This weekend we went to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation and fly-fished with a great guide named Buckskin. We stayed in a nice motel in East Glacier that advertised air-conditioning as one of its amenities. I forget that air conditioning does not get used a lot out here. Our apartment in Kalispell doesn’t even have a unit installed and I can honestly say, it’s only gotten hot enough to warrant it once or twice in the past month.
We fished Hope, Four Horn and part of the Chain Lakes for the better part of Saturday and Sunday. Fishing, surprisingly, can really take it out of you both mentally and physically. I’ve gotten so hungry before that I’ve contemplated ripping the fish off the hook and making some improvised sushi, but that wouldn’t be ethical would it? Instead, sometimes I just need a quick nap.
The New York Times had an interesting series of articles yesterday about the catch-and-release debate in the world of fly-fishing. The tiny animal rights activist in me has gone through all of the typical questions: Does the fish feel pain? Is it right to fish just for sport and not to eat it? Oh my god, why won’t this hook just come out of its mouth already?!!! etc. The best conclusion I’ve come to is that I try to respect the fish by not referring to them as my little bitches when I land their asses.
One of the highlights of the weekend for me, aside from learning how to roll-cast (Why didn’t anyone teach me this weeks ago when I was getting every fly hooked in a bush or tree top!!!!), was getting to eat at the Babb Bar, otherwise known as the Cattle Baron Supper Club. The Cattle Baron is located right outside of St. Mary’s in the town of Babb- population 10 (or however many people it takes to run the restaurant). At the host stand we were met by what could not have been more than a 13-year-old boy who led me to one of the biggest ribeyes that has ever entered my belly. We wisely chose to split it. If anyone can manage to finish this steak on their own, they deserve to go into cardiac arrest immediately proceeding the last juicy bite.
While the restaurant seems to be run by a band of teenagers, the food is worth the perilous drive. Actually, the drive is gorgeous if you take Looking Glass Road from East Glacier. However, if you are driving there or back at night, I recommend taking the safer alternative route that leads you through the town of Browning. Just ask one of the waiters which way to go, except for the one we had. He was so far gone on meth or coke that he actually told us to “go back to that place that you came from and watch out for the open prairie.” (In his defense, many locals actually do give directions like that.) We managed to find our way back despite his cryptic advice.
Many thanks to Buckskin for guiding us through a great weekend!