HELENA — Labor Day came in cool and stormy at Canyon Ferry Lake, and there were few boats on the water by midday. Still, boaters and businesses said it didn’t put a damper on the holiday weekend overall.
Adam Strainer and his son went out on the lake early Monday morning to fish – and to beat the bad weather.
“About 9 o’clock, a little bit of wind and rain made the decision for me pretty easy to go back and get another pot of coffee brewing,” he said.
Strainer said, for the rest of the weekend, they had warm weather and went out early to avoid the heat. He said they saw many other people out boating – but relatively few anglers, since the weekend also marked the start of archery hunting season.
“We felt pretty fortunate this weekend,” said Strainer. “It’s funny to go from shorts to puffy coats in 24 hours – so, Montana summer.”
At Yacht Basin Marina, business was slow Monday, but manager Clinton Hitchcock said they had several fairly strong days earlier in the weekend.
“It was pretty busy out on the lake, lots of boats,” he said. “It wasn’t the best weekend we’ve ever had, but it wasn’t the worst. It was a pretty good weekend.”
Hitchcock said boaters were initially tentative about renting dock space this year, because of uncertainty from COVID-19. Once the season started, though, he said they saw more people interested in getting on the lake.
“I think it’s just good for people to get out, get away from it, get their minds off it and be able to get back to some normalcy,” Hitchcock said. “I think the lake gives them that.”
This was one of the last big weekends of the summer for boating at Canyon Ferry. Starting this month, Yacht Basin Marina will be scaling back its operations to weekends only, though it will remain open through October.