Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Feels Like Summer

After a long winter of walking on frozen ice, it was finally nice to be driving a boat across the liquid form. There is something ceremonial and refreshing about having the boat on the water for the first time each spring. Granted, there is always the hectic preparation before that first trip: replacing dead boat batteries(they seem to last about two seasons), checking the trailer lights (they are like Christmas lights, there is always one bad bulb) and organizing the terminal tackle.
But, once on the water, all the worries disappear. Spring offers so much in eastern Montana. Seeing newborn antelope fawns that can barely walk, watching sharptail perform on their annual dancing grounds and hearing rooster pheasants crowing in every direction, not only is therapy for the present, it provides hope for the upcoming fall hunting season.
The walleye fishing was not quite as productive as Dad and I had hoped for. But, the reservoir water was only 45 degrees, so the best is yet to come. For now, just being on the water is good enough.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Mother's Day

Mother's Day is a highly anticipated point on the calendar for Montana anglers...it marks one of the major early season hatches in the state. This year it worked out that we were able to spend Sunday with the women and mothers in our lives, since the hatch arrived in full force a day late. Reports around SW Montana on Monday were of good to great caddis hatches and rivers that were largely fishable (water clarity is day to day). The Yellowstone River above the 89 bridge looked good yesterday with a couple feet of visibility, below that the Shields was dumping in mud, as was the Boulder and several other tributaries. Guys pulling boats out at the 89 bridge were all smiles after a day of fishing caddis and drake imitations. Somewhat surprisingly, a quick stop at the the lower Stillwater yesterday afternoon found the river in fantastic shape with plenty of visibility and of course lots of bugs on the water. Hopefully this pre-runoff window of hatches and fishable rivers will stay open just a little longer.