Friday, September 20, 2013

Montana 2013 - Part 3 - Beautiful Creations

I love to take pictures of my fish trophies (at least trophies to me!).  One fish is never the same as another in color, at least  it seems.  Kind of a remarkable feature of wild life.  These are examples of a rainbow, brown trout of various colors, a gorgeous brook trout and a nice cutthroat.
A nice purple sided rainbow

An almost black Brown

A dandy gold toned Brown

A light hued Brown
Colorful dark Brookie

Note the red slash on the Cutthroat

Thanks, my trout friends, for letting me win this battle for a photo opportunity at least.

And then a chance picture of other animals so cute.

The neighbor's dog, Bailey, has been a pal for 3 years now.  She loves to come around with a ball or pine cone to go fetch for as long as we can last.  She is a very smart dog and we will miss her plenty.

Bailey the Catcher

Bun was usually in our yard early in the morning for a nosh.

"Tons of Fun Bun" in our yard
I came across Mama Mulie having a bite of tender shrub leaves before heading to the creek for a drink.

Mama Mulie having a nosh

There are many forms of beauty in our world thanks to God's hand.  For me, His wildlife creations are some of the most beautiful to me.  Thanks for watching, The Trout

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Montana 2013 - Part 2 - Fun Times - Trout

Garry Mentzer and Trout

Old friend Garry Mentzer first invited us out to the Flint Creek Valley to enjoy the fishing, hunting and scenery over 30 years ago.  So great to see him again.  I wish him a good retirement.

Yes, there were sad events during our stay this year in Montana, as I described in Part 1, previously posted.
But, there were plenty of happy times as well to make it a typically nice summer.  Our weather was really perfect with plenty of big sky sunshine although more rain would have been welcome.  We really didn't need our furnace till this week as fall approaches.

Before we settled in for the summer in Montana, we took a very nice week trip to the Willamette Valley in Oregon to see Susan's nephew Micheal and his wonderful wife Susan who hosted us for the day and night doing wine tasting and shopping for treats.

We then stopped by to see blog friend, Cathy, who prepared us a lovely lunch and we enjoyed a very nice visit with her.
Lovely fellow blogger Cathy

Then on to Diana and husband Pete's wonderful home and gardens.  We had a laugh a minute I think and very much enjoyed wine touring and some fine cuisine thanks to Diana's garden and talents.  Super people!!

Diana and Pete and us enjoying a  wine tasting

Then back to settle in Montana for the rest of the summer.  Surprisingly, we are quite comfortable in our 26 foot tin can all outfitted with water, DISH TV, electricity and "indoor" plumbing although I prefer the "one holer" for more privacy and good telephone reception most days.   We grill and eat most meals outside in the clear air.

Our summer home - 26' of comfort

Most afternoons we wander over to our host family's picnic table for 3 o'clock cocktails and treats over looking one of the best trout holes in the creek.

Great trout hole

We love our little neighboring town. Philipsburg, for two new additions to the local scene.

P-Burg Brewery has been going for a full year now and produces 6-7 brews on tap of excellent quality.
After a hard day of fishing, my car just seems to head to the Brewery for a Porter to wet the whistle.

P - Burg Brewery
I even will sometimes order the sampler to take down the street to another favorite spot.

The Trout with the beer Sampler - I like them all!!!

These samples should be enough to help down a delicious platter of ribs or pulled pork from another welcome addition to the P-burg scene.  Up n smokin does a great job on preparing BBQ treats to enjoy with the local brew.  A great combination.

Up n smokin BBQ
So much of our comfort is provided by our host couple, daughter of Harold and Alvina Lundgren, Sherry Armstrong and her husband Tom.  Anything we need, they will help out on which is plenty with my lack of mechanical skills.    Tom and I enjoy a fishing outing or two and we both enjoy a good brew or glass of wine together.  Thank you guys, so much, for looking after us.

Sherry, Tom and granddaughter Kenzie.
May we return to this beautiful setting for many more summers.  Thank you all, dear friends.  Schnitzel and the Trout!!
Boulder Creek valley

Friday, September 13, 2013

Montana 2013 - Part 1 - Sadness!

 We lost our Montana sister, Alvina Lundgren who died July 2nd before we arrived.  She was much loved by her husband, Harold  of 60+years and family and many friends.  It was Harold and her invitation to fish their property many years ago that later developed to our parking our trailer on the family land and spending many great days and meals with them. She loved the great outdoors with Harold and was proud of Harold getting his biggest Elk ever last fall after 60 years of hunting. She will be missed by all including her little Misty who seems to be praying for her return.

Click  photos to enlarge!
Susan, Alvina and Harold 

Harold's 6x6 elk

Little Misty - "Where's Mom?"

Unfortunately, Montana had a poor snow pack this winter and less than needed rain fall this spring and summer.  This led to very poor stream flows and needed closures and restrictions to help save the trout.
I always carry extra suntan lotion to coat the trout's back while they rested in too shallow water.  This sign is known as  "Hoot Owl" restrictions when a stream is closed from 2pm to midnight when the water is warmest from the hot afternoon sun.

Probably the worst blow fishing wise for me, was the addition of that dreaded "Posted" and "No Trespassing" signs that popped up on two of my favorite streams that I fished every year since coming out here.    In 30 years of fishing in SW Montana, I have only been turned down two times by landowners  to fish their streams.  I can somewhat understand the closures as a farm land owner myself way back, but I am hoping the streams would remain open for every one's enjoyment.

Some rich stroke bought 9,000 acres on Rock Creek that was previously open to all fisherman.  I guess if I spent the rumored $9.2 million,  I might be  a little defensive myself but come on, a few fisherman a year would not have caused any harm. He is not the most liked man in Montana these days by many of us!!
Buddy B "Fishhog" Cyr on the Rock
 The worst blow was to see Big Sheep Creek by Dell, Montana, locked up by the California owners ,after the former owner-caretaker left the property.  This was my favorite stream of all that I have fished from Austria to Alaska over the years, with great water, eager fish and a butt high stream bank just right for taking a sit down break.  We will try to reach the owners to see if we can get in again.  The only good thing of losing this stream is that I will shed less tears when leaving Montana.

Trout in the Big Sheep valley

Big Sheep was named for the nice herd of Big Horn Sheep that live in the valley.  They come down to the stream to drink each day. Hard to see but this is Dad, Mom and baby heading back up the valley.

A family of sheep crossing road
 To avoid sheep-car crashes, crossing signs have been placed for signalling when the sheep are crossing. They are so smart to push a button before crossing to activate the blinking light to warn oncoming drivers!!

Crossing light to warn drivers!
 Fortunately, I have been welcomed by other landowners to fish their streams for which I am most grateful.  I just hope we get a good snow pack and plenty of spring rain for next year. 

Thanks, Pat,for allowing me to fish your Flint Creek

The Trout