Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Forget fishing, there's beer!

Occasionally, an angler needs a day off.  One of those days usually follows a day of extreme hiking (extreme for a 43 year old dude with Parkinson's Disease), falls (not the water kind), bruising, sliding and climbing steep off-trail inclines, and mild exhaustion.  We prepped to move to a new campground this morning, then I slept from noon til 2.

No fishing today, but I'm sitting at a picnic table under a cloudless sky, watching the last rays of light climb the peaks to the east.  And I'm enjoying one of my favorite things from Montana: local beer.

Tonight's write-up features a couple of my favorites: Yardsale Amber Ale from Tamarack Brewing Company, and Cold Smoke Scotch Ale from Kettle House Brewing Company.  I love it that they come in pint cans.

The Yardsale (named for the downhill skiing phenomenon of wiping out in such a way that your gear gets scatter around, as if you were holding a yard sale) amber is a dark amber.  It's tasty, but has a bit too much hoppiness for me to fall in love with.  If you like IPAs, this will be mild and enjoyable if you like a little bit of malt, too.  Tamarack is located in Lakeside, MT.

Red solo cup, I'll fill you up! x2

Cold Smoke is one of the most popular beers in western Montana.  It is a dark Scotch Ale that doesn't taste dark.  It looks like a porter but is much lighter in flavor than a porter.  It's smoother, slightly sweet, and a great balance of malt and hop flavors.  This is my drink of choice when I cross the continental divide.  Kettle House is located in Missoula, a town I used to call home.

Tomorrow (Tuesday), we visit Glacier National Park again.  We haven't been there since 2004.  My son was 3 and my daughter was 14 months old.  There will, of course, be photos.  My next scheduled fishing slot is Friday, and perhaps a short stop on Thursday if we make it to the North Fork of the Blackfoot early enough.  Most of southwestern Montana is under "Hoot Owl" fishing restrictions: no angling from 2 PM to Midnight every day.  Fortunately, Rock Creek is not on the restricted list yet, so I might have a shot at a guided day of fishing there.

"Hoot Owl" fishing restrictions on the Blackfoot & most tributaries, Clark Fork,
Bitterroot, Big Hole, Madison, and many more rivers.  No angling after 2 PM.


  1. The Cold Smoke sounds similar to Murphy's. Can't go wrong with beer......just sayin'.

    1. I've enjoyed a Murphy's or two. It's a nitrogen beer, correct? This is carbonated, so not quite as smooth, but not near as much "fizz" as your normal beer. Still good.

  2. Aw hell, sit it out and have a beer!

    1. Sometimes a member of the Royal (PITA) order of Fading Anglers needs a day or two to recover. Today is an example. We did a ten hour day on Rock Creek yesterday. I'm stiff, sore, and feel like I took a few falls, even though I remained vertical the entire time. Ow! It hurts to lift my coffee cup...