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Old 07-25-2013, 07:44 AM
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Default Re: Why Did You Go There?

The reason for me is simple. It's an adventure that I don't get much opportunity to do. A chance to catch fish that I rarely get to fish for in a frequently gorgeous place. Throw in an opportunity to camp and some sightseeing, too, even if its only reading a few historical markers and seeing the countryside as you drive there and back.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:24 AM
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Default Re: Why Did You Go There?

Blue Ribbon trout rivers crowded with "technical anglers"...could be me they are talking about. Having just returned from my annual, month long adventure in Idaho and Montana, a highlight of my season harking back to my greenhorn college years, I do fish famous and challenging rivers like the Fork, Silver Creek, Beaverhead and Missouri in addition to smaller, lesser known spring creek environments.

What is "technical"? I interpret it to mean a single dry fly artfully presented to a specific rising fish on flat surfaced, complex current waters typical of spring creeks and spring creek like tail water environments. It is technical because of the complexity of obtaining a fly first, long dead drift to a trout feeding in a protected lie offering the fish a good, hard look at the natural insects they are feeding upon and the precise imitations we hope mimic the actual organism. We may row or walk past pods of good fish rising in the main current until we find one fish bank feeding beneath an overhanging alder and wade to an optimal position to present to this difficult but fascinating fish.

Sure, I am not adverse to casually tossing an elk hair caddis in a riffle or throwing a big bait fish imitation at a rock pile hunting for striped bass, but I was fly fishing weaned on the Henry's Fork back in the 1970's and the overlapping, masking, match the stage of the hatch to the sipper protruding from beneath an elodea bed is at the core of my trout fishing passion equaled only by the oceanic version of stalking single bonefish on crystalline tropical flats.

I digress by mentioning flats fishing...Montana and Idaho offer greater diversity and quality of the rivers and streams I love and the opportunity to camp on the bank of the one whose flows, temperature and hatches are optimal at that moment. Some of my camps are further enhanced by being out of reach of cell service. When I crawl out of my tent in the middle of the night, the Milky Way is bright overhead and coyotes may celebrate a kill with a distant forlorn song muffled by the murmur of the river.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: Why Did You Go There?

I go to MT

1. because I have friends there
2. to drift big rivers with lots of fish
3. to fish big bugs on the banks and hopper/dropper the seams
4. to find small waters full of cutts that no one cares about but me
5. to hike to small lakes maybe 10 people will fish all season

But most of all...like the E Sierra towns like Topaz and Bridgeport...to go back in time to when people looked you in the eye and said what they meant...where a handshake still means something and if your neighbor needs an afternoon of help you give it, knowing it will come back. The heartland of America, wherever you find it, is still the best place on Earth.
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Last edited by mikel; 07-25-2013 at 12:34 PM.
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Old 07-25-2013, 01:16 PM
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Default Re: Why Did You Go There?

The reason I fish in Montana is because I live here. The reason I live here is because seventeen years ago I was restless and bored like many dreamers in their early twenties are. So I took a road trip to fill a romantic dream and drove to Montana with my dad. I left him at the train station in Whitefish and continued on my journey alone. I was mostly scared and nervous everywhere I camped by myself but after making my way down through Missoula, Jackson Hole, Moab, and Crested Butte a month later I decided to return home.

After a year and half of thinking about The West nearly everyday while painting houses I sold nearly all of my belongings and flew to San Francisco to begin another journey with a woman I loved. We traveled for 8 months living out of Crown Victoria circa 1989 when we passed through Missoula again. I don't know if it was simply road-weariness or serendipity, probably both, but we just decided we were done searching.

That was 14 years ago. My life has completely changed but my love of this place where I live persists and only grows stronger. I came here because I had to find out, I stay because now I need it. I don't get to fish like I did in those first 7 years I was here. I am grateful that I did it when I could. I love everything about this place; the geography, the people, the places, the attitudes, the landscape, the trout, the sheer size...
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Old 07-25-2013, 02:49 PM
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Default Re: Why Did You Go There?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetandsalt View Post
Blue Ribbon trout rivers crowded with "technical anglers"...could be me they are talking about. Having just returned from my annual, month long adventure in Idaho and Montana, a highlight of my season harking back to my greenhorn college years, I do fish famous and challenging rivers like the Fork, Silver Creek, Beaverhead and Missouri in addition to smaller, lesser known spring creek environments.

What is "technical"? I interpret it to mean a single dry fly artfully presented to a specific rising fish on flat surfaced, complex current waters typical of spring creeks and spring creek like tail water environments. It is technical because of the complexity of obtaining a fly first, long dead drift to a trout feeding in a protected lie offering the fish a good, hard look at the natural insects they are feeding upon and the precise imitations we hope mimic the actual organism. We may row or walk past pods of good fish rising in the main current until we find one fish bank feeding beneath an overhanging alder and wade to an optimal position to present to this difficult but fascinating fish.

Sure, I am not adverse to casually tossing an elk hair caddis in a riffle or throwing a big bait fish imitation at a rock pile hunting for striped bass, but I was fly fishing weaned on the Henry's Fork back in the 1970's and the overlapping, masking, match the stage of the hatch to the sipper protruding from beneath an elodea bed is at the core of my trout fishing passion equaled only by the oceanic version of stalking single bonefish on crystalline tropical flats.

I digress by mentioning flats fishing...Montana and Idaho offer greater diversity and quality of the rivers and streams I love and the opportunity to camp on the bank of the one whose flows, temperature and hatches are optimal at that moment. Some of my camps are further enhanced by being out of reach of cell service. When I crawl out of my tent in the middle of the night, the Milky Way is bright overhead and coyotes may celebrate a kill with a distant forlorn song muffled by the murmur of the river.
THIS! +1
Meanwhile, I'm stuck at home, tying for water that I may not get to see this year.
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Old 07-25-2013, 10:04 PM
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Default Re: Why Did You Go There?

Johns story of how he got to Missoula is similar to how I fell in love with Seeley Lake, Montana. Thirty two years ago I picked up a friend bought us both backpacks, a tent and sleeping bags, headed to Glacier and was determined to learn about backpacking and hopefully catch some trout (something I had never done before). Pulled into a hamburger joint in Seeley about 9:00 pm and while eating we discussed finding a place to fish. After eating the cook came out (20 yr old kid) and said he overheard our conversation about fishing. Long story short he picked us up the next morning, drove and hiked up to a mountain lake and caught the fire out of cutthroats. Still in town that evening, everyone we met wanted to visit and learn about where we lived as well as sharing their hometown stories. Twenty eight years later I was finally able to buy some land in Seeley and become part of their community.

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Old 07-25-2013, 10:56 PM
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Default Re: Why Did You Go There?

I love rivers and I don't like seeing rivers I can't fish. Which is a big reason my wife and I now live half the year in Montana. Colorado is beautiful and the rivers are gorgeous but the stream access laws just completely tick me off. Same with some other western states.

Another thing...I like to go to rivers where the fish are big and stupid...but only for a change. If all fishing was easy it would get boring pretty quickly. Trying to consistently catch good trout out of a river like the Yellowstone is a whole lot more interesting over the years than fishing some river in Alaska where the rainbows are all 28-32 inches long, though I'll take a week of fishing that river occasionally.

I'd been going to Yellowstone Park for a few years to get reference material for my "job"...wildlife art. I'd only fly fished a few times and owned one fly rod. Then I met a guy who lived to fly fish, and a few months after we met at a party, he invited me to go to Montana with him. We stayed at the Yellowstone Valley Lodge in the first of the two record flood years back in the 1990s, and every evening we'd study the river below and hope it would get clearer, but it never did. So we fished other streams...Sixteenmile Creek, the lower Madison, Armstrong's Spring Creek, a private lake, the West Boulder...and mid-way through the week I called my wife and told her that we were gonna have to buy a place out there. Well, it took about ten years, but we did it, and now it's hard to plan long trips to other parts of the country because we haven't even floated and fished and hiked every spot in our own little part of Montana.

There is something special about wild rivers, and living on the longest undammed river in America is pretty cool.
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:21 PM
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Default Re: Why Did You Go There?

Because I can't say it better, I am going to quote the preface from my favorite fly fishing book: Fly Fishing the Rocky Mountain Backcountry by Rich Osthoff.

"Give me trout, give me trout water, and I inherit the most beautiful country on Earth. I can think of no better reason to fish than to wander the pure and wild places where trout live...........I've fly-fished throughout the Rocky Mountain backcountry in search of trout that rarely, if ever, see humans."
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Old 07-25-2013, 11:36 PM
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Default Re: Why Did You Go There?

Quote:
Originally Posted by littledavid123 View Post
I am not knocking anyone, but suspect many fisherman come out West to put a notch on their rod handle,
Those notches took me all over the country Dave, and I'm so glad I did it. Without all the destinations life would have been less full and the adventures would have been few.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 07-26-2013, 07:06 AM
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Default Re: Why Did You Go There?

Quote:
Originally Posted by countr21 View Post
Because I can't say it better, I am going to quote the preface from my favorite fly fishing book: Fly Fishing the Rocky Mountain Backcountry by Rich Osthoff.

"Give me trout, give me trout water, and I inherit the most beautiful country on Earth. I can think of no better reason to fish than to wander the pure and wild places where trout live...........I've fly-fished throughout the Rocky Mountain backcountry in search of trout that rarely, if ever, see humans."

Fishing a stream where the trout may have never seen man is a very cool thing.

Dave
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