Looking Back, Looking Ahead

I was going to call this piece the "Annual Report", but somehow I didn't think it right.  The title would have been borrowed from a piece that Gene Hill often wrote about his yearly endeavors.

"The annual report is a misnomer.  I don't know what it should be called, since it's a mishmash of glossed-over misadventures, distorted emphasis, selective memory, and a very human inability to face any facts that seem harsh, or unpleasant, or postponable."
From "A Listening Walk, and other stories" by Gene Hill" 

So here it is, a few random thoughts about the year past and a few wishes for the next. With all due respect to Gene Hill and his fine writing.

I find ways to visit the spring creek more, yet find myself fishing less.  It's a treasure.  In the short time that I've been preoccupied with this blog, the creek has served as the subject for many posts. Few of the posts dealt with the great fish that I've caught (there have been few), but rather of the great days astream.  Look back at the past DePuy's photos.  I think you'll agree.

DePuy Spring Creek, Montana, in January

The wild turkey tom eluded me yet one more spring.  It's been years since I've shot one.  But, I keep trying.  It's one of the few hunts that I still make each year.  I usually find a little sign, maybe hear a gobble.  This year, no tracks, no poop, nothing.  At least I didn't run into any grizzlies.

Jo and I caught creditable cutthroats (at least by our standards) from alpine lakes.  Repeat trips are in the offing.  How long until June?

Releasing a big cutthroat trout at a 10,000 plus foot Beartooth Mountain lake

Cutthroat trout about to be released

The Beartooths continue to be an endless source of joy and inspiration.  I made several trips to this wonderful high country to sample the diverse hiking, camping and fishing opportunities.  I've said it before and I'll say it again.  Spending a night at 10,000 feet is the best therapy there is.  How can one not be happy when gazing at a still moonlit lake with fish rising everywhere?

Wilderness sign, Beartooth Mountains, Montana

A cutthroat trout from Montana's Beartooth Mountains

A bunch of brook trout from a Beartooth Mountain lake, Montana

High country camp in the Beartooth Mountains of Montana

I purchased another spey rod.  It's a perfect companion to the other one that I also can't cast worth a hoot.  This one is a five weight two hander.  Woefully neglected.  My apologies to Bob Meiser.  The rod is much better than I ever will be.  Still, I have to report that the rod was fully flexed and felt the pull of a Grande Ronde steelhead last fall.  I'm not qualified to comment on the casting qualities of the rod.  I can say that it's nice though.

Casting on the Grande Ronde

After a hiatus of some five years, the 28 gauge found its way out of the case.  I bagged two roosters with it one day.  Then, the law of averages came into play.  Several more got away unscathed.

Lucy, the old girl, made it to the field another day.  The miles and years accumulate.  She can't see, but her nose still works.  It may be just another picture of a happy dog that's pointed and retrieved a bird, but….if you're a dog owner you understand.

A happy Brittany

Jo cobbled together a cold frame.  She did a good job assembling it, and has devoted much time to researching suitable vegetable varieties for our high elevation climate. After a several garden-less years, vegetables might again be in our future.  At least garden hose time. Meanwhile, the dogs think that they've got a new, albeit small, playpen.  I think that she'll recover her costs and break even when zucchini hits ninety-seven bucks a pound.

I discovered that things can go wrong in a hurry.  Healthy one day, not so much the next.  I'm still perplexed at how quick a persons back can go to hell, and how long it can stay that way.  Still….I'm optimistic.  There are too many trails to hike.  Too much wandering that needs to be done.  The high arctic and North Country still beckon.  Maybe one last ram, just to prove that I can make it to the sheep pastures…….

Look ahead always…

Health and happiness to all.


  1. A nice replay. Camping under the stars at 10 thousand feet sounds wonderful. And where did those brookies come from, a stocking?

    1. Walt, some days its almost to good to be true. The brookies? Well, they were introduced years ago. They spread like weeds throughout the interconnected waters of the Beartooths. There's a brief blurb about them in a post from January 2013. Take a peek at...Brook Trout Heaven. It's in the archives.

  2. I am a dog owner and I do understand..Good girl Lucy!..

    1. Hi Mike, she'll be fourteen in a couple of weeks. Merry Christmas and I'll look forward to more posts on Maine Matters.

  3. Great looking cutthroats! A good year for sure.

    1. Yes they were. I'm wishing them all the best. Hopefully they'll be fat and happy next year! Brian….thanks for stopping by.


Post a Comment

Thanks for taking time to comment.