Sunday, October 3, 2010

Fly Fishing: Not All About Catching Fish

About all that remains of what I assume was a homestead, situated in the trees beside a big meadow in the East Pioneer Mountains is this carefully crafted outhouse and wood stove. From what I can tell the house probably was destroyed by fire, although not much is really left to prove it--a few charred logs scattered here and there and what appears to be an old iron gate half buried in a nearby hole--what that is all about is more than I know? Regardless it is little mysteries such as these that for us are part of the lure and charm of fly fishing the Montana backcountry. No we will not likely ever solve such puzzles but it sure is interesting poking around puzzling just what brought these early pioneers to places which must have been back in the day way far off the beaten path. In this case there is no sign of mining, although there was a big mine just a few miles from the site. But since there is no longer any sign of a road in or out why would a miner set up housekeeping so far from the work place when there was housing and a town built right at the mine? Perhaps the answer is a simple as just wanting a little privacy and that need far outweighed the inconvenience of traveling to work--sort of like I suppose those who choose to live in the subburbs and travel to work in the big city feel today? Who knows...

But I do know for Gale and me part of the reason we spend so much time casting flies in the woods, away from the big famous trout streams is discovering the many imponderables the Forest holds--if we manage to fool a couple of trout (we did this day, exactly two as I recall) along the way--well that just puts us in bonus territory.

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