Saturday, November 8, 2008

A few weeks ago our Town sponsored a scarecrow contest. There were lots of entries lining the walkway along the Stevi cutoff road right at the entrance to downtown. Our entry for the Bitterroot River Bed and Breakfast titled "Fish For Breakfast" featured a 5-foot long rainbow trout seated and enjoying his breakfast; some trout bait and an over-sized dry fly. Here are some pics of ours and a few other entries.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Summer Over?

We had heavy rain yesterday and this morning, St. Mary is wearing a new white cap. Hard to believe that when we were up there a few short weeks ago, we were overheated and dehydrated from the hot and dry conditions. Today, SNOW. The beautiful cool and clear weather here over the past few days has been spectacular.

Friday, August 29, 2008

St Mary's Peak

Looking out toward the west from the B&B we have a prominent view of St. Mary's peak, which sits at about 9,300 feet. We had visitors at the B&B from Finland and they hiked to the top one afternoon and shared the experience at breakfast. I realized that I had never been up there and was inspired to do it. My wife Shelley and I made the hike with good friends Mike and Janet and our dog Tara. Here are a few photos from the top.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


We have started planting more willows along the river bank in our continued effort to stabilize it and prevent further erosion from high water in the spring. With the help of our neighbors and their visiting family and friends we planted about 100 willows in a couple of hours yesterday. Most were planted near the water, but I planted a few up on the bank. These will have to be watered regularly.

A few of the willows we planted last summer survived the flooding this spring and we hope that we will have even better success this year. As always, predicting what the river is going to do is a gamble. We will plant another 2oo in the weeks to come.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


The Bitterroot is fishing great, with good clarity and still plenty of water in the river. I have been able to get out a few times to float and wade fish out in front of our B&B. The fish are really feeding on the surface, especially just after the sun goes down behind St. Mary peak. The river has changed a bunch, but I am starting to find the new fish hiding places. This is a photo of some of our long time guests and friends that recently spent a few weeks with us fishing and relaxing.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Annual Stevi "Pignick"

We attended the Stevensville "Pignick" today. Each year the Stevensville Fire Fighters Association cooks up a bunch of roast pork and much of the town shows up at Lewis and Clark Park with side dishes and desserts. There was old-timey live music and a great time eating and visiting with good friends and neighbors.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

The weather is beautiful this weekend. We spent much of the day outside yesterday attending the grand opening of the new River Otter Fly Shop, in Florence, about 10 miles north of here. The day included good food, good beer, fly tying demos, rod and reel demos, drift boat displays, live music and lots of good conversation in the hot sun.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


Our cool spring continues and this morning, we woke to a mix of rain and snow! The picture shows the snow line a thousand feet or so above the valley floor. We are expected to get more snow in the valleys tonight with a heavy snow warning from the weather service.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Summer's almost here

We didn't loose much ground to the river, but looking downstream you can see the pieces of sod and topsoil that have fallen in the river.

Here is a closeup of the sod chunks. As the river continues to fall, it will be interesting to see if any of the willows we planted last year are still hanging on.

Friday, May 23, 2008


Looks like the worst of the flooding is over for the time being. Although the weather remains wet and cool, the river has dropped significantly, allowing us to get a glimpse of the new order of things along the shore line.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Good News, Bad News

The good news is that the temperatures have cooled significantly over the last two days. The high today will be in the low 50's. The bad news is that it is raining. We had a pretty good thunderstorm Tuesday night, and there is a steady light rain today. The flow in the river has leveled off and is dropping a bit. Rain is in the forecast for several more days. Lets hope that the rain is light and the river will continue dropping.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Lakefront Pasture

The low-lying pasture to the north is looking more like a lake this morning. The river is supposed to peak today. Our property has fared pretty well so far, with only minor sloughing of the bank.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Goodbye Old Friends

I happened to be looking out the window when the last of the Cottonwoods on the point started leaning so I grabbed the camera and shot this as they fell.

Another one bites the dust

We lost another large cottonwood last night and as you can see by the picture, the river water is up all around the remaining stand of trees. It looks like we may loose all of them. The pasture to the north is quickly filling with water and the fence where the shoreline used to be is submerged and dangling in the river. Wow.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Cottonwood last Stand

The large cottonwood trees on the point just north of our property are losing the battle against the river. One or two have fallen today and at least one more will go before it is over. The water has just started coming over the bank in the pasture to the north, and the fence line along the river bank here is starting to fall in to the river. Too bad the River is not fishable, 'cause I have been finding Skwala stoneflys all over the place today.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

High Water

The high temperature was 86 yesterday and will be close to 90 today and tomorrow. That is about 25 degrees above normal for this time of year. As you will see from the little movie I shot today, the Bitterroot is approaching flood stage.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Bitterroot Mountains

May 13 and there is still lots of snow waiting to melt. We took this picture from our back porch yesterday. This is looking south across the River to the Bitterroot Range. The cottonwoods along the River are just starting to leaf-out. The temperatures are supposed to reach the low to mid-eighties later this week. With 150% of normal snowpack we are expecting flood stage early next week.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Cinco de Mayo

The temperature is supposed to get up to about 75 today. Feels like summer! I mowed the lawn for the first time this season. The trees are just starting to get their leaves and the Mountains are still holding lots and lots of snow. Here I am in my pontoon boat checking out the beginnings of the spring runoff. We also had a marmot out front this morning, doing some major excavation work. I noticed the dirt flying up out of the ground, then he surfaced and rested in the sun for a while.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Spring Runoff

Spring has sprung on the Bitterroot. The grass is greening up and warmer weather seems to be taking a tenuous foothold. The River flow is increasing as the runoff begins in earnest. We are hopeful that our riverbank will hold this year. This picture was taken in May of 2006 when unseasonably warm weather combined with a 120% of normal snowpack and we lost a substantial chunk of ground to the River.

We have planted 300 willow plants along the waterline in an attempt to hold the bank against the encroaching water. We plan to plant another 300 this year, after the runoff subsides in June. The water is still fairly clear and it is fishing pretty well.

Monday, April 28, 2008

quick virtual tour

Here is a very quick virtual tour of the B&B.