Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Sometimes, push.

Last year, I made it as far as "the big tree". I asked how close I was to the first canyon.
"About half way."
I declared that I would never make it to the canyon.
For overweight guys, some fishing locales feel like pipe dreams. But sometimes, if you wanna fish, you gotta push. Today, I pushed to the canyon.
I probably wouldn't have strained, but this is a special stream. You won't get me to name it, and not just because I'd lose friends. It's small, it's close to a population center (relatively speaking - it's Montana), and it's good. Over about 4.5 hours today, I landed 34 trout (yeah I counted) - browns, rainbows, brooks, and one cutthroat. Two of them probably stretched to about 17 inches, and most were a little overweight themselves. Some days, the fish here average about 15 inches.  
Unbelievably, it's only about 2.75 miles one-way by my calculations. And it's easy for the most part. My more-fit friends go up as far as 6 or 7 miles through untold canyons and meadows, and claim it only gets better.
Now that I know I can make it to the first canyon and back without collapsing into a pile of scrap-human, I intend to plan a full day to discover what lies beyond. Next hopper season.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

A few bonus miles

 Locals know the East Gallatin River - a productive, fussy brook north of Bozeman and Belgrade.
It seems that the concensus is that the East headwaters where Rocky Creek meets Bridger Creek. I would like to argue otherwise, to ultimately open up a few more miles of this river in the winter (when the East remains open, but Rocky Creek is closed).

The BLM and USGS maps clearly mark it as the East Gallatin up to the confluence of Kelly Creek and Rocky Creek. Moreover, if you search Kelly Creek on Montana Fish WIldlife and Parks' website, it is listed as a tributary to the East Gallatin River. These two things give you enough of an argument to fish up to Kelly Creek year round, even if the residents of Rocky Creek Road (downstream of the confluence of Rocky and Kelly on the EAST GALLATIN) tell you otherwise.
Enjoy, and leave some for me.