The Firehole and Kiritimati: World’s apart and yet not so much

The Firehole Rangers recently returned from a trip to Kiritimati (aka Christmas Island, or CXI in modern day acronym-speak). Since this trip replaced our annual pilgrimage to the Firehole this year, the temptation to compare the two destinations was impossible to resist. One would think that traveling to the a remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean to chase bonefish (and other odd , tropical species) would be as far from chasing trout in Yellowstone National Park as two destinations could possibly be. Ironically, it wasn’t that much different, and after this entry I’m sure you’ll agree that the similarities are mind boggling.

I want to preface that any reference to Seattle is for general purposes only. None of the Rangers actually live in Seattle. Near, perhaps, but definitely not IN Seattle.

  • From Seattle, it is 738 miles to West Yellowstone, our base camp when fishing the Firehole River. From Seattle, it is 3789 miles to Kiritimati. Each distance contains the numerals 7, 3, and 8.
  • It takes us 12 hours by car to get to West Yellowstone and we cross the Continental Divide. It took us 9 hours by air to reach Kiritimati and we crossed the International Dateline.
  • When we visit West Yellowstone, we encounter a lot of foreign tourists (tourons). When we visited Kiritimati, we were foreign tourists (hopefully not tourons).

And now for a photographic exposé that reveals just how much the two places have in common:

Top: A photo from above the Firehole River. Bottom: A photo from high above Kiritimati
Top: A photo from above the Firehole River. Bottom: A photo from high above Kiritimati.
Top: Storm clouds in the distance on the Firehole. Bottom: Storm clouds in the distance on Kiritimati.
Top: Storm clouds in the distance on the Firehole. Bottom: Storm clouds in the distance on Kiritimati.
Top: The streets of West Yellowstone, USA, in early June. Bottom: The streets of London, Kiritimati, in early June.
Top: The streets of West Yellowstone, USA, in early June. Bottom: The streets of London, Kiritimati, in early June.
Top: Jimmy and Goose enjoying a break between catching fish on the Firehole. Bottom: Goose and Jimmy enjoying a break between catching fish on Kiritimati.
Top: Jimmy and Goose enjoying a break between catching fish on the Firehole. Bottom: Goose and Jimmy enjoying a break between catching fish on Kiritimati.
Top: Marck long-arming a fish on the Firehole. Bottom: Marck long-arming a bonefish on Kiritimati
Top: Marck long-arming a fish on the Firehole. Bottom: Marck long-arming a bonefish on Kiritimati.
Top: The UA fishing alone on the Firehole River. Bottom: The UA fishing alone on Kiritimati.
Top: The UA not catching fish on the Firehole River. Bottom: The UA not catching fish on Kiritimati.
Top: Jimmy tight to a fish on the Firehole. Bottom: Jimmy tight to a fish on Kiritimati.
Top: Jimmy tight to a fish on the Firehole. Bottom: Jimmy tight to a fish on Kiritimati.
Top: Goose with a nice Firehole brown. Bottom: Goose with a nice Kiritimati bone.
Top: Goose with a nice Firehole brown. Bottom: Goose with a nice Kiritimati bone.
Top: Walking near Fountain Flat to fish the Firehole. Bottom: Walking the flats to fish on Kiritimati.
Top: Walking near Fountain Flat to fish the Firehole. Bottom: Walking the flats to fish on Kiritimati.
Top: We encounter herds of native wildlife (American Bison) on our way to fish the Firehole. Bottom: We encountered schools of native wildlife (Manta Rays) on our way to fish on Kiritimati.
Top: We encounter herds of native wildlife (American Bison) on our way to fish the Firehole. Bottom: We encountered schools of native wildlife (Manta Rays) on our way to fish on Kiritimati.
Top: The Big Sexy along the the Firehole River. Bottom: The Big Sexy on Kiritimati.
Top: The Big Sexy along the the Firehole River. Bottom: The Big Sexy on Kiritimati.
Top: A cat in West Yellowstone. Bottom: A dog on Kiritimati.
Top: A cat in the office of the Ho Hum in West Yellowstone. Bottom: A dog in the street of London, Kiritimati.
Top: The sun rises in West Yellowstone. Bottom: The sun sets on Kiritimati.
Top: The sun rises in West Yellowstone. Bottom: The sun sets on Kiritimati.

I hope you enjoyed the comparison—no doubt you were as surprised as we were at how much the two vastly different locales have in common. Stay tuned for more coverage of our trip to Kiritimati.

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