Montana Outdoors

May 17, 2008

Fishin’s lousy!

Today, as it so often happens on the opening day of trout fishing here in Montana, the fishin’ gods favored the fish. I visited three different streams and didn’t even wet a fly. But that’s OK with me!

After a few days of warm weather, the snow melt has begun in earnest and the water in the first two streams I tried is higher and muddier than I have ever seen it: the forecast for next week though is much colder and maybe that will slow it down a bit. The mountains above these streams is where the Chippy Creek fire took place last summer and since I was in the area already, I paid a visit to the burned area, much of which is undergoing a salvage logging operation. The good news there is that I saw no evidence of erosion (in fact the streams that were coming down from where I visited were very clear), there is already quite a lot of grass already growing in most of the burn and I saw four species of wildflowers already blooming amidst the ashes. Nature’s resilience is already hard at work!

On the third stream I returned to a beautiful spot that I visited just last week only to find that the rising water had completely covered the area from which I intended to fish. Oh, well, the surprise was only a mild one and Mother Nature made it up to me anyway because there the Syringa is in bloom

Syringa in bloom

and since it was lunch time I found a table all ready set up in this nice shady spot

Clark Fork River

already decorated with Starry false lily of the valley (or Starry false Solomon’s seal), Maianthemum stellatum.

Maianthemum stellatum

Maianthemum stellatum

Entertainment was provided by this pretty little visitor.

Blue butterfly

Blue butterfly

Maybe fishing wasn’t the real reason for my trip today after all: I must have been mistaken.

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