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Bozeman Scouting Trip; Also known as Valentine’s Day


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Monday: Paul Arden
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Ronan's report

Thursday 18th February, 2010

Valentines Day – a time of love and coupling. A time when animals start to pair up and the traditional pagan time of Lupercalia, the festival of fertility.

For my wife and me, Valentine’s means a good road trip. This year we decided to drive to the Bozeman area. Now this is both a treat and a torture. Valentine’s trips mean no fishing, but my wife doesn’t demand fancy dinners and roses, so the abstinence from fishing is worth it. A trip to the headwaters of the Missouri River is beautiful at any time of the year, but it is painful to be on that river without a fishing rod; driving by and watching those few drift boats float down, watching a couple of anglers wading the shallows, spotting that rainbow taking midges on the surface. Temperatures were mild, the anglers were sparse, and I was headed upstream, away from fishing.

The drive from Lethbridge up the Missouri is an amazing trip. Great Falls has amazing wide flat water, a cool place to watch carp root around for invertebrates. Upstream through amazing floodplain forests, the river bumps against crazy rock outcrops and yucca plants on its way from Craig. Upstream from Craig the river is flooded by a series of impoundments, the biggest, Canyon Ferry Lake, flooding past the city of Helena. The river itself is discernable again around Townsend where it winds its way through sage lands from the Three Forks, where the Madison, Gallatin, and Jefferson come together.

If you have never been to this part of Montana, drop what you are doing and find a flight right now. OK – don’t really come. While the scenery is beautiful the fishing is awful! You are better off reading about fishing somewhere else on the internet, or fishing for imaginary salt water fish. Montana is certainly not the place if you like beautiful skies, flowing water, and trout.

This was quite a trip. A night in Great Falls, a night in Bozeman, and back home again.

Next time, the trip will be with my rods! Until then, keep spotting trout.


Pic Of Day

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