While Labor Day weekend is a chance-or the chance for city folks to get out of town and enjoy the outdoors-aka clog all nearby recreational sights-I was happily working. Let them. At least they take the time once or twice a year to enjoy our greatest asset: nature. I will never understand the love of cities, people, cars, office jobs, and hustle & bustle over nature, but hey, that leaves more of nature for me!
My days off were Monday and Tuesday this week, so by the time I did my business Monday and we got to the trailhead, everyone else were heading home, leaving it all to us. In the case of Montana it is not that bad if you are not talking about Jellystone and such. "Busy" means a family of seven hikers in the case of our trailhead.
We headed across the valley from the ranch to Mill Creek and did a 5 mile hike to Thompson Lake, a small body of water nestled in the mountains. Our goals: catch a slew of trout and eat one, try out my new sleeping bag (rated to 6°), and not get eaten by a bear. Keeping trout out of rivers is not cool in Montana, but from lakes it is just fine.
I caught two cutthroat trout the first night and then about 8 more the following morning, all on streamers and woolly buggers, losing almost as many flies in the process as there were logs galore in the lake. We ended up keeping one trout to supplement our dinner, and cooked it on a rock by the fire. Delicious, even without salt. Local, organic, and fresh. And, trout are just unbelievably beautiful. Check out the brilliant orange under the jaw that gives cutthroat their name.
In the morning my fish got progressively bigger and the scenery was unbeatable. Made me appreciate that I can do this any week while some people only make time for it once in a while.