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Old 07-09-2012, 01:06 PM
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Default Montana Fly Fishing......Mid Life Crisis ??

So I have decided that I need some serious time to myself. Work is a drag and life just seems to be grinding me down. I frequently take vacations with my wife and they are a blast but I still don't feel rejuvenated when I return. I was taking to my wife about this the other night and she told me that maybe I showed spend a couple days alone and do nothing but fly fish and relax. Golden words coming from my wife right?

Anyways I have decided that I am going to travel to Montana in mid-august and fly fishing my brains out for 4 straight days with no distractions but I have never been before and am not sure what to expect.

I was hoping to get some suggestions (Not Hot spots!) on cool trout towns to stay at, Hatch information, good waters, and anything else that can help this be a memorable trip for me. I am really looking for some good solitary fly fishing and some cool small fly fishing towns. My wife is calling this my " Walkabout" but I consider it more of a mid-life crisis prevention. I respect local fishing spots and respect there sacredness. I am a true conservationist and I purely catch and release with as minimal impact to the fish as possible. So rest assured your waters are safe with me.

Thanks guys.

Please PM me if needed. Thanks
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: Montana Fly Fishing......Mid Life Crisis ??

Yeah, my wife kicks me out too...has for 38 years. Somehow the timing coincides with the arrival of the troop ships in port and she's always tired when I get home???

If it were me...I'd hit ANY of the little trout towns. Dillon, Twin Bridges (very cool) Three Forks...there are trout everywhere, so you can't "miss them" although I fear water may be skinny in Mt at that time.

When I go there the places that really juice me are the smaller waters. There's nobody on them, because they're all on the big name rivers, and you can wet wade with a hopper/dropper all day without a thought or care in the world.

Wading and/or drifting the big rivers is off the hook, believe me, and tossing dries to the edges for big browns is EXCITING to say the least...but the solitude, quiet and peace is (for me) in the creeks...

Good luck and have fun...-Mike
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Old 07-09-2012, 04:49 PM
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For a change in pace you may wanna try some of the smaller spring creeks near Bozeman or laurel.
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Old 07-09-2012, 06:44 PM
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Default Re: Montana Fly Fishing......Mid Life Crisis ??

Your wife is a very kind and understanding woman! I miss fishing hard, day after day as well. Thus is life.

I'd be glad to help you with advice, but the first question: is mid-August your only option? It is possibly the least ideal time you could come. Could be fine, could be fires and National Forest close-downs, warm water and fishing restrictions. Could be.

That said, the Western part of the state had a good snow pack, very good rainfall in June and the rivers are in awesome shape right now. But August, in an ideal August will still be hot with low flows and mid-day fishing will be non-existent. But There are always small mountain streams, spring creeks (pay to play) and the Missouri tailwater.

Don't want to rain on your parade. But if it's August or nothing, you can make it work.
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Old 07-09-2012, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Montana Fly Fishing......Mid Life Crisis ??

I agree with Dillon and Twin Bridges being good choices.

One of my favorite rivers in the world is the Big Hole. There are good wade fishing options and beautiful water at the Maiden Rock access.
Screenshot attached with markers showing Maiden Rock access by Melrose.

Click the image to open in full size.

Dillon is an awesome place to stay since you're also be right on the Beaverhead River, so a quick drive upstream puts you into amazing brown and rainbow fishing with lots of access points.

You can easily burn four days just fishing these two rivers. If had to choose one, it would be the Big Hole because I love freestone streams and it's gorgeous country. But if the flows are too low at that time and folks in shops are advising against it, the Beaverhead is a tailwater so you'll get consistent and typically awesome fishing there.

Have a great time! A bit jealous...
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Old 07-09-2012, 10:18 PM
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Default Re: Montana Fly Fishing......Mid Life Crisis ??

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Click the image to open in full size.

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Old 07-09-2012, 10:26 PM
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Default Re: Montana Fly Fishing......Mid Life Crisis ??

I agree. With the comments above. Depending on how far north you want to go. Lincoln area, choteau area are good. The Bob Marshall is a beautiful area and if you want to fish the big rivers you could.

Please handle the fish with care. The waters are already warming and I would be worried about fishing closures shortly like the summer of 2007 or 2008. I cant remember.
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Old 07-10-2012, 08:34 AM
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Default Re: Montana Fly Fishing......Mid Life Crisis ??

Defining a bit of 'man gone fishing time' has really helped my relationship with my girlfriend. Instead of trying to sneak the rod along when she wants to hang out; now I try to get out before she wakes up or in teh evening with the dog. Doesn't hurt that she finally got a fishing license...

Last summer: 9 day trip fished every day across Colorado without my girlfriend.

This summer: girlfriend was gone for 3 weeks, went to the Frying pan, the Blue a couple of times, and went night bassing a bunch. Fishing bass and carp ponds while she sleeps in is also a personal favorite. Also, any time she goes to the gym I hit a local creek (she can have the treadmills, I'll play with a 3wt instead!)

Aside from a good four days in MT, I would recommend trying to get out for a couple of hours at dusk or dawn by yourself. Even if you get skunked, something about the 'Zen' of casting at dawn... Makes you feel good all day!
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Old 07-10-2012, 09:39 AM
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Default Re: Montana Fly Fishing......Mid Life Crisis ??

Like Dean said.. August.. ouch

So you may have to be ready to travel further from a single place.. to get to good cold water.

I think that they officialy said SW Montana is in a drought summer.. just missed it on the news last night... so Missoula and north (Libby?) might be a better choice.

For down this way:
A single small town.. I'd go with Ennis. Easy to walk from most motels into 'downtown', a coule places to eat, good fly shops, Madison River is right there, and if you have to travel there's a lot of decent rivers not too far. In case you have to gain some altitude to get good water temps.

Good luck on your choice.. Dave
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Old 07-10-2012, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Montana Fly Fishing......Mid Life Crisis ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhayden View Post
I think that they officialy said SW Montana is in a drought summer.. just missed it on the news last night... so Missoula and north (Libby?) might be a better choice.
In other words, the Big Hole and Dillon area is not going to be an option in August. The BH and Jefferson get low and warm anyway due to irrigation demands most summers anyway.

Like Dave said, Ennis is fun; good fly shop, bars, diner food and the Madison with plenty of camping on the river.

No matter where you go you will be wise to look toward the upper reaches of most rivers for cold water. In the Missoula area, the upper Bitterroot - South of Hamilton, look in the Darby area - is a very nice stream with good cutthroat fishing. The West Fork of the Bitterroot comes out of a bottom draw dam at Painted Rocks, it flows cold all summer cold enough on the hottest August day to keep your feet chilled while wet wading. And there is some really fun fishing up there too. Also, Rock Creek stays fishable all summer except in the most extreme cases. The Missouri River is only a couple hours drive and the guides in Missoula work over there in the heat of the summer if you wanted to book a day; you'd be driven over and have conversation the whole time too!

Chris...here is the link to the current river conditions, I refer to it a lot and probably look at it way more often than necessary. http://waterdata.usgs.gov/mt/nwis/current?type=flow For the rivers in the Missoula area, scroll down to the Upper Columbia Basin, the Upper Missouri section is going to cover most of the water around Bozeman. Note the longterm median flow for this date in history vs. the current flow in ft3/sec.

You will notice that the Big Hole is looking really bad right now...I hadn't even seen that yet. Wow, it is low already, not good. You can also click on specific stations and if you mess around with it you can find flows for everyday of the year.

Last edited by dean_mt; 07-10-2012 at 01:39 PM. Reason: additional info
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