Planet Fishing in Montana

green_louis lake

2016-06-23 – I continued my Montana fishing lessons yesterday, this time from the middle of a small mountain lake, casting from a seated position in a one-man kayak. The lake was surrounded by lodge pole pines and tall grasses grew near the shore. Damsel flies used lily pads and landing strips to replenish their energy between episodes of sexual union mid-air, blue damsel’s in front, gray damsel’s in the rear.

My big catch of the day came mid-afternoon when it seemed that I had caught the bottom of the lake. The rod bent sharply as I tried to reel it in. I was afraid that the line would break. Nine-pound test line is definitely insufficient to bring in an entire planet. But then the planet seemed to move beneath my boat. I had hooked a large trout-ish fish about the size of my son’s foot (and that is huge). I got the fish into the kayak, but then released it.  Next time, I’m looking to catch a planet.

The quiet of the lake was interrupted all afternoon as an instructor-duck gave flying lessons to a group of ducklings. Over and over, the instructor-duck demonstrated technique and was followed by the ducklings in return, flapping to take off at one edge of the lake and then settling down to land at the other end. All this was accompanied by loud quacking of instruction to the ducklings and warnings to us to keep away. We humans think we are the only ones to conduct organized instruction of our young. It was a very instructional lake yesterday.

As we left the lake, we discovered that my brother-in-law’s wallet was missing. We thought that it might have been left at the shop where we picked up some sandwiches earlier in the day and went to check. No luck. But a call to the local cops was more fruitful and off we went to retrieve the wallet. If you read this blog, you know how different this is from Chicago. In Chicago, you need your ID to report a missing ID.

After a long day, I was hoping to take advantage of a clear sky to see the Montana stars. I have been in rural areas before, and you can usually see a lot more stars than you can see in the city. That wasn’t true here. They have a peculiar kind of light pollution called persistent daylight. I lasted until 11:30 and still the sky wasn’t fully dark. Oh, well. At least I was able to compare Chicago’s sky to Montana’s. And I am happy to report that the stars and planets I recognize are in the same place in the Montana sky as in Chicago, except that the northern stars, like the big dipper, are a bit higher in the sky. And I was able to recognize Saturn, Mars, and Jupiter (confirmed by my night-sky app).

I wonder what kind of lure I could use to catch one of those.

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