I like to be outside. As much as possible. When I'm not outside, I'm reading about routes and trails and trying to figure out how we can get there.
Somewhere along the way, I don't remember when, I read about Black Canyon Lake in the Beartooths. I remember seeing a picture of a beautiful blue lake that was supposed to be full of fish. That's all I needed.
Steve and Sarah picked me up from work on Wednesday afternoon and we headed to the trailhead, which is 9 miles south of Red Lodge, MT. It took about 3 hours to get there, with the construction and the winding Beartooth Pass, but we finally hit the trailhead around 4:30 p.m.
We hiked along a creek for 5 miles,
until we came to Lost Lake, where we set up camp.
We even had time for a fire before bed.
The next morning Steve got up first (surprise!) and fished the creek until he got me up and moving. As we were getting ready for breakfast a huge snowshoe hare ran through camp, and was promptly followed by a pine marten who'd been chasing it. It was the first pine marten we'd ever seen, and we watched him for a while and he watched us before scampering off.
Sarah and I hung our packs and we set off for Black Canyon Lake. There's no trail to the lake, and after 30 minutes of wandering we finally figured out which way to go. That was UP, with an intense bushwhack through the forest as we climbed. We finally came to an opening in the trees/canyon.
All that stood in our way was a huge boulder field.
Every time we got to a rock shelf we thought that we'd see the lake. But we didn't. So we just kept scrambling.
And then...finally, there it was. With Beartooth and Grasshopper glaciers visible as well.
Steve didn't waste any time and pulled out his fly rod. He pulled in huge trout after huge trout. He even caught 2 at once. And his last fish was his biggest--not a bad way to end the day.
It was 7 miles back to the TH, and down we went. We found an easier way back down through the boulder field, and then found a semi-trail that led us back through the forest, minus the scratches and bruises from the way up.
Tomorrow we head to Glacier to backpack Gunsight Pass. I have us camped at two lakes along the way, but I fear the fishing isn't going to compare this...