Montana, the storied Mecca of fly fishing. The first thing that comes to mind to most fly fishermen are drift boats down large majestic rivers like the Missouri, the Yellowstone and the Madison, twenty inch plus trout gulping size 6 streamers or foam hoppers. This sounds like a lot of fun to me too, but the largest fly rod I had was a 4 weight, I have never been on a drift boat in my life, my fly box is full of 12s, 14s and 16s, and most importantly, guides are expensive, so I did Montana a little different. I targeted streams that were the same size as the streams I was used to back east and the equipment I already owned would suffice. My son is new to fly fishing but had been checking out a few local streams so we had an idea of where we wanted to go. I have to say every single stream we fished was dynamite, no 20 inchers on size 6s but plenty of 8 to 14 inch fish that were more than willing to take my eastern sized elk hair caddis and stimulators. One of my goals was to catch Cutthroat trout, a species native to the western United States and boy did we do that in spades.
For someone that has only been fly fishing for about a year my son took to it like a duck to water. Here is a pic of him netting a nice Montana rainbow. And yup, that is a trusty Eagle Claw 7 foot 5 weight he is using. He has a Loop 5 weight now that he is really enjoying but that old eagle claw was a great way for him to test the waters and see if fly fishing was something he would enjoy before spending the big bucks.