“Nobody’s catching anything on the east side. The water’s too warm.”
I heard those words several times last week when I asked if anyone had been fishing the “rez.”
The guy who answered the phone at a fly shop told me, “Don’t waste your time. I haven’t heard of a fish getting caught in over two weeks on the rez (Blackfeet Indian Reservation).
I needed a break from escalating golf scores so one morning I packed my Buck’s Bag personal pontoon into the back of the pickup and headed for Browning.
It was calm on Marias Pass but by the time I tied on a size 12 Water Boatman at Hidden Lake a southwest wind was kicking up whitecaps.
And, not surprisingly, I had the lake to myself.
No trout were taking damselflies off the surface. No surface action at all.
In two hours I caught a couple of foot-longers and got Amtrak-ed twice, but both snapped my leader.
Next stop was Duck Lake. Same wind but water level is so low huge weed patches nearly reach the surface.
Years ago we fished the rez in August, sometimes catching lots of trout when they were feeding on large caddisflies on the surface. Not this time.
After casting fishless for about two hours, I noted some ominous dark clouds over Glacier Park, so I packed up and drove home over Going to-the-Sun Road.
Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.