Undoubtedly one of the best aspects of living in western Montana is the diversity and relatively easy access of recreation around here. Within 15 minutes of Missoula you can access quality fishing, hunting, skiing, climbing, hiking, biking...jeez, hang-gliding, if you're in to that sort of thing. If you're willing to drive an hour or two, the possibilities are seemingly endless.
Which is reassuring when you venture out to do one thing, and it pretty much sucks. Duck hunting this morning was, let's say, less than mind-blowing. I think I saw a couple of ducks...at a distance...headed the other direction. After a couple of hours in the blind, scanning the sky for birds that weren't coming, I began to question why I slogged all this shit down the hill to sit in the mud and watch starlings. Sleeping in sounded good right about then.
It was pretty warm out and I had seen rise forms from a couple of trout in the slough I was hunting, so I started thinking about fishing. Weird. An inquiring text to Jamie and my back-up plan was created. You can even bring your shotgun on float trips this time of year. It's awesome.
Late-fall cloud cover and baetis on the lower Bitterroot is usually a good, albeit frustrating, time. As was the case today. Fish were eating midges and BWOs most of the day until the W blew the bugs off the water about 4. Tough fish, but catchable, and we caught some on little dries, including some nice ones. As usual, I whiffed a few.
Also caught a couple of fish on a sculpin pattern fished under a sink tip. Jamie had a nice fish follow the fly and try to eat it several times on his first cast of the day...after that we were both psyched for a great streamer bite and maybe a big brown fish or two. Nope.
The wind picked up about the time Jamie decided that he was going to be really late for his lady friend's soccer game, so we hit the sticks and got off the water about a quarter of 5. A fun day of multi-sport recreation, the final event being beer drinking at the house later that night.