As Roper mentioned in his trip report, "Third time's the charm," I did ask him about this Missoula area fishing lodge that was so intriguing. The Missoula River Lodge has really nice accommodations and even better food. I thought Mrs. Salmo might enjoy it, so I booked a stay there, and it turned out to be the same time that Roper and Scott were going to be there for their third time. I didn't think to photograph the food, but Roper did, and it was even better than it looks.
And the fishing wasn't bad, either. Mrs. Salmo and I floated the Bitterroot on our first day out with our guide Luke. We'd never been on that river before, so it was cool to experience a new to us river. My wife caught the first two fish of the day, nice rainbows, while I followed up with a whitefish.
The second day we floated a section of the Clark Fork, mainly because we've only seen it from the highway every time we go to Montana. It was nice to fish the big river. It wasn't extremely productive, but it holds lots of nice fish.
I got in on the action too, and even managed to get a picture of one.
Three nights and two day's fishing is the usual stay at MRL, and it was over before we knew it. From there our itinerary took us up near Helena to visit a friend and former co-worker who spends his summers in MT and winters in Florida. Then we toggled on over to Bozeman to visit another family friend. Missed Swimmy this trip. He apparently had to actually work a few days during his otherwise endless summer vacation due to Covid. Our daughter, SIL, and grandson showed up at the house we booked in Bozeman, so the character of the trip changed decidedly with an active 5, almost 6 year old around.
Next stop was Gardner, on the north side of Yellowstone National Park. We were greeted at the house we rented by a big pile of grizzly scat in the driveway when we arrived and a cow elk staring in the dining room window as we trundled our baggage into the house. I've been to YNP a number of times, but never had a welcoming committee like this before. As per my usual style, I didn't think to take a single photo of any of this.
We fished some of the usual YNP haunts that I neglected to take any pictures of. My SIL joined me for a day on the Lamar, one of my favorite streams in the park. Although I caught my largest cutthroat ever from that river that day, I didn't bother to photograph it. You'll just have to take my work for it that it was indeed the pool boss. My SIL did photograph one of the last trout I caught that day, but only after it flipped itself sideways in the net. I guess it just didn't want me to have any cool fish pictures that day.
We spent a little time in Mammoth Village. That's where the ice cream store is. Did I mention my grandson was with us? Along with a bunch of tourists we got chased around by bull elk in rut.
That guy was Mr. Unpredictable, who let tourists know they were in his way of pursuing a harem of cows by chasing them onto porches and into buildings or cars. This next guy, a spike bull, was trying to stay out of the way of the larger bulls and got up on the porch that shortly before was occupied by a bunch of park visitors who were chased up there. It's all quite comical as long as no one gets hurt.
Then we drove home to Olympia after the recent rain cleared up all the smoke that invaded the area during the week we were gone.