On just about any given day of the week it seems like my brother finds some time to go fishing. His gear is always ready, usually in his pickup, and he has quite a few nearby fishing spots in northern Montana. Yup, you guessed it, he is retired. I will add, he has always found time for fishing, even before he retired so I guess it’s just a matter of priorities.
We talked the other day and made a plan to meet about halfway between Great Falls and Chinook. Loma was the spot, an easy drive for me on US Hwy 87. I drive this route a lot and it’s really rare to see the Loma Fishing Access Site (FAS) empty. I saw one pickup with a boat trailer and another vehicle parked there but nobody was fishing right at the bridge.
The water was high, thanks to some pretty serious rains we’ve had the last few weeks. The river was starting to recede though and you could see a fair amount of mud on the bank where the water had recently been.
I’d like to tell a great fish story but no fish were caught that day. However, last Saturday, my brother called me about 7am (yes, he did!) and he had just caught a walleye in one of his favorite fishing holes near Chinook. According to him, bear in mind there was no photo to back this story up, it was huge! One of the larger walleye he has caught he boasted to me.
Let’s back up to our meeting in Loma. We may not have tempted any fish but we had an awesome lunch at Ma’s Cafe. Too bad we weren’t there on a Thurday night when the owner’s wife creates a fabulous Mexican buffet.
Inside Ma’s Cafe they have added more seating with a room in the back. They also have local craft items for sale.
We overheard a lot of fishing talk while we were eating lunch and there was a steady stream of folks coming in. Our waiter joked with one couple who had been there for breakfast and came back for lunch. Now there’s a testimonial for you!
You can also rent cabins next to the cafe. I’ve toured them before and they are new construction, built with sportsmen in mind. They are duplex style and between the two units there is a filet table (for those fish we didn’t catch but might catch next time), a vacuum sealer and freezer. If you have waders, there are hooks outside the cabins to hang them up to dry. A lot of thought went in to these cabins.
It’s time to set aside some time for fishing!