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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 07-03-2011, 12:31 AM
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Default Magic Moments in Montana

Good evening all,

Today was our last day of fishing for this trip to Montana and maaan was it a doozy. As you know we went into this trip with low expectations. In fact Jed, our guide, called us prior to the trip to let us know the conditions were iffy at best and we could cancel if we chose and his feelings would not be hurt. This is the mark of a great guide and friend who wants to provide only the best product and service to his clients. Jed is absolutely someone special. You can always tune into Trout Unlimited's "On the Rise"
T.V. show to see how Jed operates as he is the host.

Anyway, we returned to an upper section of the Bitterroot where we fished a few days ago for an excellent day of Dry fly fishing. Well today was a whopper of a day both for fishing and for lasting memories. Let me try to put into words how the day went.

On the way up to the river we passed a bunch of Mule Deer doing whatever Mule deer do. Cool. 5 minutes later we are stopping on the road as a Mother White Tail Deer is nursing its fawn in the middle of the road. We stopped to make sure these two were safely moved from the middle of the road and no one was going to hit them.
After making sure mom and child were safe we continued up to the put in.

The Weather was spectacular with temps in the low to mid 80's with a slight breeze to keep things cool. Water again is super high but the big Stone Flies, Salmon flies and Goldens, were out in good numbers. As our previous trip a few days earlier we were hitting quality fish right out of the gate. Hitting tight on the banks, in between willows or other soft pockets were absolute musts. The old story if you are not losing some flies you are not trying hard enough was absolutely in effect as with the speed of the water we were working hard and fast these pockets. Fishing was solid with no fish periods rarely lasting more than a few minutes. OUTSTANDING. But it gets better.

We finally pull over for on a great stone bank for lunch and while we are finishing 4 Big Horn Sheep wander up to us within 50 feet or less just checking us out. They stayed with us for about 10 minutes allowing us to take pictures and movies. This just does not happen. Even more amazing as we watch 3 of them, leaving the baby behind, hop into the raging waters and proceed to show us how well these suckers swim as they made their way to the far bank... Quickly. I think Mark Spitz would have drowned (yeah I know I am showing my age) but these guys made it no problem. However the baby stayed on our side. We hope he made it back to the group on one side of the bank or the other.

Just to add the icing to the cake, as we pass a Perched Culvert, about 5 feet above the water level, we watch as a Cutty jumps 4 feet into the air trying to get into the Pipe. He missed by about a foot and landed on the bank. We are assuming this guy was trying to spawn but Man oh Man this was just off the hook cool.

We finish the day with the last hour or so slowing down as far as the fishing goes but MAAAAAAN what a day with Big Browns, Big and small Cutties, Quality Rainbows and just for added measure a really unusual Brookie about 12 inches long. It just does not get much better than this for the Bitterroot regardless when you come.

So what is the moral of this story. Well, we know there were a ton of cancellations of guide service over the last several weeks throughout Montana due to the flows and weather. Charly, my lady, and I NEVER cancel and have tons of positive energy. This has never let us down as we have never had a bad fly fishing trip regardless of conditions. We were very flexible as to where we fished and where we stayed as most places in Montana are very flexible in changing plans to meet the demands of anglers finding fishable waters. What an amazing State. Thus what looked like it was going to be a bust turned into a best just because we stuck with it and flowed with the bumps and turns mother nature threw at us. We just figured any day floating the rivers beats the heck out of most anything else we can think of. And yes, the story has a super happy ending.... as well as middle and beginning. Go figure.

Jamie
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