My Buddy Casey Scott and I decided this past winter that we were going to float the river next to our hometown of Missoula, in the early days of January just creeping up on the last days of the season. I was in town from Helena for a few days and thought that it sounded fun. I might want to mention that we were floating the river in a canoe. Luckily Casey and I have taken this float many times and felt confident that we wouldn’t roll.
After we heard from everyone and there dog “You’re gonna kill yourselves” we made plans to meet up the next morning.
I pulled up to Casey’s house around 5:30am. The temp was -5 degrees. Yeah it was cold but we decided that there were ducks to be killed. So we dropped off the shuttle truck downstream and headed up to our put in area, and in no time we were on the river. We pulled over at a few back sloughs to jump some quackery. Casey got a double. A Pintail Drake and a Bufflehead. I got a few Mallards. A few high fives and we were back in the Canoe.
About half way down the river we noticed something we didn’t like much……as far as we could see the entire river was frozen over. We were able to paddle through it for a while but the further we got the thicker the ice got. Eventually we had to get out and drag the Canoe through a farmer’s field. Long story short, I had to hitch-hike back to our takeout area and come pick Casey and the Canoe up. It was a fun day just too damn cold.