Need help on Montana trip w/ non-fishing spouse.

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Steve Vaughn, Jul 13, 2013.

  1. Steve Vaughn Member

    Posts: 313
    Richland, WA
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    OK folks, I know I can count on the collective experience among the WFF faithful to help me with this tricky situation. My good buddy can't make the trip from Rochester, NY this September for our annual Montana fishing trip, so this will be a trip with my lovely bride of 38 years. I am willing to acknowledge this will not be a true fishing trip but she has agreed to spend a day floating a river with a guide - who wouldn't like that fishing or not? I know she will also be cool with me taking partial day forays to do some fishing. My original plan was to return to the Missoula area (site of last year's trip with my fishing buddy on Rock Creek) because it is relatively close for hauling the travel trailer and focus the fishing on the Blackfoot, which we didn't explore well enough. I figure that Missoula also offers plenty of non-fishing stuff to do - restaurants, shops, parks, historic sites, etc. We are looking at the first or second week in September.

    I'm looking for concurrence that this is a good plan or suggestions of a better destination for this type of trip. All input will be greatly appreciated.

    Steve
  2. Rick Todd Active Member

    Posts: 1,859
    Ferndale/Winthrop
    Ratings: +236 / 0
    The Blackfoot offers some nice camping along it and good wade fishing. Might want to also hook up (your trailer) at Angler's Roost near Hamilton on the Bitterroot and get a guide to do that river (I have had good luck with Grizzly Hackle in Missoula). You might also stop in St Regis on the way over (Nugget RV park is nice) and do a day trip to the St Joe for some wade fishing. Also, the Clark Fork Trout Shop can get you a good guide for the Clark Fork while you are there. Staying in that area offers a lot of good water without moving your trailer much. Also, you can drop down into the Big Hole Valley for some fishing (try the Complete Fly Angler in Wise River) hit the historic former state capitol in Bannock and visit the touristy towns of Nevada City and Virginia City. Dillon is also worth a visit and you can visit the "Old Man"! Rick
  3. Kyle Smith Active Member

    Posts: 1,944
    Bozeman, MT
    Ratings: +253 / 0
    Take the lady up to Flathead for a day! Also get a burger at Trixie's in Ovando. And also try the lower Bitterroot for the tricos.
  4. Craig Pablo Active Member

    Posts: 236
    Ronan, MT
    Ratings: +55 / 0
    Missoula has plenty to offer your wife, and September is a great time overall to enjoy Montana, especially the fishing. If you want a guided trip I would highly recommend Brooks Jessen with A Classic Journey outfitters, you won't find a nicer, harder working guy to get you on fish and make your trip memorable. Enjoy!
  5. Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

    Posts: 2,666
    Snoqualmie, WA
    Ratings: +844 / 1
    Agree with the previous posts, Missoula has plenty of non-fishing stuff to do. Try a trip out to the hot springs at Lolo Pass as an idea. Beautiful drive and a nice soak!
  6. Eric Candelaria Member

    Posts: 94
    North Bend, Wa
    Ratings: +22 / 0
    I find the best thing to do is offer the wife a day spa package. I easily get a full 8 hour day in when I get her one of those! If you try Cedar Creek Day spa which is right in the old down town area they take good care of you!. Oh and by the way the owners husband owns Clearcreek Outfitters, Doug. Great guy, exxellent guide with hard bottom boats and a large raft to hit any water in the area you want. I have spent quite a few trips with him on the Blackfoot, Bitterroot, Upper Clark Fork, and a couple of trips up to the Mo if you have the time.
    Steve Vaughn likes this.
  7. dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

    Posts: 4,097
    Near the Fjord
    Ratings: +563 / 0
    Between Butte and Bozeman are the "Lewis and Clark Caverns"... awesome.
  8. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,395
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,355 / 9
    Currently having a blast in Glacier National Park. Plenty to see, lots of short hikes ending at lakes with casting room and fish. Horseback rides, boat rides, guided tours, whitewater rafting and fishing, truly an amazing place. Check dates and weather conditions. Some things shut down mid to late September.
  9. Dave Evans Active Member

    Posts: 531
    E. WA / N ID
    Ratings: +98 / 0
    Perhaps the Park and stay in West Y. I used to take my ex- there and have her drop me off at Blue Ribbon for a day guided trip and she took the truck wherever she wanted, usually into the park to take pictures of wildlife. She would just pick me up when I got back.
  10. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,470
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,609 / 0
    If my wife didn't fish, I'd drop her off in Spokane or any place sunny and pick her up on the way back home. What would your wife be doing if your NY fishing buddy did meet you in MT? Seems like there ought to be an alternative that doesn't make this less of a fishing trip if that's what you had planned.

    Sg
  11. Steve Vaughn Member

    Posts: 313
    Richland, WA
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    She would have been home working and taking care of our grandson. I offered to make this a trip with her because I knew I would get endless grief about going alone. Ever since my heart attack she frets about things like that even though the quintuple bypass and regular trips to the gym have me in better shape than I have been in years. The hard part with her is her inability to relax. She needs to be doing something all the time and if it is in a 'city' so much the better from her perspective. Missoula seems to fit the bill though Ed has given me pause to consider Glacier.

    I did a bit of web research on the Cedar Creek Outfitters / Day Spa recommended by upsops. It would be an expensive day but might be worth it.

    Thanks to everyone for the input.

    Steve V.
  12. David Loy Senior Moment

    Posts: 2,399
    Wolf Bay
    Ratings: +318 / 1
    A cousin went fly fishing with buddies in the Seychelles. You get there by flying through Paris, where they left their wives for a week.
    Her Day Spa will be cheap.
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  13. Trustfunder Active Member

    Posts: 169
    rock creek
    Ratings: +71 / 0
    I've encountered this situation quite a bit with some of the people traveling through, I will say that if your spouse doesn't like the outdoors, then she's not going to like Montana. The metropolitian types have a tough time adjusting.... unless it's an exclusive ranch/resort. My advice is the most important thing to bring on this trip is a good sense of humor.

    Given your predicament, here's a few things you might consider on your off the water time... a drive up the flathead east side of the lake to pick up some cheeries and lunch at a place across the road from Flathead Brewery. You can also hit the Bison Range for some wildlife viewing. A trip to Garnet Ghost town up the blackfoot, a trip to pburg for shopping and candy, Missoula farmers market and take in a small town rodeo.
  14. tyeoneon Member

    Posts: 90
    Wenatchee, Washington
    Ratings: +35 / 0
    Definitely Trixies in Ovando. While you're there, head in to the fly shop and get a bumper snicker!
    They say "I got a rod and a reel for my wife. Pretty good trade, doncha
    think?"
    Steve Vaughn likes this.
  15. Steve Vaughn Member

    Posts: 313
    Richland, WA
    Ratings: +40 / 0
    Thanks Trustfinder. These are things on our list. Don't get me wrong, my wife was born and raised a country girl but just isn't a fisher person. My proudest moment was watching her take our girls and their cousins fishing off a dock 'back home' and cutting nightcrawlers in half with her fingernails. She can get down and dirty but doesn't enjoy it much. She will like hiking and sharing a drift boat trip down a Montana river, but she also will like shopping and going to restaurants in Missoula. She has put up with my obsessive behavior as a fly fisherman and amateur blues man, so I can indulge her a bit. After all the key is getting away from work stress and find some peace and quite. I think we can do that around Missoula. I might even show her the spot I fell in love with on Rock Creek last year.

    Steve V.