Canoeing Montana's Clark Fork River

Canoeing Montana's Clark Fork River

A waterway's poisoned past, present cleanup, and, above all, its natural beauty.

By Brad Tyer
Published: 06/22/2013

Another couple of meanders and I'm at my takeout, a fishing access site off the feeder road called Kohrs Bend. The place was empty when I hid my bike in the bushes four hours earlier, but there's a bright red Ford truck parked there now, and I pass its owner on my approach to the sandy spit where I'm beaching the canoe. He's fishing from shore and I give him as wide a berth as the river allows, apologizing for disturbing his water.

He waves me off with the self-deprecation I've come to expect from fishers almost anywhere but Texas: "I'm not catching anything anyway."

I paddle the canoe up onto the sand and feel the abrasive grind shiver through the thin hull and up my thighs. I get out and walk into the river, just standing there, chilling my ankles and stiff knees, and watch the baldy I've chased downstream cruise the jittery gusts over the highway.

Excerpted from Opportunity, Montana, by Brad Tyer, published in 2013 by Beacon Press. Copyright (c) 2013 by Robert Bradley Tyer. All rights reserved.

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Brad Tyer

Brad Tyer has worked as an editor at the Missoula Independent and the Texas Observer. His writing has appeared in Outside, High Country News, the New York Times Book Review, and Houston Chronicle, the Drake, Texas Monthly, No Depression, and the Dallas Morning News. He's been awarded a Knight-Wallace Fellowship, a Fund for Investigative Journalism grant, and a Fishtrap writing residency.

Type: Author | From: Audubon Magazine


Brad, I truly enjoyed reading

Brad, I truly enjoyed reading your post. I found your site from Google. Will bookmark to return later. Thanks!

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