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Old 07-24-2010, 12:19 PM
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Default Re: Glacier National Park

Oh, you mentioned streams..............first and foremost if you are going into the high country, still water should be your focus. Headwater streams in the high back country are usually pretty small and over run with timber and/or willows on the banks. But of course Glacier holds some moving water, and Osthoff mentions some of them:

- St. Marys River - "The trail runs mostly through timber along the SMR. With some bushwhacking you can dap a fly on seldom-fished river runs and catch some pan-sized rainbows.

- Camas Creek - ".......which is brushy but beautiful once you're on the water. It holds small cutthroats right through summer and probably pulls larger fish from the lakes at spawning time..........This valley reportedly holds more than its share of grizzlies, which may explain why I had no company at the camgrounds"

- Belly River - "If you're looking for a backcountry stream in Glacier with decent action for pan-size trout, check out the BR.........The river offers easy wading over gravel and small cobblestone. Pack waders or hip boots so you can walk right up the channel.......I didn't see any grayling that inhabit the drainage, but I had good action for brook and rainbows to 12 inches. The fish were not picky. You need only an Adams or an Elk Hair Caddis, and maybe a Wooly Worm of Hare's Ear Nymph for probing the deeper spots."

BTW, Osthoff's book is now 11 years old, and backcountry fisheries can change quickly over time. I've been to dozens of the destinations in his book (he covers CO, UT, WY, MT, and ID) and sometimes the fishery is exactly as he describes, and sometimes it's been altered by management and/or too much fishing pressure. But other than that, I believe Osthoff to be at the forefront of describing back country fisheries in the Rocky Mountains.

And again, I would recommend you concentrate on the lakes in GNP. Lakes in the Rocky Mountain high country are fascinating and captivating places to fish. A lot of fly fisherman get caught up in the romantic vision that moving water is the only challenging and correct place to wet a fly.......not so in the Rocky Mountain backcountry.
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