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Old 12-15-2007, 09:42 AM
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Default Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

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.
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Old 12-15-2007, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

Float trips on the Madison, Gallitin or Rock Creek will all be fun and productive. However, remember that May/June is still snow melt is still going on and the rivers are high. Later in July/August flow is reduced and better for wading.
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Old 12-15-2007, 05:13 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

HiTampaskis,

I think Cowboy has given you some good advice. If you want to fish as early as May I would suggest the San Juan in New Mexico. It is well suited for a senior fisher and the drift is not too long. You can drift in the morning and if your Dad wants to rest for the afternoon you can still do a second float later in the day by yourself. With some guides a full day is two floats. I can also recommend Lee's Ferry on the Colorado. This is a great fishery in June.

As to up north, I have fished the Green in Wyoming during June and have pretty well had the river to our selves. The Green in Utah is a good June fishery also. Joni may be able to help you out with Montana and what is the best time of the year.

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Old 12-16-2007, 11:53 AM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

The green is at its best in June and fishes well in may. It is also a great beginner river, especially from a boat. I would avoid the thursday through saturday in may and june. It will be very crowded.
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Old 12-16-2007, 06:58 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

If you take Frank's advice about fishing the San Juan, make sure to first check water flow levels, which can be quite high in the spring due to releases from Navajo Dam. You can get some idea of what's anticipated on the sister Forum to this one, San Juan River Forum [http://www.sanjuanriverforum.com/]. Also, on this and the San Juan River Forum, Steve Rollins of Aztec Anglers specializes in guiding the San Juan, which would be a necessity in high water spring conditions in a drift boat, since wading is difficult and can be dangerous then. The San Juan, while scenically different from Montana in that it is a high desert plateau, is quite beautiful in itself, although you won't have snow-covered mountain vistas there as you might in Montana.

Here's another suggestion for dry fly fishing in a beautiful area that time of year: I have fly-fished in the Jackson Hole area in just the time frame you're considering (late May-early June), and found the dry fly fishing fabulous then, much to my surprise. I was wade fishing streams as they flowed into Jenny Lake. You will never find a more beautiful spot (attached cellphone picture doesn't do it justice). And there is a lot of publicly accessible water there, since much of it is in the Grand Teton National Park, Bridger-Teton National Forest and, of course, Yellowstone National Park (which has its warm-spring-fed Firehole River, which for that reason fishes much earlier than other rivers in the area). While I have not drift-floated the Snake River which interconnects these various lakes, I know Will Dornan's Snake River Angler in Moose (website: Will Dornan`s Snake River Angler) provides guided drift boating (exclusively, I believe) on the Snake River from Jackson Lake downstream for almost 100 miles. I can vouch for their reliable fly suggestions. Another good online resource for fishing conditions and places, etc., in the Jackson Hole area is High Country Flies located in Jackson [website: http://www.highcountryflies.com/].

Hope this helps . . .
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Old 01-14-2008, 06:41 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

May-June can be a tough time to float in montana, due to the highwaters from the snow meltoff.

Gallatin should be out of the question that time of year, and pretty much any time of year. Besides the fact that only the very lower stretches are actually floatable, and those very lower stretches are some of the worst water to float in southwest montana(stretches of the gallatin are good, but they are not floatable).

I would recomend the Madison, Bighole, or beaverhead myself. If you wanted southwest montana, or the bighorn in southcentral montana.
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Old 01-15-2008, 05:35 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

No one's mentioned the Missouri River, but I had an absolutely grand day floating (with a guide) from Wolf Creek (just below Holter Dam) to Sheep Ck. It was mid-June. I can't remember the river flow but I released a ton of nice rainbows.

Maybe the Missouri is not as classic as the Gallatin, the Madison, or a number of others (and I've fished many of them) but for that time of year I found it to be spectacular.

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Old 01-15-2008, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

Just hit the Missouri at Wolf Creek on Saturday and besides the wind, it was good as always. It is true the Missouri has great hatches during the warmer months, but if I was to come in from out of state to float. My first choice would be the Madison during the salmon fly hatch.
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Old 01-19-2008, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

If you were planning on SW Montana, you might want to think about crossing the border into Idaho 1 hour and hit the Teton river. I say the Teton because is is VERY picturesque and the meadow section before it hits the canyon is very easy to float. Great fishing too. I caught my first fish on a dry there last summer when I started fly fishing.

Also, check these guys out "tetonvalleylodge.com" I have never used them but have heard great things from locals. Very accommodating and patient.

Dorian
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Old 01-19-2008, 12:28 PM
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Default Re: Beginner Trip Advice for Montana

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.
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