Report from the Field: Into the Wild Water of the Flathead

Waders on and bug sampling net in hand, I wander through the topaz blue, crystal clear water of the Flathead River. This river is a tributary of the Columbia River, flowing from its headwaters in southeastern British Columbia near the town of Fernie through Washington State to the Pacific Ocean. My gaze stays glued to the river bottom, as I search for homes of the caddisfly – a moth-like aquatic insect. The surrounding scenery of the Canadian Rockies vies for my attention. Around me, this remote river valley has no developments, no paved roads, no buildings and few visitors. A deep sense of relaxation sets in as fresh air fills my lungs and my mind is calmed by the crystal clear waters.

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