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Thread: Which one? Estes Park CO or Big Sky MT.

  1. Default Which one? Estes Park CO or Big Sky MT.

    Planning our first fly fishing trip west of the Mississippi with my non- fishing wife and can't decide between the two! Great problem to have! Rockies vrs. Yellowstone. Looking at the third week of June this year but maybe later this summer. Have lines on guides and lodging.

    Any recommendations or regrets you can share to help me decide? (Can't do both!):icon_cry

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Which one? Estes Park CO or Big Sky MT.

    Estes Park, RMNP, is something else if you love the high country lakes and solitude. Spent a week there 2 summers ago and it was fantastic. Fished a bunch of high country lakes and the Big Thompson in RMNP. Used Kirk's Fly Shop for advice and they seemed to know their stuff.
    Can't speak for MT as I haven't been there yet but it's certainly on my list!

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  4. #3
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    Default Re: Which one? Estes Park CO or Big Sky MT.

    If you both have been to Yellowstone before I have no opinion. If you've not been there, go.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Which one? Estes Park CO or Big Sky MT.

    Great advice from the others, both locations are great, you would have a wonderful trip in either place. If you decide to go to Yellowstone, pick up a copy of "Fly Fishing YNP" by Nate Schweber, great info in that book.
    Larry


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  7. #5
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    Default Re: Which one? Estes Park CO or Big Sky MT.

    Haven't been to Montana but I have fished around Estes Park... IMHO Estes has a couple of advantages.

    First, its easier to get to... fly into Denver and its about 1.5 hours a way...
    Second, there's lots of fishing inside the Park and a lot outside the park too. Lower Big Thompson, Cache La Poudre, South Platte (well, a little further) and a ton of small front range streams.
    Third, as your wife is a non-fisher, there's lots of other things to do around Estes Park, in Boulder ( a short drive) and Denver ( a little longer driver), or Fort Collins...
    Fourth, you can buy a really nice bamboo rod from Mike Clark in Lyons
    Drawback is that Estes Park is very touristy with all the glitz that goes with that!
    Plus, you can climb to the Continental Divide and pee into the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific at the same time! Try that in Montana!

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  9. #6

    Default Re: Which one? Estes Park CO or Big Sky MT.

    Do you mean Yellowstone or Big Sky, MT?

    If you're sight seeing, Yellowstone is hard to beat, Glacier might top it, depends on what you prefer. Bozeman airport has good connections, then 1.5 hours into the park from there. (small airport still, but gets about 1M passengers a year)

    If you're really going on a fishing vacation, Yellowstone wouldn't be my 1st choice, but it's a great 1 or 2 day sight seeing diversion. From the park to fantastic fishing in Idaho (Island Park) or Montana (Madison River to name one) is relatively close


    >> dhaynes >>
    Plus, you can climb to the Continental Divide and pee into the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific at the same time! Try that in Montana!
    <<

    well, we have that too (as does anyone that has the continental divide going through their state) , but you can also pee into Hudson Bay (lookup Triple Divide Peak) at the same time.. top that!

    And either way - mods might move this to the 'Rockies' Section
    Dave
    406

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  11. #7
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    Default Re: Which one? Estes Park CO or Big Sky MT.

    Quote Originally Posted by dhayden View Post


    >> dhaynes >>
    Plus, you can climb to the Continental Divide and pee into the Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific at the same time! Try that in Montana!
    <<

    well, we have that too (as does anyone that has the continental divide going through their state) , but you can also pee into Hudson Bay (lookup Triple Divide Peak) at the same time.. top that!

    And either way - mods might move this to the 'Rockies' Section
    oooopps.... I knew cutting geography class in h.s. would come back to haunt me.. well played, dhayden, well played,,,,,

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  13. #8
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    Default Re: Which one? Estes Park CO or Big Sky MT.

    Could also use West Yellowstone as the base for your exploration. Haven't fished Yellowstone but have been several times doing the sightseeing thing. West Yellowstone you can hit the Madison, Gallatin, Slough Creek, Firehole, and Yellowstone Rivers...might not be a bad idea either!

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  15. #9
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    Default Re: Which one? Estes Park CO or Big Sky MT.

    It's beginning to sound like you'll need to take a number of trips to get the whole Rocky Mountain fishing experience. I've been to both areas and am fortunate that I was able to spend years exploring America. That's what it took, years. Regardless of where you choose (I don't know where you live & fish) the Rocky experience will be a good one.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  16. #10

    Default Re: Which one? Estes Park CO or Big Sky MT.

    As well as The Book Larry recommended there's another really Good Book:
    The Yellowstone Fly-Fishing Guide by Craig Mathews & Clayton Molinero.
    Also there's heaps on The Internet about Fishing Yellowstone Accommodations etc.
    The
    Brian.

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