Scrapbook One Hundred Sixty One…





Here is a story from the 1941 Alaska Miner..
So what do you think?
Can a porcupine actually throw his quills or not??

A porky swats with his tail, and it stands to reason that if some quills find their mark other quills would fly, caused by the sudden stop of the said tail. The skin of a porcupine is not attached to the animal’s flesh in the same way that a banana is not attached to the peeling, which means the quills are loosely hanging in the skin. Now, that’s everything I know on that subject and it graphically explains why bananas can be so dangerous. f


Scrapbook One Hundred Sixty…




Hello Forrest,

I hope this email finds you well and ready for winter!

I’m delighted to say our film ‘The Lure’ about your magical hunt will have it’s world premiere in New York in November.

Here’s a link to the festival:

And to the film’s site, with a short teaser trailer:

The film couldn’t have been made without your support and contribution, so I’m thrilled to be able to share it with the world.

We’ll be doing a tour of the south west at some point, so I’ll keep you posted.

In the meantime, feel free to share.

Thanks once again,


Scrapbook One Hundred Fifty Nine…




I love your story Kristen. Once again I am reminded of why I wrote the book and hid the treasure. f


Mr. Fenn

I hope this email finds you and your family well.  My name is Kristen and I live in Atlanta with my husband and 2 kids. I discovered your book, ‘The Thrill of the Chase,’ about a year and a half ago.  Not only was I fascinated by your stories (and highly entertained by your sense of humor and witty writing style) but it also hit close to home. I was 34 and had just recently been diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer and told I had a 20% chance of still being here in 5 years. At the time my son was 4 and my daughter was 5 months old.  So…I get it.  Everything you think and feel when you think it’s all over.

I loved reading about the summers of your youth spent in Yellowstone with your family and wanted the same kind of memories for my kids.  I grew up in rural Missouri and my dad is a cropduster/farmer and avid outdoorsman but my kids were born in Atlanta and are ‘city’ through and through. You inspired me to change that.  I shared your book with my parents and siblings and proposed a family treasure hunting adventure. After they checked my temperature and determined I wasn’t delirious, they all got on board. We studied the poem, but came up with exactly zilch for a solve. We decided to go on an adventure anyway.  The obvious choice was Yellowstone.  A place we’ve always wanted to see, just never gotten around to making the trip.

Well, we did it. We spent a week in Big Sky Montana. My parents, my siblings, and our kids were all there together.  We explored Yellowstone, hiked to Ousel Falls (on a day where a grizzly was spotted on the trail!), fly fished the Gallatin river (THAT was a sight to behold, let me tell ya!), and saw TONS of wildlife. My dad was thrilled that we were finally coming around to his way of thinking.

We brainstormed about the poem at night trying to find our ‘aha’ moment.  I am of the consensus that solving the riddle reveals the exact location and just randomly ‘searching’ is a waste of time, but that’s just my humble opinion.  So, needlessly to say, we left with no treasure chest but that wasn’t really the point of the trip anyway.

The point of this rambling novel is to thank you.  I listened and took your words to heart and was inspired.  My family made memories last week that will last a lifetime (see picture below).  And hopefully it was just the first of many adventures we’ll have together.  We’ve decided Alaska will be our next. So from the bottom of my heart, thank you Mr. Fenn.  If you ever find yourself in Atlanta I would love to buy you a cup of coffee. Or maybe I’ll come to Santa Fe and bring your bracelet back if I ever solve that damn poem:)

All the best,


That’s my son, Jack, and my niece, Jessie Leigh. She caught that whopper but then bolted like a spooked horse when Max (with Gallatin River Guides) tried to get her to touch it.

PS…After 18 months of chemo there is currently no evidence of any cancer in my body. I’m not going anywhere anytime soon.

Scrapbook One Hundred Fifty Eight…





Here’s a long forgotten photo that I discovered in an old laptop. It shows the treasure chest at a time when I was still deciding what it should contain.

The two round objects in the center are 300 year-old gold and silver hunting case minute repeater watches. They came out, as did the large gems. The gold coins and nuggets were removed from their plastic containers and are now residing in the chest beside the little jar that contains my autobiography.

Months later, when the chest was almost full, I added two 5” round Pre-Columbian gold “mirrors,” the Tairona fetish necklace, and my revered turquoise row bracelet. Then I closed the lid, and that was that. Now the treasure is hidden in the mountains, patiently  waiting…f


Scrapbook One Hundred Fifty Seven…






On August 10th the Today Show crew showed up at Forrest’s home in Santa Fe and taped an interview with him. This was before Forrest announced that he was going to give his computer a rest. NBC also chased Cynthia Meachum up the Pecos to one of her fav places to look for Forrest’s chest.
Here is what Forrest says:
Can you announce that the Weekend Today Show will air a segment about the chase on Saturday next (Saturday, September 17th). I was recorded sitting by my pond and Cynthia and her dog Molly went searching in some beautiful country.  She wouldn’t tell me where for fear I would discover her secret fishing spot.

Scrapbook One Hundred Fifty Six…




For health reason’s Forrest is cutting back in his involvement in the chase. Less attention to email, fewer interviews and blog appearances will be his new MO. Here is what he wrote:

“I’m cutting back on my activities, which means going to lunch, seeing people, and time on my computer. f”

Jenny has a supply of Weekly Words from Forrest to last awhile and also wrote on her blog about Forrest’s intentions:

Don and Bubba

by dal-

Don Martinez was a California real estate professional who opened a fly shop in West Yellowstone in 1932. Wisely, Don spent his winters in California but when spring hit the rivers in the Rocky Mountains and the trout began searching for new hatch to feed upon, Don headed east and unlocked the door of his one room shop on the edge of Yellowstone National Park.

Don spent a lot of his time fishing and guiding in addition to running the shop and folks who knew him claim he had a fondness for alcohol. So he wasn’t always at his small shop and generally hired a couple local boys to fill in for him.


Inside Don’s shop. Don is in the middle.

His shop was stocked with a few good lines of fly-fishing gear and he tied and sold his own flies. In-fact, Don is credited with originating the now famous Woolly Worm and also with introducing dry fly fishing to that part of the country.

Unlike many retail shops, if you work in a fly shop you don’t just stand behind the counter all day waiting for customers to stroll in the door and hand you money. You spend your non-customer time tying flies… a lot of flies… because that’s what fisherman buy. No self-respecting fly fisher is going to walk out of a shop without a pocket full of hand-tied, local flies guaranteed to catch fish. It would be impolite and disrespectful.


If you are ever so blessed as to walk into a good fly shop you’ll see the usual…sleek, long poles…lightweight reels…a variety of green or brown waders and all kinds of “gadgets” to help you catch a big trout. But what generally jumps out at you are the neatly stacked rows and rows of compartmentalized bins holding hundreds of different kinds of fishing flies.

Bins of trout flies

Bins of trout flies

You’ll see streamers and buggers and dry flies and spinners with fascinating names like Zonkers and Old Adams, Royal Coachman, Bunyan Bug, Elk Hair Caddis and Sparkle Dunn, They are colorful and attractive like containers of tiny gemstones, shiny and glittering and begging to be picked up and examined…and that’s what you do in a fly shop.

A fisher is attracted to these bins of alluring flies no less so than the fish they hope to land. First you look to see what’s new…then you look to see how well they are tied. Then you begin looking to see how the local flies might be slightly different from the ones back home. Most of the flies are tied by the folks who work in the shop. A good fly tier can knock out a dozen or more flies in a single hour.

Back at Don Martinez’s fly shop, the local help Don hired in the 1940s included a tall, lanky kid known to his friends as Bubba. The kid was long on fishing skills even though he was barely in his teens, and was a good fit for the fly shop.

On one particular day Don strolled in about closing time, Bubba recalled. “I had just tied my 144th Woolly Worm of the day. I was shooting for a gross. Don looked at them and said he didn’t want them because I didn’t put silver tinsel on the bodies. He said, ‘you can have them’. So I kept every one of them and coaxed a lot of fish to the edge of disaster with those things.”

A Woolly Worm by Bubba

A Woolly Worm by Bubba. No tinsel needed.

Bubba also remembers using some of those Woolly Worms to his advantage when he was guiding. “The clients all had their fancy flies, but I always caught more fish on my Woolly Worm. Sometimes I was the only one who caught any fish at all. My other fly was the Squirrel Tail. I caught a lot of fish on it too, especially in the lakes. So I decided to make a Woolly Worm Squirrel Tail fly, which was nothing more than a Woolly Worm with some squirrel hair tied on the front. It became a famous fly and everyone called it the ‘Bubba Special’. I was a hero.”


By the time WWII was finished Don had sold his shop and retreated back to California permanently. He died in 1955 at the very young age of 52. His old shop is still in West Yellowstone. It’s Bud Lilly’s Trout Shop these days. If you wander in there be sure to gaze longingly at the fly bins and admire the Woolly Worms. Look around for a Bubba Special.


Forrest generously sent some pics and corrected what I wrote about the location of Don’s shop.

It turns out that Wikipedia (where I got the info about the location of Don’s shop) is incorrect. The Bud Lilly shop shown above is the NEW Bud Lilly shop. The old one did take over Don’s old shop but Bud outgrew Don’s small space and they moved three and a half blocks away to where the shop above is now located.


Don’s shop was probably located around here on Yellowstone Ave. (from Google Earth Street View)


A young June Fenn standing out in front of Don’s shop on Yellowstone Ave. That’s Don in the doorway. (from the Forrest Fenn collection)


Inside Don’s shop. That’s Skippy over in the corner. (from the Forrest Fenn collection)

Don’s shop (and the original Bud Lilly shop) was located on Yellowstone Ave. about half a block east of where Eagles is today.


You won’t find Bubba over in the corner tying flies anymore. He grew up, did a few pretty cool things, and I heard he moved out to Santa Fe.

I wonder if he still has any of those Woolly Worms left?

Click the link below to:
Watch Bubba tie a Woolly Worm


Scrapbook One Hundred Fifty Three…


MARCH 2016


I just read your signed copy of the Thrill of the Chase. I enjoyed it all
the way through. When I read the segment on Skippy’s passing I was set back
for a minute. That is why I am writing to you. It was astonishing how he
passed and the similarities to my story. You see, I took a cruise with my
wife. We went to Cozumel and took a scuba diving adventure. At about 20 to
30 feet in depth, I stopped her, and in my best attempt, proposed to her
underwater using my redneck form of sign language and theatrics. She
squeezed my hand firmly. With her goggles steaming, bubbles spewed out of
her mask as she said yes. Odd how some journeys end and how some begin. Bless you sir,