Privacy at the river

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Recently I was driving west on U.S. Hwy 2 through Bad Rock Canyon, about an hour before dusk.

A big yellow sun was seemingly setting right in the middle of the Flathead River and I was reminded of a fishing trip to that area many years ago.

One early evening, son Kyle and I had parked in the turn-out area near the water pipe, crossed the highway and walked across a gravel bar to fly fish the section of below the railroad tunnel.

While we were fishing, we saw, then heard, a woman walking the shoreline on the other side of the river. She was yelling for her dog to come back to her.

At one point she hollered at us and asked if we’d seen her black lab.

We hadn’t.

But on the shoreline a couple hundred yards downstream, a black bear was walking towards the lady!

At one point, the bear turned and headed up the steep bank towards the railroad tracks.

We waved our hands, and yelled, trying to warn the lady, but she either didn’t hear us or purposely ignored our warnings.

Believe it nor not, the lady turned and headed up the same path that the bear had taken!

Then disappeared into the heavy brush.

It was almost dark when we headed back to the truck. We heard something splashing in the backwater, so we wandered in that direction to check it out.

“Hey, can a lady have a little privacy?” said the naked woman who was bathing in the side channel.

Jerry Smalley’s Fishful Thinking column appears weekly in the Hungry Horse News.

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