When was the last time you saw a 30-inch brown and a mountain lion in the same day?
For me it was as June's full moon faded into morning.
I chuckled to myself as I slid my net into my waist pack and looked up at the moonlit slopes. Here I was in a fairly popular spot for recreational users without another person around. I picked up my eight weight, slid my fingers down the heavy furled leader, along the 16lb tippet, tested the knot, and then stowed the mouse on the keeper. This evening I had decided to try somewhere new. I had scouted the place earlier in spring, so I had hiked it in the daylight, but this would be the first overnighter. The spot required more time investment than my usual places. I planned to finish up about two miles from where I'd parked. I had driven about an hour from home. Given the added remoteness, I added my .44 to my belt. Aside from the occasional coon who doesn't want to give way, I haven't had any midnight encounters - but there wasn't any need to tempt one tonight by being unprepared. Once last summer I had a bear mosey along the slopes well above me. It moved along noisily and bellowed once as it faded away. I figured it was saying good bye.
I shut my tailgate and hit the trail. The time was now 11:00pm. Five solid hours of mousing lay ahead of me. Memories of key pieces of rock structure mentally noted six weeks ago were on my brain. I'm learning to treat mousing for browns like tournament bass fishing - skip the 'so-so' water and hit the primary structure. Then move on. No need to waste limited darkness picking the entire shoreline apart.