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Unplugged in the Yaak | Kootenai Angler

Posted on Apr 08, 2017 by Dave Blackburn

Off-the-Grid Lodging Alternative

If you are looking for the ultimate in getting away from it all, look no farther. The last several winters I have worked on an 80-acre property situated overlooking a high mountain meadow in the Yaak. The Yaak is located in the extreme NW corner of Montana, and it’s where I obtained my first job as a forester/timber faller working for a road building construction outfit in 1981 while finishing college. It is roughly 35 miles North of Libby on a two-lane road and then about 4 miles of graveled logging road. The Yaak gained quite a bit of notoriety with the outdoor writings of Rick Bass, an outdoor conservationist writer who has a home there. Recently on the History Channel there is a show called Mountain Men which feature a local resident in the Yaak: Tom Oar. The Yaak Cabin has a kitchen with propane stove and refrigerator, living room with a wood burning stove, and there are two double beds downstairs and one double along with 4 single beds upstairs in a large loft area. There is a large porch with BBQ grill overlooking a small pond and large meadow. You can watch several different species of raptors hunting the meadow area which is a wetland/nesting area in the spring. Commonly seen raptors are the Great Gray Owl, Red-tailed Hawk and Northern Harrier. There are countless species of song birds including a couple of nesting pairs of Mountain Bluebirds.  This is the spot to get off the smartphone and get into nature. It will totally envelop you at this location, and it’s a great spot to unwind and chill. Countless trails, gated roads and 4-wheel drive mountain roads provide access to acres and acres of the Kootenai National Forest. There is small stream fishing nearby on the South Fork of the Yaak River along with many other smaller streams and lakes.  Our operations and the Kootenai River are about a 45 minute drive.  Guides for nature hikes, cross country skiing, and fishing (of course) can be arranged.

About dave

Dave Blackburn started tying flies and fly fishing at the age of 10 and has been fishing and guiding the Kootenai River in Montana for more than 25 years. He graduated from West Virginia University with a BS in Forest Resource Management with an emphasis on water quality and aquatic ecology. He traveled westward and ended up in Montana on the banks of the Kootenai in 1981 where he now resides with his wife, Tammy. He is on the board of directors of the Kootenai Valley Trout Club. He has been a past director of the the Fishing Outfitters Association of Montana and the Montana Council of Trout Unlimited. Dave chaired the Upper Kootenai River Preservation Society, which was instrumental in defeating the Jennings Rapids Dam project. Dave is a FFF-certified casting instructor and a contract tyer for Umpqua Feather Merchants. He teaches fly tying and fly fishing at Flathead Community College. His photos and articles have appeared in Flyfisherman, Fly Rod and Reel, and The Flyfisher magazines.