National award for Blackfoot Challenge’s Don Peters
By Hookemharry


National exposure for Western Montana does not happen very often, but when it does, most of the time we benefit.

The latest bit of news to go national came in the outdoor magazine Field and Stream. Writer Dave Hurteau and photographer Andrew Geiger spent some time in Western Montana and made the Blackfoot River the lead story in a piece that is titled Heroes Of Conservation.

Five rivers were featured. Along with the Blackfoot, they were the Potomac River, Detroit River, Mount Baldy Drainage and the Penobscot River. What these rivers had in common is they had some serious environmental issues including pollution and misuse that just about brought them to the brink of collapse.

The article tells the story of how the Big Blackfoot Chapter of Trout Unlimited came into existence and how landowners, fishing guides, fisherman, fish biologists, and business owners joined together to save the Blackfoot.

It starts out with a double-page picture of some of the local people that were involved from the beginning. The backdrop of the scene is the Blackfoot River near Ovando.

Standing in the river were Jon Krutar, Greg Neudecker, Jim Stone, Ron Pierce, Paul Roos, Mark Gerlach, Bruce Farling, Becky Garland and Don Peters.

The story goes on to tell how these sportsman were the key in saving the Blackfoot River and how the Blackfoot Challenge, a broad-range coalition, has raised and spent more than $5 million to restore and protect the watershed.

The complete story is in the September issue of Field and Stream and on the newsstands now. It’s well worth reading.

Fishing on local rivers has really started to improve as the nights have been getting cooler and the days are not so hot.

Grasshoppers are now appearing as a regular item on the trout diet, so fly fisherman are having some fun imitating hoppers, as the fish are filling up on this annual delicacy.

Doug Persico, at Rock Creek Fishermen’s Mercantile, notes, The good news in this scenario is that we have reached the point in the summer when the nights start to cool down into the 40s on a regular basis. This will keep water temperatures cool enough that anglers will be able to fish all day without jeopardizing the fish.

Even better? he added, the fish have realized that, late or not, the hoppers are here and are eating them with gusto. More good news is that there are still good numbers of other insects out for the fish to dine on. Based on the stream you want to fish and the day’s weather, you could find caddis, PMDs, Tricos or even Blue Winged Olives out somewhere along your favorite stream?

Sounds like some good fishing in the weeks ahead.

With a special archery-only hunting season already underway for antelope and the general archery season due to open on Sept. 3 for deer and elk, now might be a good time to go through the freezer and start using up the last of what you bagged last year.

Local wild game chef Vince Pernicano has been creating wild game recipes for years that are designed to excite your taste buds.

So make it a point to look in your freezer and try one of his recipes on that elk, deer or antelope that you have left. Just log onto www.montanaoutdoor.com and go to the wildgame recipe page. You’ll find a new recipe there each week.

While on the subject of food, here’s a Lake Superior Whitefish recipe that’s easy and delicious.

Place a couple of lemons, along with a seasoning of your choice, in a pan of water. Bring the water to boil. Then place boneless pieces of whitefish in the water.

Bring the water to boil again and then take out the whitefish. Melt some butter to dip the now-cooked whitefish pieces in or pour it over the top of the fish. It’s the Western Montana version of poor mans lobster.






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