Across northern Montana, each of these make their way to the Missouri River on their eventual path to the Gulf of Mexico. The waterways are not as plentiful as they are in the mountains. The relaxed landscape contains watersheds spread over many more square miles than those squeezed into the small spaces between ridges and ranges. Many of the tributaries only flow intermittently. Some perennial creeks flow muddy and are steep-banked. Many flow surprisingly clear. Often I can find pike or walleye in them. I've caught northerns in the tiniest trickles, in larger rivers, and in isolated ponds. None of these waters are places that many people purposely seek out. The locals fish them of course, but no one travels to Montana with these streams in mind. I enjoy the small opportunities I'm handed when travel takes me across them. I make sure to be ready. This time I was hoping for pike.
|UPS truck on a rural prairie road
My vehicle was packed. Everything I needed for a few days of work was in there. And then there was everything else - a tote with various boxes of plugs and bags of plastics, several spinning reels, just as many fly reels, three different lumbar packs prepped for spinning or fly, waders and boots, a net, and multiple rod tubes. Surprisingly all this recreational equipment fits into nooks and crannies and was out of sight. Hopefully there'd be time when each day's work was done. I knew there would be. I have a way of always finding that time. Even if it is dark before I start.