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Old 01-21-2008, 05:02 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

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Originally Posted by fatguide View Post
I would second the nod for the Big Hole. Water will be high, but the fish do not care. The salmonfly hatch brings the big boys out of hideing and the fishing can be spectacular. I hit it every year. Plus you have the oppertunity to catch Artic Grayling in the last native run river in the lower 48.
The Big Hole is an excellent choice! If you really want an experience, you can also hit the Firehole in Yellowstone Park! Yes, it gets crowded, but there is just something magical about the park. Anyway, where else can you say you hooked a Cutthroat inside the caldera of a massive volcano.
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:25 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

Actually right next door in Idaho, the Henry's Fork and Island Park area lies in the midst of a very large Caldera, also. It's kinda spooky if you think about it erupting again, but what a great place to be if it did.
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

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Actually right next door in Idaho, the Henry's Fork and Island Park area lies in the midst of a very large Caldera, also. It's kinda spooky if you think about it erupting again, but what a great place to be if it did.
Henry's Fork is one area I have never fished and would love to! I need to try to take a weekend down there this spring.
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

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Originally Posted by FlyFisher77 View Post
Henry's Fork is one area I have never fished and would love to! I need to try to take a weekend down there this spring.

You should check the area from the Ashton Dam Tailwater to St Anthony for some good early season action, bring your Midge box and plenty of B.W.O. emergers and adults.

Make sure the areas you do fish are open to fishing, The area from Henry's Lake to somewhere in the canyon is closed from Nov 1st to Memorial Day.

This general area would also make for a good place for a beginner trip, you have good waters to Nymph fish with the usual fare of popular Beadheads, P.T 's, Hares Ear, Prince, Scuds and you can also fish bigger Box Canyon Stonefly Nymphs ahead of the Salmon Fly hatch.

In late May thru June the upper sections can fish well using Dry flies, March Browns, Caddis, the P.M.D's start daily emergence and Flavs get busy in late June.

The whole greater Yellowstone area can offer some fine fishing this time of year, I would suggest you contact any of the fly shops in West Yellowstone or on the Henry's Fork for more details.
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:05 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

I have fished much of the Northern part of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem from the Ruby River on the North Western Edge to the Yellowstone River. Unfortunatley, I have yet to venture outside my home state.
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Old 01-28-2008, 06:32 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

You gotta get out more often. LOL

I keep sayin that I'm going to make it up on the "Big Mo", one of these days.

You should try to get down to Hebgen Lake or Island Park Reservoir this summer for the "Gulpers".

So many fish, so little time.
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:01 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

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Originally Posted by Tampaskis View Post
I plan to take my father (age 79) on a Montana Fly Fishing trip in mid (May - June) 2008. We will need to do float trips. Can anyone help me with advice on where to go, stay, when to go, recommended guides, etc... We would like to do dry fly fishing preferably at a place with nice scenery. My dad is a little weak so standing up all day won't work and it would be nice to have some nice scenery to look at. I have done a little fly fishing in NC but have never fished out west. Thanks.
I can't help you a lot with May-June, but my wife and I were in Southwestern Montana for a week of fly fishing in the mid-October timeframe last year and we had a great time. We floated most of the time and had a couple of day trips wading in Yellowstone Park. If you're taking your dad and if he's never been in the Park, then take a day and just tour that area. It's even better than the pictures that you see. Old Faithful sounds kind of "canned", but it's a one-of-kind item and definitely worth a visit; as is the entire gyser park area.

For floating, we were on the Yellowstone (a must as far as I'm concerned), the Gallatin (from 7 miles above 3 forks, to the confluence at the Missouri - actually followed a beaver down the Missouri for about 1/4 mile), the Madison and Burns Lake (some would say "fishing in a barrel", but we had a good time). Wading was on Armstrong's Spring Creek and in the Park on the Lamar (very nice river in the Northeastern end of the Park) and the Gardner (small, ravine-like River on the Northwestern end). The Lamar, I think, would be wadable for your dad, as it has access points that are very close to the road. The Gardner would be too much of a challenge. But, as another forum member mentioned, the Firehole is both unusual and a good river to fish, as is the Nez Perce and the Gibbon; all of which are easily accessable from the road. Gibbon Falls are gorgeous, but, again, ravine-like.

We used George Anderson's Yellowstone Angler as a base and for getting guides; all of whom were excellent, as were the boats, service and attitude. We stayed at Chico Hot Springs, in Chico, MT which is close to Livingston (where Yellowstone Angler is located) and a nice break at the end of the day. You will not have to worry about nice scenery. That's one of the things that Montana is all about.

Hope you have a great time.
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:36 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

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Originally Posted by fyshstykr View Post
You gotta get out more often. LOL

I keep sayin that I'm going to make it up on the "Big Mo", one of these days.
Hey now, you have to remember I live in the state ranked LAST in wages. On top of money, or lack there of, I have two children that take up a lot of my time. When I do have time to fish, I hit the ol reliables! Then again, there really isn't much incentive to wander when you are 10 min from a blue ribbon fishery.

Speaking of the Mighty Mo! I hit it on Sunday with a friend for Great Falls. First fish of the day was a 24 inch rainbow. Unfortunately it wasn't me catching it. Overall, with that Arctic front approaching, it was an average day with a few Whitefish and a few trout. Great thing was none of the above were less than 17 inches!
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Old 01-30-2008, 08:42 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

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Originally Posted by Pocono View Post
I can't help you a lot with May-June, but my wife and I were in Southwestern Montana for a week of fly fishing in the mid-October timeframe last year and we had a great time. We floated most of the time and had a couple of day trips wading in Yellowstone Park. If you're taking your dad and if he's never been in the Park, then take a day and just tour that area. It's even better than the pictures that you see. Old Faithful sounds kind of "canned", but it's a one-of-kind item and definitely worth a visit; as is the entire gyser park area.

For floating, we were on the Yellowstone (a must as far as I'm concerned), the Gallatin (from 7 miles above 3 forks, to the confluence at the Missouri - actually followed a beaver down the Missouri for about 1/4 mile), the Madison and Burns Lake (some would say "fishing in a barrel", but we had a good time). Wading was on Armstrong's Spring Creek and in the Park on the Lamar (very nice river in the Northeastern end of the Park) and the Gardner (small, ravine-like River on the Northwestern end). The Lamar, I think, would be wadable for your dad, as it has access points that are very close to the road. The Gardner would be too much of a challenge. But, as another forum member mentioned, the Firehole is both unusual and a good river to fish, as is the Nez Perce and the Gibbon; all of which are easily accessable from the road. Gibbon Falls are gorgeous, but, again, ravine-like.

We used George Anderson's Yellowstone Angler as a base and for getting guides; all of whom were excellent, as were the boats, service and attitude. We stayed at Chico Hot Springs, in Chico, MT which is close to Livingston (where Yellowstone Angler is located) and a nice break at the end of the day. You will not have to worry about nice scenery. That's one of the things that Montana is all about.

Hope you have a great time.
What a fantastic trip, and you can't go wrong with Yellowstone Anglers! Glad you had a fantastic time in our state and feel free to visit anytime. Don't limit yourself to the area around the Park. Although a fantastic and unique fishery, everyone and their grandmother are there. Lots and lots of fantastic fishing around the state with many willing fly shops loaded with advice. If you want to do a solo trip, just send me an IM and I can give you some hints of good, but not so well known spots.
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Old 02-08-2008, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

If May/June are the dates you must visit I would suggest one of the tailwaters mentioned by others. Our spring runoff/snowmelt starts in early May and on a normal snowpack year it last into late June and Early July. The Yellowstone is a very scenic river but it probably won't be in shape until the 4th of July or later this year with snow pack above normal. The Gallatin is not a great option for your dad unless you do the very lower reaches of the river where they allow for fishing from the boat. The river above Manhattan requires wade fishing and the rocks are numerous, round and slippery. The Madison and Bighole have Salmonfly hatches in mid June but fishing the Salmonfly hatch is not a fun experience in high water if you are not proficent at getting cast close to the bank. It is not a great hatch for novice anglers and it requires a good bit of work with the fast pace of the water and the amount of casting you need to do to get the flies into the spots close to the bank.

The Bighorn is a great fishery, but lacks much other than fishing. It is one of the best fisheries in the world so there will be a lot of people and finding solitude is not really an option. The scenery is nice but limited to the river bottom and the lake. Custer Battlefield is a nice side trip for a history lesson but other than that you are a couple hours drive from much else.

The Missouri has some wonderful canyon scenery and the fishing is great. There could be an issue with some dirty water below Little Prickley Pear or the Dearborn depending on when you came out, but there is always fishing on the Mo even with high flows. The bottom is also made up of small rocks and wading is pretty easy.

The Missoula area would be another option if you can make it later in June. There runoff usually concludes a bit sooner than the runoffs on the east side of the continental divide and they have some very float friendly rivers in the Bitteroot, Clark's Fork and Blackfoot. Wade fishing on Rock creek can be fun as well but the rocks are round and slippery. If you want some info on the Missoula area I would contact Matt or Jim at the Kingfisher Flyshop in Missoula.

Good luck with your trip and enjoy.
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