Hiking and Fly Fishing Montana 2018

Got home last night from what is turning into my yearly pilgrimage to Montana. As I have mentioned before, my son is in the Air Force and is stationed in Montana so for me it is doubly fantastic when I go visit. I get to spend time with my son and also fish and explore the most beautiful place I have ever seen. This year's trip was amazing, hard to imagine it being better. Figured I would just do a blow by blow of how the trip went so this will be a multi-part article. 

I arrived in Great Falls last Wednesday, August 22nd at 9 PM, wasn't much to do but grab a bite to eat and do a quick gear shakedown. Everything made the trip just fine, no problems at all. The plan was to get up the next morning, pick up the rental car and hit one of me and my son's favorite local spots, I will just call it the cemetery run. 
We picked up our Nissan Rogue AWD, not the Jeep I had reserved but actually the Nissan did a great job, and headed out to fish for a bit. As I mentioned in my last Montana blog post, when I visit Montana I concentrate on smaller streams that are comparable to the streams I fish on the east coast. These are what I am used to and I already have the equipment needed to fish them. 
So we get to our favorite stretch of stream and proceed to just burn them up, I think the fish missed me. That first day I would say that between me and my son we easily had a 100 fish plus day. None were exceptionally large but this is small stream fishing and they were much larger than I am used to catching on my NC Wild designated streams. Here are some pics from the first day. 

Typical Montana small stream cutthroat, so much fun to catch.

Gorgeous brook trout, honestly we should have kept these for the frying pan. They are invasive in Montana, they are actually an East Coast species and were transplanted here. Montana Fish and Game encourages people to remove these guys from the stream. However on this trip everything was released.

Another cutty, caught a lot of these guys about this size. Some were really colored up and gorgeous. This one was pretty colorful.
 Sun starting go behind the mountains. Glare was horrible a good pair of polarized glasses was worth their weight in gold.
 Wish I had a photo of where I caught this guy, you could step across the creek and I was still pulling out 10 inch cutthroat.

My son enjoying some evening fishing.

The next morning we got up bright and early and headed out to fish the Boulder River in Big Timber Montana, not far from Bozeman, and then visit Joe's girlfriend that lives in Bozeman. When we got down to the river it was super crowded, by Montana standards, and the wind was really blowing. So we only fished for just a bit then just scrapped it and headed over to Amber's house. Honestly I think I will take the Boulder off my rotation, there are a lot of cabins, summer homes, and vacationers. I have had some good days fishing there but honestly there are much better options in my opinion.

Golden trout have been on my bucket list for years and the plan was to leave Bozeman on Saturday morning and head down to the Beartooth mountains in southeastern Montana, camp and fish on East Rosebud creek and then get up early Sunday Morning and hike into Sylvan lake and try to catch some golden trout.

Photo to the left is a picture of the East Rosebud Valley, it was gorgeous and has lots of history. If you're interested, google the battle of the Rosebud, a sad time in US History.

 The Beartooths are absolutely stunning. If you look in the photo you can barely see some snow on the tops of those peaks. Unfortunately we were dealing with some wildfire smoke, but the beauty of this place is still obvious.
 Our camp spot right beside the creek.
 Joe being Joe. He said in all the old pictures the explorers were always pointing at something.
 This time of year the bears are fattening up for winter and from what I saw it would not be hard. The rose hips were everywhere, there where thickets full, not hard to see where the rosebud got it's name. Also chokecherries were ripe and hanging in bunches bowing the bushes over, and yeah I ate my share as well.

 Now onto the good stuff. These beauties were caught from East Rosebud creek, more of a river if you ask me.

 Stone fly skeletons were all over the rocks but we missed that hatch. Bet it would be hot when they were hatching!

These placards were everywhere, which was a bit disconcerting. I guess we didn't read them close enough and almost got a ticket from the bear police. We had seen some down and dry firewood when we were driving in and decided to go back and get it. To make more room in the car we took the cooler out and sat it on the table. In the small amount of time we were gone, a ranger saw our cooler and left a note saying that if we did not properly store the cooler within the hour we would be cited. Of course we complied immediately, but what got me was that I never saw the ranger, I guess they can smell unsecured coolers better than the bears.

Going to leave it off right there for now, to hear about flat sleeping pads, snow, and picking up Continental Divide Trail hitchhikers, and of course more fishing click on the link Montana 2018 Part 2.  As always if there are any requests or comments feel free hit me up in the comments.

See you on the creek, Chris


Popular Posts