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  1. #31
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Western Montana
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    4,652

    Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by dharkin View Post
    Bummer? Not sure yet. I understand that it will add some time but after all, we are after an adventure. Has anyone ever driven from coeur d'alene Idaho to Missoula, Montana? I bet there are places to fish and sites that will last a lifetime.
    Having to fly into Spokane isn't the worst thing, and Coeur d'Alene is right along the route to Missoula. I don't think it's an hour and a half either. Coeur d'Alene is nice little town on a big beautiful lake. The drive from Coeur d'Alene to Missoula is as scenic of an interstate drive as you'll find. It's only 150 miles or so to Missoula and over two really great mountain passes. You'll be right along the St. Regis river once you get into Montana, and you'll want to stop and fish really bad because it looks so nice but I've never heard much about it. I'm sure there are at least some cutthroats, but it parallels the interstate, you aren't coming to Montana to fish next to semi-trucks!

    You'll be driving along the Clark Fk, which is a really good river for big rainbows, but it's also a really big river, particularly down there. You have to know where to go. But there are lots of small tributary streams, too.

    Will you be outfitted to camp yet, for just a night even, before getting to Missoula and picking up your rig? One of my favorite spots to camp and fish is on that stretch of road. Even if you can't stay the night, it is worth a couple hours of fishing.

    Where are you flying out of? Do you have to go all the way back to Spokane?

  2. #32
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    454

    Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

    "Too funny! Thanks Larry. you're the best."

    Sorry about the above, I think that was associated with a previous PM.
    Last edited by dharkin; 01-06-2012 at 04:17 PM. Reason: My Bad!!!!

  3. #33
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
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    454

    Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

    Thanks Larry.

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Now in Sedona AZ
    Posts
    221

    Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

    OK, now that we know you are going to hang out around Missoula, we can give you some recommendations.

    First, since you indicated you did not want a guide, I suggest you scrap the big rivers (Clark Fork, Bitterroot, Blackfoot) at least in their lower reaches as they are BIG and fish best from a boat.

    Personally, I could spend a full week on Rock Creek alone. Miles of access, easy wading, good fishing and not too crowded in mid-late September.

    Other smaller streams that would be worth a try are Flint Creek, Lolo Creek, Little Blackfoot River, Ninemile Creek, Fish Creek, and, contrary to what was said above, St. Regis River.

    The Clark Fork above Deer Lodge is small enough to wade as are the East and West Forks of the Bitterroot at the headwaters.

    Good Luck!

    Chris

  5. #35

    Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

    I second the rock creek advice. Just a great piece of water with the easiest of access, beautiful valley, great fishing and the chance for a bull trout, which i could never fool into taking my dry. I personally can't wait for another chance to fish it.

  6. #36

    Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

    Rock Creek & Bull Trout

    Careful.. I've never fished for them there but..

    Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks :: Northwest Montana Bull Trout Fishing
    >>
    Bull trout fishing is permitted in four western district waters of Montana: Hungry Horse Reservoir, South Fork Flathead River, Lake Koocanusa and Swan Lake. All other waters in Montana are closed to intentional fishing for bull trout.<<

    I don't fish up there often, but the Bitterroot does have some very good wade fishing access too.. not just for boats - at least where I've gone
    Dave
    406

  7. #37

    Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

    uh oh...i was misinformed! stupid me believing everything my guide friend says! the best was me wading out at night with a big zonker for about an hour, and my headlight died. guess what happened next. WET! thank goodness the fire was already going at the campsite!

  8. #38
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Western Montana
    Posts
    4,652

    Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by bobafett View Post
    uh oh...i was misinformed!
    Quote Originally Posted by bobafett View Post
    and the chance for a bull trout, which i could never fool into taking my dry.
    I wouldn't worry about it...no one would ever accuse you of targeting bull trout with a dry fly! Only the the little young one take dries, still very rare. Now, the Zonker at night, that's a better idea...

    As Dave said, there is excellent wade fishing on the Bitterroot, and in the fall you can wade the best waters of the mid river. The Blackfoot is also an good option to wade in the fall. You aren't just going to cross back and forth wherever you want to, but you can still catch plenty of fish wading smartly. The Clark Fork is a great sized wading stream a lot closer to Missoula than Deer Lodge...10-15 miles out of town and it is a lovely wade stream.

    Quote Originally Posted by fishnskiguy View Post
    Other smaller streams that would be worth a try are Flint Creek, Lolo Creek, Little Blackfoot River, Ninemile Creek, Fish Creek, and, contrary to what was said above, St. Regis River.
    Flint is fun, access is a little trickier, Ninemile is a really little crick with even less access. Flint, Fish, and Little BF all have places I like to hit, some are easier than others.

    It comes down to what kind of fishermen you are and what kind of fishing you want to do. As echoed above, there is 45+ miles of excellent trout water with access almost the entire way on Rock Ck where you can fish hatches in the fall (BWO/Baetis, hecuba, October Caddis), pocket water, bottomless holes, etc.

    If you love to challenge yourself on pods of big, rising and selective rainbows - the Bitterroot is your place. Or I can put you on some specific spots on the Clark Fork, which isn't really "wadeable" but you can get to awesome fish.

    Small streams and exploration? The drainages of the Bitterroot are probably you place.

    When you get your itinerary pinned down get back.

  9. #39
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    454

    Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

    Hi Guys,
    Hi Dean_MT,
    We are picking up the rig in Coeur d’Alene and then we will be heading to Missoula. We will be “loaded for Bear” at that point so anything is a go after we get on the road to Missoula. The logistical aspect of the camper rental is a concern for sure. The fact that they closed the Missoula office hurts pretty bad. We will have to return the vehicle to Coeur d’Alene and then fly out of Spokane if we stay with the current plan.

    I am going to sit down with my buddy this weekend and try to crunch some time/numbers. All of you have given such great advice but it will take some time to digest it all.

    General question for all;
    Are we missing out on the “Montana” experience without booking a guide or a float trip for a day? Is a seven day trip enough for us?

    Take care.

  10. #40
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Western Montana
    Posts
    4,652

    Default Re: Lewis and Harks Montana Exp of 2012

    Quote Originally Posted by dharkin View Post
    Are we missing out on the “Montana” experience without booking a guide or a float trip for a day? Is a seven day trip enough for us?
    I misunderstood...so you are ready to roll once you leave C d'Alene, that is good. There are some great options before you hit Missoula, I'd be glad to show you a loop on the map that would be a lot fun, lots of fishing and camping along the a route that goes up into the mountains on dirt road and then back down to civilization...past a really good bar in the woods - you said you wanted a "Montana Experience"!

    Seven days is good, but since you have to spend two driving - one into Montana and one back to Spokane - you really have 5, 5 1/2 days of fishing time. I'll always take as much as I can get, so if you can an extra day or two...take it!!

    I'll send that route via a PM, if you're interested. I don't like to put my favorite spots out on the WORLD WIDE Web!

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