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Old 01-24-2011, 01:20 PM
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Default Grayling in MT

Has anybody landed an arctic grayling in the western part of the state? I know that the Missouri has a resident population so why cant they be found in the bitterroot valley or surronding areas? I've heard of people encountering them in some alpine lakes, just wanted your guys' take on things.
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Old 01-24-2011, 02:51 PM
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Default Re: Grayling in MT

I thought the upper Big Hole was the spot?

I've only caught smaller ones on other rivers.. Big Hole's still on the list when I get over there again
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Old 01-24-2011, 06:35 PM
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Default Re: Grayling in MT

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Originally Posted by dhayden View Post
I thought the upper Big Hole was the spot?

I've only caught smaller ones on other rivers.. Big Hole's still on the list when I get over there again
Yep, it's the upper Big Hole, up above Wisdom. So I've read, I've never gone looking actually but "they" -and I mean fisheries biologists- say that it is the last fluvial population of wild Grayling in the state. Here is a link: Fluvial Arctic Grayling in Montana - Montana Chapter of the American Fisheries Society

I caught one at the forks of the Gibbon and Firehole once.

I also know of a little lake in western Montana that is full of 'em. And I would not classify it as "alpine". It's only a couple miles from the road. That is where my avatar picture - if you can make it out it's a Grayling dorsal - came from. I have some pictures of the lake and fish. I'll try to post some tonight.
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Old 01-24-2011, 11:27 PM
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Default Re: Grayling in MT

There is Grayling in Fuse Lake on Skalkaho Pass Road between Hamilton and Phillipsburg. About a 2mi. hike off of the Fuse Lake trailhead just east of the summit and west of the Rock Creek turnoff.

Summer time seasonal road. Closed in the winter.

If you go through Hamilton, be sure to stop at the Coffee Cup. Some of the best homemade pie in Montana.........maybe the the world!!
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:24 AM
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Default Re: Grayling in MT

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There is Grayling in Fuse Lake on Skalkaho Pass Road between Hamilton and Phillipsburg. About a 2mi. hike off of the Fuse Lake trailhead just east of the summit and west of the Rock Creek turnoff.

Summer time seasonal road. Closed in the winter.

If you go through Hamilton, be sure to stop at the Coffee Cup. Some of the best homemade pie in Montana.........maybe the the world!!
Well I knew my little lake wasn't a true secret, it is quite easy to get to, but come on man!

Look at the stripes on the pectoral!

Click the image to open in full size.

they like to rise...
Click the image to open in full size.

Like goldentrout said, it's an easy walk in even in sneakers!
Click the image to open in full size.
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Old 01-25-2011, 12:59 AM
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Default Re: Grayling in MT

To be honest, I have never fished Fuse Lake. I know about it because I lived in Hamilton for 3yrs. Always wanted to get up there but never did. Drove right by the trailhead several times. Another missed opportunity.

I lived 2 blocks away from the Bitterroot and spent most of my time in anticipation of the Skwala and monster Salmon Fly hatches.

Thanks for the pics. Now I know what I missed out on!
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Old 01-25-2011, 01:57 AM
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Default Re: Grayling in MT

Reading this thread makes me appreciate home.
I do wish we had more cutthroat and we have zero browns. Grayling in sheer numbers are probably our most plentiful gamefish.
I have caught literally thousands of grayling in probably hundreds of places. They are awesome on a 3wt. Egg patterns make them nuts.
What happened to the grayling there? Overfishing? Loss of habitat? Industry?
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: Grayling in MT

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Originally Posted by nerka View Post
What happened to the grayling there? Overfishing? Loss of habitat? Industry?
All of the above. Plus the introduction of non-native game fish, the Browns and Rainbows are just bigger and more aggressive. Also why Cutthroat populations survive in only a fraction of their native watersheds.

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and spent most of my time in anticipation of the Skwala and monster Salmon Fly hatches.
It's been a looong winter here already, golden, and February means that March is that much closer! The Skwala hatch is almost as popular as the Salmon Fly now, but such a great hatch.
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:41 AM
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Default Re: Grayling in MT

I lived in Fairbanks for 12 years and Grayling were my main target. Not by choice, they were the predominate fish where I fished. Great fish for a fly rod once you learn the presentation.

There is a lake in the Wind Mountains that has Grayling.

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Old 01-25-2011, 01:21 PM
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Default Re: Grayling in MT

The only place i have ever managed to land a grayling was Hyalite reservoir, just outside of bozeman.
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