Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Wow, two weeks flew by!

Here we are on the eve of our departure from Missoula, seems like we just got here.  Weather has been stellar for the most part, 70's and 80's during the day and 40's and 50's at night, just about perfect!  Our campground is very nice, we have a large grassy "sit out" area where we have happy hour each evening.  There is a touch of smoke in the air from mostly prescribed burns but very little.  Our campground has been full every night since we got here, a few long timers but mostly ins and outs, busy, busy.

Gotta mention food, we found a great Vietnamese restaurant, Vietnamese Noodle, and actually went twice.  Great pho and their wonton noodle soup is the bomb with a very tasty chicken and lemon grass broth.
The delicious Pho

And the awesome wonton soup
If you are a fly fisherman, this time in late August through September is hopper season, very few of the trout's typical aquatic insect diet are hatching in late summer, and the grasshoppers are prolific, so they start attacking terrestrials, ants, beetles, but predominantly grasshoppers.  Jan and I have quite a selection of them, but I wanted to make an effort and tie up a few more for our fishing days.
A few of my hoppers
And I can report we were successful using them.  Catching fish on flies you tie yourself is very fulfilling.  We hit the great farmer's market each Saturday for some nice tomatoes, corn, and some very fresh, locally raised pork, along with other veg and stuff.  They really do a great job and it is very popular.

A few shots at the market
One very important item on our list while here in Missoula was to get the truck's broken windshield replaced, Safelite took care of it in a couple hours and then told me I needed to get the lane sensing and safety items recalibrated to be sure they didn't get screwed up with the windshield replacement.  Never would have though of that, this new truck does have a lot of stuff on it, though.  Adaptive cruise control up to and including stopping, lane control, auto parking, cameras all around, emergency braking, etc.  So it was important to get it taken care of at the Ram dealer here in town, the insurance covers it by the way. 

Trout fishing in Missoula is the real deal, there are numerous excellent rivers in the area.  The Bitterroot, Blackfoot, Clark's Fork, Rock Creek, Jocko, and tons of smaller tributaries to mention a few.  From the reports we got we wanted to zero in on the Blackfoot, and try to hit the Bitterroot and West Fork of the Bitterroot while here.  We did scope out the Clark's Fork one day, but it was muddy from a few showers that had come through a few days prior, but we did find a decent place for coffee overlooking the river:-)
Coffee spot overlooking the Clark's Fork
We took a day for the Bitterroot, and I should mention, to fish where we wanted to, required 100 miles of driving to south of Darby where the East and West fork split.  It was beautiful with nice water with accessibility, but unfortunately other than a couple bites, neither of us caught fish.
Beautiful scenery along the way
Then two more times we hit the Blackfoot, only 50 miles one way:-)  The one time we weren't successful, with more mud in the water, had a nice picnic on the shore of Clearwater River, and then yesterday for our last hoorah before leaving we fished all morning and into the afternoon and both of us caught nice fish, Jan's was better, but what can I say?  It was a great and enjoyable day fishing on a gorgeous river with the weather perfect with views and views.
One of Jan's fish

And mine
We even caught sight of a hot air balloon on the way.

Some clouds moving in
So we wrapped things up today, last stock up at Costco, it will be awhile before we see another one, and grocery shopping for our upcoming boon docking on the Big Hole river.

We'll be in Montana for another 2 weeks before we say good bye, and move to Colorado, and I have to tell you, it's got an awful lot to like.  We'll be back!

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