Wednesday, November 20, 2013


Darkness descends on another Montana general fishing season. Most of the big valley-bottom mainstems have a winter whitefish or catch-and-release season, but most of the smaller waters are closed beginning December 1 to give them a break from angling pressure, since many will freeze up soon anyway, and to protect spawners. They reopen the third Saturday in May, 2014.
With this in mind, a friend and I set out to fish an old favorite, and to investigate a tributary that will be closed soon.
An early morning harbinger signaled a possible long day - Brady questioned why there was so much beer coverage in the new Drake. But he actually grabbed a copy of Draft magazine. It wasn't the last "uff da" moment that day.

And we fished. After a few hours of disappointing fishing, we cruised up to the smaller fishery. It was slightly more fruitful, offering decent-sized trout for the size of water. Mostly though, it was a day of old-fashioned investigative fishing like neither of us had done in a while, and catching up. It happens sporadically anymore.
The sun seems to set more often nowadays.
As the daylight dwindled that afternoon, we enjoyed a pale ale at Brady's vehicle before spending the rest of the evening watching slideshows from past trips. And as the sun sets on another general fishing season, this sort of inventory taking can be good for the soul.
It's appropriate that we collectively give thanks right around the end of every Montana fishing general season. Here's to more reasons for thanks.

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