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Old 06-14-2013, 04:46 PM
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Default Re: Road Trip to Montana in August

Unfortunately, as beautiful as GNP is, fishing is not this park's strong suit. Most of the lakes are OK, but the streams, especially on the west, side are very cold and low in nutrients and are almost barren.

The only stream I would recommend in GNP is the Belly River on the north east side. It is a fun stream with plenty of hungry rainbows in the 10"-13" range. It gets virtually zero fishing pressure. Take bear spray, this is grizzly country.

Interestingly, the water in the Belly River winds up in Hudson Bay.

Chris
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:25 PM
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Default Re: Road Trip to Montana in August

Quote:
Originally Posted by fishnskiguy View Post
Unfortunately, as beautiful as GNP is, fishing is not this park's strong suit. Most of the lakes are OK, but the streams, especially on the west, side are very cold and low in nutrients and are almost barren.
There is a chance I will only spend two days in GNP instead of three. My friend prefers to stay in YNP most of the time, but I would really like to visit GNP for it's beauty. It should make for some excellent hiking and I don't mind if I don't fish everyday. While I love animals, I'm not big on watching wildlife and thus that part of YNP is unimportant for me. If my friend strongly prefers YNP, I'll stay there an extra day and spend one less in GNP.

Regarding bears.... Do I need to worry about them everywhere I go? When living in Lolo I remember reading in the papers about bears getting into town sometimes. Do I need to have bear spray/bells with me at all times?
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Old 06-14-2013, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Road Trip to Montana in August

"Regarding bears.... Do I need to worry about them everywhere I go? When living in Lolo I remember reading in the papers about bears getting into town sometimes. Do I need to have bear spray/bells with me at all times?"

The Bear Bells are just noise makers, nothing more. In GNP a large can of Bear (its just a type of pepper) spray is a good plan A. Can't speak to YNP.
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Old 06-14-2013, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: Road Trip to Montana in August

That is an ambitious itinerary! Sounds great. As already noted GNP is not much of a fishing destination, magnificent beauty though. The places on your list you need to "bear aware" are in the parks or the general vicinity of each. But in August most all bears will be way up high in the cooler climes.

If you want to be guided on the Big Hole or Beaverhead note that there are certain days outfitters are not allowed, there is a specific schedule, you cab find it in the fishing regs online at mtfwp. You will probably also want to book your guides in advance, might be tough if just walk into a shop and want a guide the next day in those areas.

Last thought/suggestion...its a lot of miles between YNP and GNP. You might want to camp on rock creek and take advantage of fishing late into the evening and driving early the next morning. The fishing is going to be slowest middle of the day until evening, so try to plan your drives during the heat of the day and fish dawn and dusk. That will the case just about everywhere.

BTW, fort fizzle is one of my favorite quick and easy fishing spots.

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Old 06-14-2013, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Road Trip to Montana in August

Quote:
Originally Posted by pevelg View Post
Regarding bears.... Do I need to worry about them everywhere I go? When living in Lolo I remember reading in the papers about bears getting into town sometimes. Do I need to have bear spray/bells with me at all times?
No, the river bottoms are pretty much bear free for most of our rivers in the big agricultural valleys though I did once walk up on a big black bear on the Gallatin by Gallatin Gateway. Also saw one on the Big Hole.
I'm sure they are around on Rock Creek and the Blackfoot as well but I've never worried about them there.
Generally black bears are pretty timid. I don't really worry about them.
Grizzlys are deserving of fear and respect.

You will want bear spray for both Yellowstone and Glacier. I've hiked around both without it but it does make you feel a little bit safer. If you do get bear spray DO NOT...I repeat..DO NOT leave it in your vehicle in the sun!!!!

I was hiking in Yellowstone years and years ago and left the can on the front seat of my truck when I went back to work. When I came out of work I noticed my windows were brown...it was a total disaster. Even after ripping out the seats and replacing them and endlessly scrubbing the inside it still smelled like spicy pepper in there until I got rid of the truck a few years later. Fortunately it was somewhat of a beater.

Also the Big Hole should be pretty low come August and there is all kinds of good walk/wade access as well as camping.
The Park is really easy to fish on your own and there are all kinds of guide books and internet info out there to plan out some rivers and creeks you might want to hit.
You might think of spending your guide money on a float trip instead of a walk/wade trip. Half the fun of fishing the Park is figuring it out for yourself.
Just a thought....
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Old 06-18-2013, 01:50 AM
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Default Re: Road Trip to Montana in August

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You will want bear spray for both Yellowstone and Glacier. I've hiked around both without it but it does make you feel a little bit safer. If you do get bear spray DO NOT...I repeat..DO NOT leave it in your vehicle in the sun!!!!
Thanks for the tip, I'll gladly learn from your mistake!

I've modified my itinerary (first post) some more to reflect what I've learned. I've decided to only spend one day fishing the Madison and then will head over to YNP. I've also decided to go with the recommendation of doing a float trip and I've chosen the Yellowstone River for this. I'll also stay an extra day in YNP and will visit GNP for only 2 days.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dean_mt View Post
Last thought/suggestion...its a lot of miles between YNP and GNP. You might want to camp on rock creek and take advantage of fishing late into the evening and driving early the next morning. The fishing is going to be slowest middle of the day until evening, so try to plan your drives during the heat of the day and fish dawn and dusk. That will the case just about everywhere.
Thanks for the advice on the driving times. I've adjusted my itinerary accordingly.

I've been watching a lot of videos of the fly fishing in YNP, Madison, and Rock Creek and am really excited. The trout I am used to from the Current River in Missouri are nowhere near as stocky as those in the videos. Rock Creek seems closest to the size I am used too. I spent about 4 hours fly fishing today and nothing was bigger than 13".
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Old 09-07-2013, 01:35 PM
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Default Re: Road Trip to Montana in August

I'm back in Missouri and finally getting around to posting. I wanted to say many thanks to this forums members for helping me plan this trip. Here are the rivers, in order, that I fished:

Montana:

-Lolo Creek at Fort Fissile: Lots of small trout, lost two decent sized ones.
-West Fork of the Bitterroot: Horrible luck. One small brook and thats it.
-Big Hole: Just stopped at various locations while driving to Yellowstone. My brother did well and caught three in the 14 range, I just caught a whitefish.

Yellowstone:

-Soda Butte: Many small cutthroats
-Trout Lake: Zero luck
-Slough Creek: I caught several cutthroats in the 15 range.

GNP:

-Middle fork of the Flathead River: Some rising trout but no action.

Overall the action was not very high and predominately the trout were small. I also learned that Montana trout are a lot more spooky than what I have here in Missouri. It was still an incredible trip and I am definitely planning to go again next year, though I'll try to limit the driving. We logged well over 5k miles on this trip!
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Old 09-07-2013, 02:14 PM
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Default Re: Road Trip to Montana in August

Damned glad I didn't have to pay your bills for Petrol. 5,000 miles! Woozer.

And as for the Bitterroot, fishing above the forks is a waste of time. If you hook a fish over 7" its a rare one.
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Old 09-07-2013, 05:38 PM
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Default Re: Road Trip to Montana in August

It was a brutal August here. All the rivers were/are low which makes for much tougher fishing. The better were hiding out.

Sad footnote on Lolo Creek, the river bed is dry from the Hwy 93 bridge downstream.

Glad you had good trip and sounds like you caught a bunch of nice fish in Slough Creek.
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Old 09-26-2013, 05:20 PM
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Default Re: Road Trip to Montana in August

Well, we split the petrol bill among four of us so it wasn't that bad. The worst part was the amount of time we spent sitting in a vehicle. I've uploaded a bunch of photos from our trip, but we didn't take any pictures of the trout we let go. And while on the rivers, I concentrated on fishing rather than taking pictures, so not much photos of the rivers either. Here is a link for those who are interested:

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