Blanche Seccombe, 106, is Montana’s oldest angler, and she’s proud of it. Blanche went out on a boat recently during the 15th annual Fishing Without Barriers Day, an event that hosts nearly 100 people with disabilities on Flathead Lake. Although she didn’t catch any fish, she did enjoy the ride.
"It was a smooth ride, very nice, and I didn’t get seasick," she said. "I had a lot of confidence in the boat driver." The captain on Blanche’s boat that day was here son, Bob, who hosted 11 other anglers on his boat along with Blanche. When FWP wardens tried to help Blanche board the boat she told them nicely to get out of the way, she’d do it herself thank you very much.
Blanche was born on November 17, 1901.When she was in first grade, Theodore Roosevelt was President of the United States, and Model A Fords were just beginning to roll off Henry Ford’s production line. She remembers the advent of radio when she was a young woman, calling it a "very big thing."
Blanche, who lives in Bigfork, has gained some notoriety as one of the oldest people in Montana. At a conference on aging last month, Blanche was the oldest attendee. She got to meet Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer. "I got a kiss from him and one from his dog," she said. "It wasn’t that big of a deal."
On a brief fishing trip at Wayfarer’s State Park on Flathead Lake on June 25, Blanche reminisced about fishing the lake with her husband 40 years ago and catching lots of kokanee salmon. As she fished from the dock, slowly retrieving a lure and hoping for a strike, she passed along her secret for a long life.
"I eat bacon every morning," she said. "Crisp bacon."