Sunday, July 25, 2010


I fished this weekend, but I can't say where.
Friday we fished a creek (we'll call it "Bighorn Creek") that has big brown trout, and is, with a few exceptions, unknown. If it were known, it'd get hammered cuz there are really big browns in it (in the past week, clay and brady caught five over 20 inches). No pics of the fish - they only play when they're sure their mug won't be posted on some jackass-fisherman's blog.

Saturday I fished a lake near town that gets very little pressure and has many and big cutthroats ("Bighorn Lake"). These fish are eager, plentiful and there are a couple huge ones that cruise. They have the brightest red slashes of any cutthroat I've ever seen - I kept thinking they were bleeding but it was just their vibrant slashes. Sorry for the lousy picture - they were slippery bitches.

This weekend I'm camping around a section of the state I've never fished. I plan on fishing the West Bighorn River, Big Bighorn Creek, and the East Fork of the North Fork of the South Fork of the Bighorn. And maybe Bighorn's Pond. Photos to follow. I won't always be this stingy about locations, but for now....
Formerly, I didn't really believe in secrets. I was happy to share what I knew, and didn't really think it'd make a difference. But that was before I knew of some truly unbelievable fisheries. You be shocked too, if you fished these special places. But you'll have to find them on your own.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I hear the owl cooing

When "daily maximum water temperatures reach or exceed 73°F at any time during the day for three consecutive days", Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks will impose Hoot Owl restrictions, meaning it'll be closed from around 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.until the water stays below 70 degrees for three consecutive days or September 15. We're very close on a few major waters, including the lower Gallatin (hit 73 once in the last week), the middle Jefferson (hit 71 already so the lower parts must be awfully close), the Lower Madison (71 twice this week), and the Big Hole (flowing below normal down low and has hit 72 for five straight days up high at Wisdom). The Yellowstone which is usually prone to high temps has stayed relatively low, maxing out at 64 at Big Timber last week.
We've honestly had about three weeks of fishable water on these waters (not counting the Lower Madison) and now they might be toast for awhile. Ugh.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

16 Mile to the Boulder

White were knuckles. White was the water. White were our faces as we glissaded over the rocks of Big Timber's Boulder River. But we survived, had a lot of fun, and have some funny stories. The river maestro Brady sent us down the right chutes and we stayed above the surface.
I only wish I had photos to share. My nice big camera got soaked, along with my expensive macro lens - collateral damage. Hopefully they'll dry out and be as good as new. But I'm prepared for them not to be.
On Friday it was small trout, huge numbers, and dry flies. My number was 23, and Clay didn't count, but I'm sure it was more than that. More fun than I've had fishing in a long time. A lark. Yellow Goofus Bug. Small Stimmies. Narrow casting lanes and hang ups in trees. It's all part of this game, and it's tremendous.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Joe's Hopper and Foam Beetle

I might be jumping the gun a little (cuz apparently terrestrials virtually always work well at the West Boulder Meadows) but hopper patterns where catching fish yesterday. The plague has begun.