fished the Madison, Gallatin, Blackfoot and Missouri Rivers at a time when Blackfoot teepees were pitched on the ragged edge of town. Boy do I miss him tonight. Thank you for sharing your memories Pat.

  1. It’s amazing the spiritual and heartfelt (loving) connections we feel for people and places. I think it’s miraculous that Pat was able to restore the lifeline connection between her husband and his father. I’m sure she felt proud to be the instrument to find the Wooly Bug for the man she loved. She obviously cares for him very much. For where your treasure is…

    Time to catch a Fish, indeed, Amy! There’s always time for fishing! ….well, maybe one day, anyway. I’ll be going fishing in a few weeks myself.

    • Hello JC1117. This year we will return to Yellowstone and it will bring back more memories than ever before. You see, Ray’s mom is in hospice now and the places they traveled will be ever more important to remember in his heart. I believe the trip will bring him tears, but it will be his memories that he’ll cherish most of all. We will have the pleasure of most, if not all, of our children going, along with their children. To create new memories and watch their smiles as we have seen before. Yes, memories are held close to our hearts and souls.

  2. What a heartwarming story Pat. I know how important those little things are that connect us with our parents because of the memories associated with them. My husband won’t fish with his father’s tackle either for fear of losing them. It was so unbelievably lucky that you found that Wooly Worm for your husband! I’m sure he will be eternally grateful. 🙂

    • Hello CJinCA. The Wooly Worm his father had given him remains in a shadow box and holds wonderful memories of years past. Yellowstone continues to call us and we will answer its call once more.

  3. I usually don’t stop to fish while treasure hunting. I thought that I’d cast a line out this weekend where the fishing is good. As luck should have it, my mule sustained an unnoticed injury. I swung aroung the corner and saw a drop of blood fall. I was in shock to see me beast bleeding! Now, I’m on my way to a specialist for a cure. No treasure hunting and no fishing this weekend. I hope to remember to write a story for the contest. It takes me a week to read TTOTC, as I am read as slow as I hike. I think I will start reading it this weekend. That outta take my mind off of fishing!

      • Dal, my procrastination has got the better of me again. Looks like my story may have to be shared at the conference. I have no excuse worthy of utterance right now. Busy is good for me, but not good enough for the rest. 🙁

      • Hello, pdenver. My mule needed medical attention, but it was not too injured. It is impossible to not enjoy the beauty of my search area. It makes a whole lot of sense to be in the area which I am looking in. I haven’t been on the saddle yet. I hope I don’t have to. Being that high frightens me a bit. I might be better able to see sitting so high though. Talk about a different perspective to look quickly down from. I prefer to stay grounded either way… and not fall from the saddle!

        • Hello Slurbs. Glad to hear your mule wasn’t too badly injured. Isn’t it amazing how the poem takes us to beautiful places? I hope your feet stays well planted and not have to ride the saddle. I wish you the best of luck in your search wherever that may be. Enjoy the chase!

  4. Scrapbook 88 on 8/8…. nice story Pat. There is nothing better than a family outing packed w/ adventure and of course fishing! Many of my own fondest memories are of long camping trips as a child. Very nice.

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