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Rocky Mountain Range Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico. Post fishing reports, ask for information, discuss this area...

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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2012, 05:07 PM
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Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

Hey Dean,

Let me talk to my buddy. The camper plan (due to travel time and logistics) may be out of the picture by the end of the weekend. I will let you know.

Thanks for the quick response though.

---------- Post added at 06:07 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:51 PM ----------

I'll send you a quick PM just to say Hi
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  #42 (permalink)  
Old 01-06-2012, 08:54 PM
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Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

I suggest you ditch the camper and fly into and book a nice motel in Missoula. It's cheaper in the long run and there are some nice restaurants in Miz. If you want "local color" stay at Rock Creek Mercantile. Cheap and clean.

All the waters I mentioned above are close by- all less than an hour.

Personally, I think you are missing out by not having one or two guided trips. If you choose to do one, the Bitterroot, Clark's Fork and Blackfoot would be my suggestions. Last time I was there, two years ago, we floated the Blackfoot and Clark's Fork. The Clark's Fork fished much better, but you better be ready for a huge boxcar hatch as maybe the country's busiest railway runs alongside the river. The Blackoot was pretty, but the fish were small and not eager. YMMV.

Chris
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Old 01-07-2012, 12:45 PM
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Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

Just a quick 'toss in' as the folks above seem to have a lot of the basics well covered. But two I'd like to stress is Montana IS BIG, I mean reeeeaaaallllly big. Choose an area and don't overkill the jumping around. Every hour you're in a car, you're not fishing.

The other is to print out the 2012 Fishing regulations (Montana does an excellent job with their publication) and READ same on the the rivers you expect to fish. From one location (same river) to another the 'Rules' can change drastically. The Bitterroot immediately comes to mind. River's only 50'ish miles long (forks to Miz) and they change SEVEN TIMES!

I kid you not!

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Old 01-07-2012, 01:09 PM
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Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

fishnskiguy makes a good point about staying put in an area. You could also stay in Missoula for two nights, then drive 2 1/2 hours to Melrose and stay in a cheap cabin, fish the Big Hole for two days and head back. Or you could do that in your camper, that's obviously up to your desires.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishnskiguy View Post
All the waters I mentioned above are close by- all less than an hour.
I'm glad you've fished around here and had a good time, but all of the rivers you listed are not under an hour from Missoula, trust me, I fish all of them, every year.

The Blackfoot can be a little tricky, but if you hit the right stretch and have good conditions, you'll catch a lot of 14-18" cutthroats in a day...a lot. The Clark Fork (the Clark's Fork is actually a fork of the Yellowstone) has some of the best dry fly fishing for big rainbows anywhere. It just isn't famous, thank god. And there are beautiful long floats away from the highway and train, though you'll never completely escape the railway.

Hiring a guide for one day is always a blast. Your odds of a lot of fish and chance at some big fish definitely goes up. And western guides are breed their own, you would not be disappointed. There are couple guys in town that I would recommend you go with, excellent guides and a lot fun, too. If you decide you want to do that, let me know.
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Old 01-08-2012, 02:18 PM
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Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

Hi Guys,

We are in the middle of crunching the numbers and comparing everything as I type this. The numbers between the Spokane/Camper solution vs. the rental car and hotel/Bed and Breakfast are surprisingly close. However, the logistics and time favor a flight to missoula, rent an SUV, and find cheap places to stay. Less travel means more fishing.

I like the idea of using Missoula as a base camp and plan on relying heavily on the folks at "the kingfisher" fly shop (highly recommended from many of you), and input from all of you as the plan progresses. I love the emotion on this site. Everyone has an opinion(educated for sure) and recommendations for us. Although I am not the "journal" type person, I feel that I may have to chronicle the trip in an attempt to repay all of you for your input. I also have a funny feeling that we may run into some of you during our trip.

We will continue to keep you all informed as the weeks pass.

Take care.
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  #46 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2012, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

Another good shop in Missoula: Grizzly Hackle Fly Shop Missoula Montana |Grizzly Hackle Fly Fishing

I'd say take one float while you're there.. I'd let a local recommend one, based on your trip dates

The Big Hole is about 2 hours away.. might be worth considering for the float.
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  #47 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2012, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by dean_mt View Post
fishnskiguy makes a good point about staying put in an area. You could also stay in Missoula for two nights, then drive 2 1/2 hours to Melrose and stay in a cheap cabin, fish the Big Hole for two days and head back. Or you could do that in your camper, that's obviously up to your desires.



I'm glad you've fished around here and had a good time, but all of the rivers you listed are not under an hour from Missoula, trust me, I fish all of them, every year.

The Blackfoot can be a little tricky, but if you hit the right stretch and have good conditions, you'll catch a lot of 14-18" cutthroats in a day...a lot. The Clark Fork (the Clark's Fork is actually a fork of the Yellowstone) has some of the best dry fly fishing for big rainbows anywhere. It just isn't famous, thank god. And there are beautiful long floats away from the highway and train, though you'll never completely escape the railway.

Hiring a guide for one day is always a blast. Your odds of a lot of fish and chance at some big fish definitely goes up. And western guides are breed their own, you would not be disappointed. There are couple guys in town that I would recommend you go with, excellent guides and a lot fun, too. If you decide you want to do that, let me know.
OOPS, I stand corrected.

Chris
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  #48 (permalink)  
Old 01-08-2012, 10:01 PM
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Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishnskiguy View Post
OOPs\s, I stand corrected.
It's a common mistake, don't take it personally.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dharkin View Post
I like the idea of using Missoula as a base camp and plan on relying heavily on the folks at "the kingfisher" fly shop (highly recommended from many of you), and input from all of you as the plan progresses. I love the emotion on this site. Everyone has an opinion(educated for sure) and recommendations for us. Although I am not the "journal" type person, I feel that I may have to chronicle the trip in an attempt to repay all of you for your input. I also have a funny feeling that we may run into some of you during our trip.
By the time this happens ... I certainly hope we can meet up when you get finally get here! I'd be disappointed if we didn't. The guys at the Kingfisher are the great, my go to shop for sure. But the Grizzly Hackle has one of the best guides I've ever fished with.

PM coming...
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  #49 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2012, 03:20 PM
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Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

The hits just keep coming with you guys! I have book marked the Kingfisher but now I will have to check out the Grizz. All good stuff for sure.

We have decided to ditch the camper idea for the trip.

Too much time and a logistical nightmare for sure. We have decided to fly into Missoula, rent an SUV, and find affordable places to sleep. The dollar numbers were rather close but we made a decision and we are sticking to it!

I was really looking forward to spending time with my buddy at night and sharing stories over a couple of cold beers and a nice campfire;

...........thinking about how that big one got away.....
.........what I have to do RIGHT tomorrow to land a nice fish of that size....
.........try and figure out how that little cut got into my brand new leader....
...........try to find those size 22-24 BWO that I know were in my left breast pocket last night before I went to sleep!!!!!!..........
........why all of my tippet material has mysteriously disappeared from my vest
.......AND WHY AM I THE ONLY PERSON IN THIS GROUP THAT APPEARS TO HAVE HIS LINE INSTALLED BACKWARDS ON HIS REEL EVERY MORNING!!!!!!!!!!!

........Sorry 'bout that, just thinking about the last trip I was on.......now to the details!

Take care.

Last edited by dharkin; 01-10-2012 at 02:34 PM.
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  #50 (permalink)  
Old 01-09-2012, 05:40 PM
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Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by dharkin View Post
The hits just keep coming with you guys! I have book marked the Kingfisher but now I will have to check out the Grizz. All good stuff for sure.

We have decided to ditch the camper idea for the trip.

Too much time and a logistical nightmare for sure. We have decided to fly into Missoula, rent an SUV, and find affordable places to sleep. The dollar numbers were rather close but we made a decision and we are sticking to it!

I was really looking forward to spending time with my buddy at night and sharing stories over a couple of cold beers and a nice campfire;

...........thinking about how that big one got away.....
.........what I have to do RIGHT tomorrow to land a nice fish of that size....
.........try and figure out how that little cut got into my brand new leader....
...........try to find those size 22-24 BWO that I know were in my left breast pocket last night before I went to sleep!!!!!!..........
........why all of my tippet material has mysteriously disappeared from my vest
.......AND WHY AM I THE ONLY PERSON IN THIS GROUP THAT APPEARS TO HAVE HIS LINE INSTALLED BACKWARDS ON HIS REEL EVERY MORNING!!!!!!!!!!!

........Sorry 'bout that, just thinking about the trip again.......now to the details!

Take care.
Campfires are wonderful things...but cozy taverns in new places are too! And all those stories are just as easily shared, and in Missoula in the fall you're bound to meet some other fisherman sitting at the bar talking fishin, too.
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