We continued to drive northward on the Outside North Fork Road, which became “greasy” from mud, to the permanently-closed border entry. By this time, our car looked like we’d been four-wheel driving in the mud. At the border there is a raft launch on the U.S. side. Living life on the edge, I fished three feet across into Canadian water without a license. Shhhh. I didn’t know precisely where the “line in the sand” was drawn. Trying to wade downstream didn’t get us very far because the water was too deep and swift. Staying below the high-water mark was impossible as we quickly cliffed-out. (For those who may not know, stream access laws in Montana allow you to get into the water at any bridge or other public access point, but from there you need to stay below the high-water mark if on private property.) We didn’t fish long with such a limited area, but got some tips from a local angler who grew up in the area. We decided to drive south to another boat launch.
By this time, it was close to 2:30 when we reached the other access point. The sun was high and bright, despite clouds. We fished upstream for an hour or so, turning a few fish. A few came up and hit my top fly, but I pulled it out of the mouths of at least two. I’d forgotten that Cutthroat are a little slower at takingthe fly, or so I’ve been told. By the time we got back to the car, it was late enough in the day, and we were hungry so we headed home. It was a good day of initial exploration, though sadly with insufficient fishing. But there is a lot left to explore.
Sunday was more work in the woods, hauling out a few logs cut down to 40” sections. Mind you, these logs are no bigger than 9” in diameter, so not too heavy. Then back to the Pig Farm for some more mountain bike riding and exploration. We made it to the “lake” seen on the map, hoping it might be fishable, but it was nearly dry with only bugs and algae. It’s an ephemeral catch pond that, in big precipitation years, might last through August.