High waters

“The rivers are too high. You should come in two weeks instead.”

That’s the report from a guy in a Whitefish, Montana fly shop about flows on the Flathead River forks near Glacier. I can only imagine the look on my wife’s if I told her we needed to change our vacation plans because the rivers were high. So I didn’t.

covered boatFor those of us that must plot fly fishing family trips months in advance, altering them usually isn’t an option, especially for high river flows.

As working parents, our vacations are sacred. We schedule summer trips around work, our kids’ camps and soccer tournaments (insert other reason here). On this particular trip, non-refundable lodging increased the risk factor even more.

The fly fishing parents I know pray for the flexibility to fish when we want, or to move our trips when the waters are off-color. This week, however, I cannot. And in all fairness, when I booked the trip back in the dread of our Seattle winter, it never occurred to me that the rivers in Whitefish would be too high to fish the second week of July.

All reports suggest the Missouri River is fishing well, and I will have my boat. I’ve always wanted to fish the Missouri, although I haven’t told my wife yet that it’s a four-hour drive from Whitefish. We’ll cross that bridge later.

As an avid consumer of everything Montana, we’re pushing ahead as planned, whether the rivers come into shape or not. This means we’ll do those other non-fishing related activities my wife prefers – hiking, biking, stand-up paddle boarding and sampling local beers. If I’m lucky, I’ll sneak in a fishing day or two on new water in my favorite state.

To the guy in the Whitefish fly shop – you clearly have more freedom than I do. I’m jealous.

Happy Fourth of July to all.

If you have any recommendations for the Whitefish area (lake fishing anyone?) or other fun family ideas, leave a comment.

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