13 April 2007

Big Hole River: trout in April

I've been a little too busy with researching the role of citizens in shaping Clark Fork superfund, Bridge Access politics, departmental developments, and the backyard parking pad project...

Yesterday, I spent the morning and early afternoon preparing Earth Week materials for this weekend's sessions with American History high school teachers. My colleague Chad poked his head in my office about 11 am just to tell me he was going fishing that afternoon. After he left, I had a little talk with myself: I live in Montana, it's a sunny spring day, and I'm working like a dog [sorry for the metaphor, RTD]. What's wrong with THIS picture?
Some days, I NEED the gurgling white noise of a river to calm my anxieties and mood disorders. Fishing a river is self-medication at it best.

So I finished what I needed to do in a timely matter rather than following the dictum that available work fills available time, hiked up the 1&1/2 miles and 500 feet elevation that separates work from home, threw the gear in the truck, and headed to the Big Hole. Of course, just as I got there the sky closed in and the wind began to blow, but once you're on a river there's no turning back (short of a Biblical-scale storm).

Any day on the river is a good day on the river. There were white-tailed deer to watch swimming the river:

Mule deer to watch on the hillsides:

Trout to be caught and carefully released (like this gorgeous 'bow in spawning colors) after a careful examination by RTD, Trout Inspector:

The occasional pissed off neigbor honking its anger from a midriver rock:

And, on the way home, a beautiful sunset complete with virga:

Life is good (and it beats the alternative).

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