C&R in Montana last week of August

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Randy Knapp, Aug 11, 2002.

  1. Randy Knapp Active Member

    Posts: 1,132
    Warm Springs, Virginia, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    My fishing buddy and I are planning a trip to Montana or B.C. at the end of August. We already have annual non-resident licenses for Montana so it seems like a logical choice if the waters are cold and producing well. We are planning to devote a day to driving each way and then will have 3 to 5 days for fishing. We will be tent camping and will be wading so need to have good access points. We don't have a boat and can't afford a guide. Any ideas would be appreciated.

    Randy
  2. reachcaster New Member

    Posts: 11
    Spokane, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I am from Montana, and my favorite river to fish at the end of August is the Boulder, outside of Big Timber in south central MT. There are miles upon miles of wadable fishing and great access points. I would suggest Boulder Forks access for a base just outside of McCleod. Some monster browns lurk in these waters. I believe a past state record Brown came from above McCleod on the West Boulder. Boulder Forks has primitive campsites, with a small restroom. The scenery is fantastic and the fishing is a 2 second walk away. The Boulder Forks access sits on a peninsula of sorts and the East and West Boulder rivers meet here to form the Boulder. The water is cool and gin clear. There are numerous access sites for miles north and south down State 298. You will find plenty of fishing at Boulder Forks to last for more than a week, but the drive southwest down 298 (a good solid country road) will turn up some beautiful riffles, runs, holes, and scenery. You will be able to fish dry flies, nymphs, and streamers. The Brown population is very healthy, as is the rainbow pop. You can grab a cold beer just a couple of miles down the road at the very rural roadhouse, The Road Kill Cafe. You will pass it to your left on your way to Boulder Forks. You may see one other fisherman during your entire stay, unless others from this site read this post and decide to go. I would suggest taking adams, humpies in all colors(especially yellow), stimulators, hoppers and more hoppers, midges in all stages, pheasant tails, hare's ears, princes, and streamers such as the Bighorn Special. To get to the access just take I-90 to Big Timber. Go through town following the 298 signs. You cross a bridge back over I-90 and head southwest down 298. At about 15 miles you will see the Boulder Forks access sign clearly marked and turn left into the access. This is a great area to fish. I hope this suggestion has been helpful.
    Good Luck,
    Curt
    P.S. I would purchase a DeLorme's Gazetteer of Montana if you do not already have one. The access is clearly marked on page 28.
  3. Randy Knapp Active Member

    Posts: 1,132
    Warm Springs, Virginia, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks for the suggestion. It sounds like the place to go. One question: my buddy says the Montana Angler's Guide says most of the area you suggest is private property. Are there access points or will we have to knock on doors and beg?
  4. reachcaster New Member

    Posts: 11
    Spokane, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    There is a stream access law in Montana. As long as you stay below the high water mark, you are legal. I have never had anyone complain to me about being on their land. Also, this area has eight public access points within 15 miles either way. These access points are marked as campgrounds or fishing access. In the area around Boulder Forks campground you can easily walk 5 miles in either direction on both forks of the Boulder and the Boulder itself. I have fished this section countless times, and never had a problem. There is ranch just across the East Boulder (accessible by a private bridge)that you will see from the camping area. I have fished the ranch side of the river, always stayed below the high water mark, and only received friendly waves from the owner. The high water mark, especially in August will give you a good 30 or 40 feet on either side of the river at all times. If you decide to go, be sure to fish my favorite easy access hole. Just walk down the peninsula to the confluence of the East and West Boulder, cross the East Boulder at its shallowest point, about 20 yards up from where the rivers join. On the ranch side of the river you will look acroos the headwaters of the main Boulder. There are numerous rocks, with great holding areas and some good riffled runs. Dry flies and tandem nymph rigs always work in this area. I have fished in one spot, never moving more than 10 feet either way, and landed 20 + fish in this run. Also, at Boulder Forks you will notice numerous fishing access gates built by the state specifically for fisherman. This area is a remote, relaxing, and friendly place to catch some big fish. Good Luck.
    Curt
  5. bitchcreek New Member

    Posts: 13
    .
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    The thing about going deep into Montana is this. You will drive over several blue ribbon trout streams on your way to the Boulder. Once you cross the border there is a great stream, probably in the top 3 flyfishing streams in Montana named the Clark Fork where the majority of the fish are 15"+ and most of the fishing is with drys. I'm not trying to sell the Clark Fork but it will cut down on your driving by about at least 10 hours and it will give you that much more time to fish. You would drive past the Madison, the Missouri, the Gallitan...
    and the list would go on. So you do what you will.

    P. S. I'm also from Montana
    :DUNNO
  6. mat1226 Active Member

    Posts: 409
    Bellingham, WA.
    Ratings: +28 / 0
    Bitchcreek is right. You will drive across lots of good water. I think though that Reachcaster has given amazing advice on a wadeable stream. I used to live in Livingston and never went that way. What a shame, I'm ready to drive right now.

    I hear from a very good source (in my family) that the Missouri is doing very well, I just do not know how wadeable it is. He had his boat. Another very good wading stream that Bitchcreek mentions is the Gallatin. Have fun.

    Mark
  7. Greg Moore New Member

    Posts: 315
    Ellicott City (Baltimore), Md.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    While you may be driving past some great water to get to the Boulder, the Clark Fork is one river that you would need either a guide and/or boat or have been with a guide before and know where to fish. I'd head to the Boulder, it truly is beautiful country.

    Good Luck!


    Greg
  8. Canedawg Member

    Posts: 203
    .
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Guys I am originally from Havre

    and I just rolled in from Missoula today. I was visiting to brothers there . I think the Cark Fork is an excellent choice, but if I had to pick a river in that area it is The Blackfoot. It has really improved over the years. If you go ,fish above Clearwater Junction on Highway 200.There is alot of access,but where you access the river move up about 100 yards and keep fishing. I got broken off twice yesterday. One fish Took off, and broke my leader like it was twine. The one thing that you should take from these posts are 1) the posters on this board are very helpful and generous with their knowledge. 2) there is a hell if alot of great trout water in Montana. I hope you have a great time. Mark
  9. reachcaster New Member

    Posts: 11
    Spokane, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Sure, you will drive across some great water. The Clark's Fork is a good river. However, I think that the rivers east of the divide are more productive and less crowded, except for the Bighorn, Madison, and Gallatin. This area of the Boulder is untapped. It is a local secret, and the reason that I have shared it with you is because I have recently moved to Spokane, and am unable to fish the Boulder this August and would like to live vicariously through your post on this site after you fish this area.
    Tight Lines,
    curt
  10. mat1226 Active Member

    Posts: 409
    Bellingham, WA.
    Ratings: +28 / 0
    Like I said folks, file this info away. This is information that is normally very hard to come by. Trust me, I lived near this stream for 5 years.

    I say many thanks to reachcaster. Never to be shared with anyone who is not a confirmed C & R person.

    Mark
  11. Randy Knapp Active Member

    Posts: 1,132
    Warm Springs, Virginia, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    We're going! I will give a full report when we get back. Lonely and beautiful is what we want and you have said all the right things.

    Thanks again,
    Randy
  12. bugbitten New Member

    Posts: 33
    Gig Harbor, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Please post your results. I'm planning a trip mid September and was thinking of hitting the rivers on the west side as others suggested vs driving farther to the Boulder but after reading what Reachcaster had to share, I'm tempted, too, to keep on driving. Looking forward to reading about your experience. If possible, please detail your route as I have absolutely no knowledge of the area but also have a nonres license for Montana for the year as I fish the Bighorn 2-3x a year.
  13. mtp1032 New Member

    Posts: 51
    Sammamish, WA, US.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Go to Boulder. West of the divide is fair to good right now. For example, I just returned from Rock Creek last week and had a really great time - Caught a big brown, and a bunch of 12-15" cutts.

    However, the folks at the Rock Creek Mercantile, as well as the guide we hired for one of the days we fished, said that the fishing east of the divide is really, really great right now. If I had it to do over, I'd continue east.

    Oh, and think hoppers. Big ugly rubber legged hoppers.

    Good luck,

    Michael