Today I left the office early, just prior to losing my mind. I was working my way through online continuing education. I didn’t know there were five regulatory bodies that regulate the banking sector, but now I do. I think it was the money laundering section or was it the identity theft section? Can’t remember. At any rate, after an e-mail to Dan, we were able to put together a last minute jaunt to somewhere local. I figured I’d grab the canoe and we’d meet in town and head to Kelly to try our luck. The canoe was to get across one of the channels to the island. I’ve written online about Kelly in the past with a post on a former journal titled Confluence (it’s where the Bitterroot and the Clark Fork merge). In the past, one could ford the channel to get to the island, but high waters over years change things and now I use a boat. It can still be forded wading in areas though for those willing to take a potential swim.
Today was a beautiful October day. It was cold cycling off the hill this morning to work; however, by the latter part of the day, the sun was out and it was beautiful. We dumped the canoe and hiked across the island to not far below Big Flat Road, fished for a while in a large body of water, then hiked back to fish above where we had hidden the boat. For some reason the river was a touch cloudy, which may be a result of all of the recent rain. The sprinklers have been off at our house, which has been nice.
Walking through the yellow and green fields, I managed to find a piece of wire and almost did a nose plant, just catching myself. I always have good memories of the Kelly area. Numerous waterfowling and fly fishing exploits just minutes from the house – what makes Missoula unique. Today I noticed a Peregrine Falcon overhead while Dan and I visited, walking along. Peregrine’s are amazing hunters. One year I had one make a mistake though, diving out of the sky in the Ovando area, hitting full on a decoy right in front of two stunned waterfowlers who were drinking coffee in a blind (one now happily retired, one not so). There were a few shots fired in the area this evening and a few empty shells about as well.
Dan and I tried the adams fly, elk hair caddis, san juan worms, and some unknown bead head job I have which is similar to a prince, but with additional peacock flair. Nothing worked. The days sometimes go as such, and I could not have been happier simply being somewhat away from it all. The dog managed to find the cockleburs, but no porcupines. Dan was steady in the bow, having taught canoeing to scouts in his younger days [photo below Point Six, below]. We wrapped up just as the sun was setting and an oncoming chill could be felt in the air. The perfect evening on Kelly.