I can tell you that there are few things in life more refreshing than an outdoor shower after a ‘hard’ day fishing in 90 deg weather (or, say. whittling down the ever growing honey-do list). Our shower, shown here, is huge (8′ by 4′), has hot and cold running water, clothes and towel racks, and a composting toilet.
Sadly, there’s a mountain peak immediately to the South that affords a view down into the enclosure from 5,500 ft and 3 miles away.
This year I’ve modified the enclosure, adding corrugated galvanized metal paneling over the original cedar planks. Gail and I both think it looks more rustic, but also gives more privacy.
Here’s the inside: note I retained the cedar planks. The corrugated panels are not visible from the inside. By the way, the shower curtain is, strictly speaking, not necessary (the door blocks any line of sight. Why, do you ask? Well, it’s got pics of moose, bears, and fish AND for those of you who do calisthenics while showering, the curtain keeps water off your clothes.
On Sunday morning the forecast was for a sunny, warm week. Time to open up the cabin, we thought. So, up we went to the cabin that very morning and set it all up. Turned on the water, electricity, internet, lit all the pilot lights – tested everything and all checked out. Easiest opening yet.
Returned home. Forecast changed. Freezing temps, snow now in the forecast for the week. Returned to the cabin Monday morning and drained the water, put anti-freeze in the pipes, but left the rest of the cabin alone.
But, it’s spring in Montana. Whaddya gonna do?
Here’s the latest Montana snowpack as of 26 March, 2018
Location of out cabin at Trouthaven – below and left of the “154” in the map above.
This is great news, but maybe not so great for late spring fishing. Because the snowpack this year is very heavy, the spring runoff may last well into June. But the rest of the summer and fall should be fantastic. Here’s hoping for a great fishing season.
As an aside, the Clark Fork Coalition is seeing a marked improvement in Dollie and Rainbow migration in Rock Creek specifically but also throughout the Clark Fork drainage.
While we have a magnificent view looking West from our deck in Missoula, yesterday Gail, her mom, and I decided to drive out to Bitterroots (the mountains we see looking West) to see what the view was like looking back to the East.
Here is what we saw (the river is the Clark’s Fork and Missoula is about 10 miles East, but not visible).
OK, so this Ol’ Boy strolled by us this morning, came up the stairs into our backyard, out to the meadow and then sauntered past the other cabins. A sort of, “Bears! Gimme a break. I, Bullwinkle, Am the TRUE King!”.
Happiness is early morning sun on the bunkhouse deck. Now, I’m not a big fan of selfies, but Gail’s smile is worth it – even tho’ the river is blown out.
From our game camera this last winter: apart from bears in our apple tree, numerous deer, the only wildlife of note was a cougar, a fox, a hare, and a one antlered deer. Oh, and two Sasquatch disguised as hikers.
Smokey in our backyard apple tree
One antlered deer
Surprised, Bugs asks, “Elmer? Izzat you?”
For really small flies, #6 tippets, fat fingers, bad eyesight, or stiff cold hands this tool looks to be the cat’s pajamas. Just ordered one from Amazon to test it out – $14.95. Will test it out and report back.
NOTE: From the comments this tool is largely restricted to tying clinch knots. So if you’re tying a palomar for your favorite steelhead fly, you won’t need this. But for clinch knots, I think this is gonna be a winner.