This August I will be driving down to Missoula MT for a two week vacation with my brother (a fly fisher) and maybe up to three friends (1 fisher, 2 non fishers). Originally the plan was to just fly fish for two weeks, but since two of my friends don't fish, we also plan to visit some of the NP's. I grew up in Lolo MT and I miss every moment of it, so I am very excited about this trip.
We'll arrive in Missoula on August 5th and after resting the night, we plan to start my fly fishing adventure. The plan is to fish around the Missoula/Lolo area for a few days and then drive down to Yellowstone NP for about 3 days. After that, we'll drive up to Glacier NP and stay there about 3 days as well. Even though I lived in Montana for about 6 years, I've never had the opportunity to visit any of the NP's, so hiking and sightseeing is also one of my primary goals for this vacation. After Glacier NP we'll return back to Missoula and after spending one more night I will reluctantly leave MT and drive back to my current home in Missouri.
What rivers we should fish while in the Missoula area? I prefer more secluded rivers/streams.
So far we plan to visit the Bitterroot and Lolo Creek as I spent a lot of time there growing up, but we only plan to spend about a day in Lolo. I've seen some information here on the forum for Yellowstone NP and plan to use that when I'm there. I'm not sure where I'll fish while in Glacier NP.
I am fairly new to fly fishing as I only discovered fly fishing here in Missouri. I usually fish the Current River in Missouri, several miles from the state park. The largest trout I caught there was a 17 inch Brown. Mostly I catch rainbows in the 14 to 9 inch range.
My current pole is a 5 weight Orvis Access with a CFO III reel. Is this sufficient for the larger trout in MT? I feel like I have what I need for this trip in terms of gear (waders/vest/non felt boots/etc) so I mainly need to stock up on appropriate flys and tippet material. I generally use #5 tippets, though I have some 6 and 3 as well. I use the Orvis Mirage tippets.
Any tips on flys, rivers, or general advice would be greatly appreciated!
**********LAST UPDATE 06-18-13*************************************
**********My latest schedule that I'll update as planning continues**********
Day 1, Monday August 5th: Arrive in Missoula around noon. Check into hotel. Eat. Most likely will head down to Rock Creek to fish for a few hours. Go to airport at midnight to pick up brother.
Day 2, Tuesday: Drive down to Lolo in the morning. Go swim the Bitterroot, visit my old home, visit Lolo Creek, Fort Fissel (sp?), & Lolo Hot Springs. Sometime that afternoon we will leave and head south towards West Fork Bitterroot. Try some fishing that evening and perhaps find a camping spot.
Day 3, Wednesday: If fishing is good at West Fork Bitterroot, I will stay there for most of the morning. Drive down to Ennis that afternoon, or earlier if fishing is poor at West Fork Bitterroot. Once I'm at Ennis, we'll head over to the Madison and fish the recommended wading locations. Will camp somewhere by Ennis.
Day 4, Thursday: Get up very early in the morning and drive down to Gardiner. Go on an all day float trip on the Yellowstone with a guide. After float trip we will head over to YNP if still daylight and set up camp. Otherwise will camp in Gardiner.
Day 5, Friday: Explore YNP. Activities will mainly involve hiking and fishing. I purchased three guide books, Lonely Planet YNP for general information and planning, a fly fishing guide to YNP, and a hiking guide to YNP. Rivers I'll try to fish will be Gardiner, Lamar, Soda Creek and Slough Creek.
Day 6, Saturday: Explore YNP, as above.
Day 7, Sunday: Explore YNP, as above.
Day 8, Monday: Explore YNP, as above.
Day 9, Tuesday: Get ready to leave YNP. Might try some morning fishing, but plan to leave before noon. Arrive in Missoula that afternoon. Go fishing at Rock Creek. Will camp the night here.
Day 10, Wednesday: Fish Rock Creek during the morning, then drive up to GNP. Setup base camp and explore GNP.
Day 11, Thursday: Explore GNP.
Day 12, Friday: Leave GNP around noon, return to Missoula. Fish Rock Creek or maybe some other location close to Missoula. Will leave Montana later that evening.
Day 13, Saturday: Arrive home and start planning my next trip!