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Noxon Reservoir, a Wet Event

   After a beautiful drive along the swollen, mighty Clark Fork river, we arrived in Trout Creek with sunny skies and 81 degrees. The shorts and t-shirts changed quickly, as 90 minutes later, we were below 60 degrees with a howling wind. A purple-velvet storm front rolled in from the Northwest, bringing heavy rain and some lightning.  We never again went north of 60 degrees for the entire stay. 

        Nevertheless,... undaunted.... the intrepid,  16 fearless, sodden, FFB'ers went to work on some fish...... the amazing part was the variety of species....!  Everything that the State of Montana has ever stocked, is in that water. The biggest of all, was a 38-inch, 16-pound Northern Pike that Jim K. caught on some type of spinner-bait. Many more Pike were caught, taking various types of flies. Brown Trout, were numerous..... up to, and including a beautifully colored 5-pound, 24- incher that Phil landed. There were Rainbows, up to 4-pounds, a large Cutt-bow,  and Bull Trout, like Ed's 25-inch, 5-pounder....  Largemouth Bass, up to 5 pounds,  a couple Walleye, dozens and dozens of fat, sassy Perch...all day, everyday.....!  We coulda, shoulda, woulda,  didn't, keep any....Had we known that we would have hit them like that. ...we would have had one wonderful Perch fillet fish-dry for the Pot-luck!!  (Next time......fur sure!!!)

Most surprising, was the number of Lake Whitefish caught...gargantuan 6-7 pounders that fought like demons........they looked like the river Whitefish, after being exposed to Chernobyl.... but providing really intense battles....Midge and Mayfly hatches would come off every afternoon and evening, And, at the very last hour of fishing, Ed boated a 9-pound, 26-inch Pike-minnow  (Squawfish??) that seemed to come from another dimension.... Every time someone hooked a fish, it was  a guess as to what it was.. all this , in between periodic downpours.

 

There were maritime dilemmas as well.....on one boat, a set of vice-grips became the steering mechanism. Another was launched without the plug in.........twice......  And, a brand-new boat suffered mysterious leaks.....(still under warranty....it WILL go back....)

Not like the "Titanic" leak, but still annoying....

         The timing for the thunderstorms seemed ironically aimed at us....the night of the potluck....the skies opened up just as we started the charcoal.... we were left huddled under the awning of one RV, like we were  trying to break the world record for most people in a phone booth.... But, we filled up on DELICIOUS appetizers, drowned our sorrows with various beverages, solved another Colo-rectal conduit calamity that Doreen had,  and pondered which one of us had angered the Weather Gods to this extent... 15 minutes after the last of us went back to our sites, the Sun poked through briefly,  and revealed new snow on top of the mountains across the river...

           But, it was a lovely RV-campground, and we will do it again next year, probably a little later, around the Summer Solstice. The weather should be better, the river flow down, and most of us armed with new information from this year...

"What doesn't kill us makes us stronger".....but, maybe wetter too............:)

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