Evening on the Blackfoot

| BLACKFOOT RIVER, MONTANA |

Once I remember my father and I fished the Big Blackfoot river together near the near the mouth of Belmont Creek, with only a cool breeze, lingering twilight, and the promise of a big rainbow trout for company. It's the place described in A River Runs Through It where he fished for the last time with his brother, Paul, and his father, the Rev. John N. Maclean. We fished separately, a family custom. I quit when the water turned black, then worked my way through the willows to a high bank where there was still light and where I could be on the lookout for the old man.
Evening on the Blackfoot
He finally came up the bank, sweating hard and with his face oddly flushed in the cool air. He had kicked up a black bear in the willows, he announced, so close it had flushed like a grouse from under his feet. It had just happened. He was excited, happy, and a little scared. We debated whether to get out of there fast or go looking for the bear. We compromised by cruising along the bank looking down into the brush. But the bear had vanished.

~ John N. Maclean