Sunday, July 31, 2011

Working up a sweat

Attractor dry-fly season has arrived at central Montana's forgotten trout water. Even the whitefish wanted in - I've never seen so many rising whities. Only a Stimmie and a Humpy were used. 

Game notes: Bergan broke his second rod in two weeks on Saturday - this time his dainty 3 weight at the hands of his dog. He will call upon his 4 weight to take its place in the rotation until a new mid-tip section can be ordered and wrapped....The bank sign said 99 degrees on Saturday afternoon....With the three 15-inch brook trout landed this morning, Bergan has caught his biggest cutthroat, rainbow, brown and brook trouts of his life in 2011 - congratulations to him...He was finally able to land a fish using Sweetheart, which was added to the lineup last weekend when Bergan's 8 weight switch rod snapped.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Blind squirrel

A blind squirrel with his acorn.

Twenty-eight inches and 8 pounds. Just kidding - about 21 and FAT.

In droves

We've had a lot of friends out to visit Montana/Yellowstone so far this year. Just don't blog about that which you should not ;), and leave some for me.

Sanders, from Up the Poudre,

55 on the Fly

Nate from New Heathens

Mike from North Carolina

The Tailout

Owl Jones

The Trout Zone

Josh from Bigerrfish

Floatfisher on the Smith

The Jersey Angler

The Unaccomplished Angler

Monday, July 18, 2011

Indecision Montana

“Killed on salmon dries lyons to pal yesterday,” said the text message that beeped at 11:49 on Wednesday morning, kicking off another round of agonizing decisions about where to fish this weekend. Make no mistake - this is serious soul searching. Anglers must look deep within themselves to sort out simple desires from absolute biological necessities.You could leave wondering if it might've been better elsewhere, and that can haunt you (for a week or so). Join me on last week's decisions...

One buddy wanted to float the Jefferson, but instead decided to scout a potential gem around Missoula. It's his boat, so the Jeff is out, and would be tough anyhow (not that that's ever stopped anyone before).

Raynolds and $3 on the upper Madison are out as I don't like to fish the same place consecutively even though I received glowing reports from buddies: Ben at the Chronicle; Will with Montana Sporting Journal.

The Gallatin is coming back into shape, but still not great. And tough wading.

The Missouri is always an option, but will be busy, and apparently hasn't been great lately.

The Big Hole is there, but is still pretty huge, so it's tough without a boat.

The Blackfoot sounds good to me – back in shape, big, green, fishing well. Salmonflies are late here as everywhere else, so there's definitely a shot.

The full spectrum of drakes are on the Bitterroot.

The Yellowstone is still blown out - that helps.

A certain Smith River tributary was mentioned, as was a certain Big Hole trib, a certain Blackfoot trib, and few certain other tributaries. But all require a long drive and a hike - not sure that'll work this weekend.

And I still haven't set foot in the park yet this year.

Woe is me. How does one winnow out the best from the rest? Fly fishing isn't supposed to impose these burdens.

I ended up at a couple townie streams on Friday, the Beaverhead on Saturday, and the East Gallatin on Sunday. I didn't shower all weekend so I smell like whitefish turd (but I saved on sunscreen).

Too many people in your neighborhood, in your neighborhood...

There are now only 10 weeks left of summer and thousands of miles of water to be fished. So it begins again...

Saturday, July 2, 2011

There's always somewhere,,,

There's always somewhere to fish, right? I wondered this morning when both of my go-to lakes where gated off, presumably due to snow on the road. In July.
So I drove up a ways on the Flying D Ranch to check out Spanish Creek. It looked good, tannin, fast, bank-full. Since it would've be tough to stay in the water, and this is one place you definitely want to stay within the rules, I decided it was a no-go.
There was one more place I could try - a short, unnamed, spring creek. It was gin clear. I tracked down some fish near its mouth, but they were extremely spooky and they didn't give me much consideration. But I fished.
Chocolate milk and gin. Click for larger image.
So until I find otherwise, there's always somewhere to fish in southwest Montana.