Sunday, July 7, 2002

Fishing in Glacier National Park

Sometimes you get lucky. We weren’t feeling lucky when we awoke to a hard rain on Monday morning. Our plans for an overnight in Glacier National Park were out the window and we were looking at a quick drive-through on our way to the Canadian border.
We drove the Going to the Sun road with one quick stop in the rain at Logan Pass for a bathroom break. The storm hid everything around us. Occassionally a beam of light made it through the maze of bad weather to give us glimpses of a cascading stream on some glacier-carved monolith but that only reminded us of what we were missing. Our principle enjoyment came from the Nell's Spanish CD, which was about as exciting as it sounds.
At the end of the 50-mile scenic (when not raining) byway, we crossed over the St. Mary River and were just passing the kiosk at the exit when I half-heartedly looked back at Josh in the backseat and asked, “You don’t want to try that lake do you? Right there where the river comes out?”
The proposal was a stretch. Not only are the glacial waters of the national park infamous for their lack of fish. It was also raining, bitterly cold, and from the looks of the three foot breakers smashing into the pebble shoreline, desperately windy. But the absurd proposals offer the biggest payouts. If there was something biting in this storm, who knows what it could be? Josh replied without hesitation, “I’m up for it.”
We suited up in neoprene waders and rain jackets with hoods and trudged out across a flooding plain to the east end of the lake, where it seemed to be moving as fast as the St. Mary that flowed from it. With my eyes watering from the wind whipping off the water, I crawled my fingers down my line to the lure. I cut it off and tied on a bigger one. Josh headed down the lakeshore. “Woohoo!” he yelled. He was into the first of six mackinaws we'd catch that day, all over 16 inches in length.

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