Carol Northcut | Wednesday, 14 September 2022

While we’ve only been residents since August 19, we can see the effects of climate change on the waters in Montana. The string of 90⁰+ F days has been record, similar to last year. Hoot owl closures (closing the rivers at noon-ish due to water temps) is becoming more normal rather than being the exception. Montana has always been hot in the summer, but it’s typically been in the 80’s. Now it’s seeing more upper 80’s and into the 90’s.

It was 97⁰ F our first day in Montana as residents.  I kept thinking “What the F* did we do? Have we made a horrible mistake moving here?  It’s in the 70’s back in Keystone at 9,200 feet.” But alas, it’s not normal in either place.  The central and northern mountains of Colorado have been seeing an incredible monsoonal flow this summer, cooling things down and keeping them wet. It’s a god send for the rivers, though they still are in drought.

This last Sunday we finally took a break from the nightmare of ripping out carpet and painting what were obviously kid’s bedrooms.  One room (including the ceiling) was painted grape, the other egg yolk yellow.  Three coats of paint later …. The carpets wreaked of dirty, ill-trained dogs and cleaning them made it worse, so we had to pull them out and will be painting the subfloors with Kilz while we wait two months for new flooring to be installed.  Anyway, on our day off, we went to ournew home fly shop, Lakestream Fly Shop in Whitefish.  The stillwater expert in the shop is an older man named Rad (cool name). He said the small streams have been hit hard this year with the heat but because last week saw some cooler weather with rain, it might be okay.  So we went to fish the small creek near the new homestead about 2 pm in the afternoon.  The water was 66⁰F, just under our adopted limit of 67⁰. We caught nothing bigger than 6”, but it wasn’t surprising given how clear and low the water was and how little periphyton there seemed to be. The good news is we weren’t attacked by a bear and didn’t even see evidence of any.

The moving van arrived yesterday with our stuff and we’re in the throws of unpacking, which I’d better get back to.