A couple of weeks ago MORS crew member Shawn Plakke was fishing the Flathead River.
The fishing was good that day for smallmouth and northern pike, but what Plakke was about to hook into surprised even a veteran outdoor person like him self. “I cast my lure and it got hung up on what I thought was a log or tree submerged in the water”, said Plakke. That is not unusual since snags along that stretch of the river are very common. “I maneuvered my boat to try to get closer and pull the lure loose”, added Plakke, “once I could see what I had hooked I couldn’t believe it”.
Plakke had caught a big horn sheep! Not only did he catch the sheep with his lure but when he was able to take a closer look through the water he could see there was another sheep lying next to the ram that he had hooked. “I don’t have any idea what happened to these sheep but if I were to guess I believe they fell through the ice sometime this past winter, but I don’t know”, he said.
Plakke dived in to retrieve his lure and when he did he picked the head of the sheep out of the water and had a picture taken. “It was a neat experience, I was able to get my lure back and got a picture at the same time”. It is illegal to collect bighorn sheep horns so Plakke let the sheep go back to where it was resting in the Flathead River and called FWP Region One office to report the location of the two sheep. Plakke’s episode brings a new meaning to catch and release, that’s for sure.