Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Best Not Put Away The Snowshoes Yet...

Hard to believe but here in southwest Montana signs that spring is indeed sprung are everywhere. Many geese are already paired, super hardy Eurasian doves are building nests, some local ponds are completely ice free, the other day I spied two sandhill cranes cruising the river bottoms south of town...the earliest arrivals ever so far as I can recall...according to Gale's calendar about two weeks early...

In the valley there is zero snow and not all that much in the surrounding hills, although the mountains still remain winter white...no surprise there. The mud season is already off to a grand start...We tried to take the dogs up Ermont to look for sage hens and nearly didn't get turned around and back down was like steering a greased pig. It took about 5 bucks worth quarters at the car wash to even make a dent.

But it ain't over yet, ice is still wall to wall on Clark Canyon Reservoir (above photo), just the faintest sign of open water around the edges and then only in a few places. On the other hand we spotted a fair number of fishermen on the river, especially for a Monday afternoon in early March. A local guide I know was floating, working or just playing is more than I know. And over the weekend we saw that the Big Hole at least below Divide is mostly open and there were a couple rigs at Browne's Bridge.

So no doubt Ol' Man Winter will rear his ugly head a bunch more in the coming weeks spring is now official and that of course means summer is just around the corner...OK maybe not JUST around the corner but...well, you know.

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