Day 6: July 14
Today will be a well-needed recovery day, with a few less trekking miles and more fishing time.
After fishing the early morning midge hatch at Maryott Lake, we enjoyed a lazy morning there in the warm sunshine and left camp in the late morning.
En route, we enjoyed pleasant off trail walking over talus, tundra, granite ledges, and snow, stopping to fish at Crystal and Alp Lakes before heading up higher for the night.
We arrived at our destination, Flat Rock Lake, in the early evening. After setting up our shelters, we brewed coffee and washed our socks. And then, tenkara rods in hand (and one spinning rod), set out to add a few trout to the ones we packed up from Alp Lake in a snow-filled zip bag.
The Beartooth Plateau’s highest lakes (those near and above 10,000 feet), which are found along the route we are trekking now, are still very cold this time of year and the fishing can be challenging. Thankfully, the spinner brought a few healthy (fat!) foot long cutthroats to the shore. Those of us fishing tenkara all got skunked here this evening.
For dinner: trout Alfredo by moonlight. My cooking partner and I decided to add some pizazz to ours, so we fried it in a fry bake with a handful of crushed jalapeño kettle chips – ending another glorious day in the Beartooths.
I am camped on a little patch of tundra at 10,129 overlooking the lake below, with the Copepod outlet waterfall providing the soundscape. The night is chilly, clear, starry, and the waxing moon is bright.
Follow this live expedition blog as Backpacking Light’s Ryan Jordan, Eric Vann, and five others weave their way through glacial cirques, tundra meadows, and talus fields in Montana’s Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness July 9-20. Dispatches will be posted to the Backpacking Light Facebook page, Instagram feed, and the backpackinglight.com home page.
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