Bitterroot Backcountry Countdown Continues
By Toby Trigger
This week my goal to hike to every lake in Montana’s Bitterroot National Forest brought me to Blodgett Creek. My friend Harold Johnson travelled from Plentywood, Montana to the Bitterroots with his dog Keno to join me on this trip.
The 12.6 mile trail led us to Blodgett Lake. The trail was about as easy as a 12.6 mile trail can get which is still pretty tough. Two college aged gals arrived just before dark and introduced themselves as Mia and Greta. They camped on the shore and seemed unaffected by the trail miles. Impressive Ladies!
After spending several hours in the evening and again in the morning we concluded that the fish in this lake have gone the way of the dinosaur. So we turned back toward the east for another 6 miles until we reached the trail junction for High Lake.
With a distance of 3.5 miles and over 2000 feet elevation gain my dog Sapphire and I made this one without Harold and his dog. Harold decided to stay along Blodgett creek and caught a pile of trout on his fly rod instead.
The trail to High Lake hasn’t been maintained in a couple decades and was grueling. High Lake offered some really good fishing for Rainbow trout. Unfortunately I couldn’t hang around too long on this trip because I had to trek cross country to Lake Lomo which sits just over a 700’ climb where no person should actually “hike”. Lake Lomo is a beautiful but fishless lake and after capturing a few photos I scrambled back over the ridge toward our campsite at the base of Canyon Mountain.
I don’t carry a watch or GPS so I don’t know the time I got back to camp but I had hiked for about an hour and a half in the dark on my way down the mountain. A little ramen noodles and mashed potatoes for dinner and dog food for Sapphire put us in a coma until morning.
Fishing our way out to the trail head was a relaxing way to end an enjoyable trip with a pile of creek trout to our memories. I hope you get to explore Montana’s backcountry lakes bring a friend and your dog along it’ll add to the experience. Happy Trails!