Western Travels 2010...

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by GABoy, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. GABoy

    GABoy Member

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    ttle slow in getting the pics uploaded... But here is the recap from my trip...

    Flew into Missoula, MT on Aug 2nd... Where a 4wd 4dr Wrangler and a lot of good trout water were waiting on me. Went and got some essentials and a license, then headed to the Bitterroot for an hour or 3. Pretty slow trout fishing where I was... But the Rocky Mtn Bonefishing was entertaining... Managed one little trout that fell for a caddis. Pretty river though and I'm sure has some big browns hiding somewhere.

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    Decided to cut out a little early to set up "camp" at the next spot...


    The mobile home for the next few days...

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    The next spot was less than 35 miles away from Missoula... A nice big freestone stream, with some big residents.

    Some of the landscape from day 2...

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    This was one of my favorite streams I fished on the trip... Some nice Browns and a few big Westslope Cutts to hand. Fish steadily rising all morning to Spruce moths!!!

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    Some of the browns...

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    One of the nice Cutts...

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    Hard to pull away from such pretty water and good fishing...

    But back on the road...


    Next spot the Big Hole Headwaters....
     
  2. GABoy

    GABoy Member

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    Big Hole....

    Next on the list was the very headwaters of the Big Hole... Lots of FS road time to get to this one!!

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    Nothing but pretty brookies and signs of a few unwanted 4 footed friends... Luckily the fish rose to dries and I didn't see any of the terrestrial residents!!

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    Headed downstream hoping to catch one of the fluvial grayling found in the Upper river... All I found were more brookies and MILLIONS of mosquitos... But at least the specks were bigger and still taking dries.

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    Some of the non-native invasives...

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    Next stop... Henry's Fork, ID...
     
  3. GABoy

    GABoy Member

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    Henry's Fork...

    Made a late night drive and found a spot to park the jeep for a few hours before hitting the river...

    Got up and talked to a Bob Evans for a while before making my way into TroutHunter for breakfast, flies, and a license. What a sweet place Harrop has there!! And the breakfast burrito was delicious!

    Too bad the river wasn't as good to me as he burrito... TOUGH water out there. Multiple hatches occuring all morning... Tricos, PMDS, Caddis, Baetis, small stones, etc. I had NO idea what they were rising to?!?!?!

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    Got skunked duiring the morning session and missed a few swipes at a hopper in the afternoon... Took a lunch break back at the Jeep, tied a few split case flies, and refreshed with a Moose Drool... Determined to get the skunk off...

    Clouds coming in during the evening hatch...

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    Wind started picking up and a few fish started rising. Managed to get one on the PMD split case I tied up... A rainbow that may have gone 9 in. Then I saw a good fish start gulping 15 ft away from me and somehow managed to put a decent cast and he took the PMD!! In my amazement of the cast and take, I forgot to clear the line... 6X is doesn't like that...

    Fish is gone and the wind and storms roll in...

    Enough to make whitecaps that went upstream...

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    Henry's Fork... Fun, technical fishery, good burritos, and massive windstorms!!!


    Next stop... Flat Creek, Jackson WY
     
  4. GABoy

    GABoy Member

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    Flat Creek, WY...

    Went and stayed a few days in Jackson with some old friends from HS. Got a much needed shower, home cooked meal, and sleep in a real bed.

    Made my way over to Flat Creek and talked to a local guide finishing up. Real nice guy, gave me close to a dozen flies and let me in on a few tips.

    This is a beautiful, technical, Snake River Cuttie, meadow stream in an Elk Refuge.

    Smart, big cutts make this home... Saw/missed a few good ones and landed a few of the smaller fish... Mostly small nymphs in the deeper slots but had a few take the Yellow Trude dry I was dropping them from...

    Shot of Sleeping Indian...

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    Cutties...

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    Stayed till late in the afternoon with hopes of hanging a good fish on a mouse or streamer, but an afternoon thunderstorm ran me off...

    Went back to my friends place, had a good dinner and some great western brews... And maybe a few too many bourbon drinks...


    Next spott, Snake River Trib...
     
  5. GABoy

    GABoy Member

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    Un-named Snake River Trib...

    One of my guide buddy's friends told me about a little spring creek trib of the Snake that has a decent population of nice sized cutts, right under the Tetons!!!

    Definitely had to check out this place... And it did not dissapoint... Great fish and scenery!!!

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    Couldn't get any of these fish to come up to a dry... But as soon as I put an indy rig on, it was game on...

    Some of the Snake River Cutties....

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    Went back and got an awesome bacon Billy Burger and then enjoyed a late night in Jackson....

    That means for a late start to Yellowstone the next day...
     
  6. GABoy

    GABoy Member

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    Yellowstone...

    Drove up to Yellowstone from Jackson... Stopping at the old marina I used to work at, Colterbay...

    Talk about a view from the "Office"....

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    Old stomping grounds... Where I first started flyfishing in 2005...

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    Made it to Yellowstone with enough time to fish for an hour or two. Ended up fising the Gibbon River near Madison Junction for a few... Managed a decent brown right off the bat and then struggled to get the next few...

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    Unfortunately, the fish didn't want to hang around long enough for the pictures...

    But the ones I got took small caddis and attractor patterns...


    Drove over to West Yellowstone and found a place to eat and park the rig. Woke up and headed to the Lamar Valley....
     
  7. GABoy

    GABoy Member

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    Lamar Canyon...

    Stopped by a fly shop in West Yellowstone who mentioned how good the Lamar and Soda Butte have been fishing, and suggested I try it... Said it may be slightly stained from the rain...

    Beautiful drive over to the NE corner...

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    And a little slow going thanks to these guys... AND TOURISTS!!!

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    Was hoping to fish in the meadow... But the slightly stained Lamar and Soda Butte looked more like Yohoo than trout water. Checked out the Lamar Canyon and water clarity was much better... At the start of the canyon...

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    Heavy indy rig with a RubberLegs and a tungsten worm produced a few fish before the river blew out...

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    Then the river started looking like this....

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    And eventually like this at the top of the canyon...

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    Oh well... Called it early and got a campsite near the next day's water... Slough Creek..
     
  8. GABoy

    GABoy Member

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    Slough Creek 2nd Meadow...

    Headed over to the Slough Creek trailhead and got stuck in a traffic jam because of this little guy...

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    Not really what you want to see before you head 6+ miles into the backcountry...

    Loaded up with mosquito and bear spray, the new Sage LL 4 weight, some lunch and started my way up to 2nd meadows... The first 1 1/2 miles is nearly straight up... Tough little hike for us flatlanders!!

    About 2 miles in you come to first meadow...

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    Not a bad stretch by any means... Just a little more crowded.

    Kept hiking another several miles and was then greeted by these signs...

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    Kept on hiking, much louder now, and found a little stretch of heaven....

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    The fishing started off hot and I pulled several nice fish from a run with hoppers and attractors... Then the fish quit rising and it got a little tougher. You would have to walk the banks quitely and stalk them. I picked up around half dozen sight-fishing a copper john... One of them was an easy 20" but quickly broke me off under an undercut bank...

    Some of the Yellowstone Cuts...

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    Started the long hike out and managed to catch the only effects of a threatening rainstorm...

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    Looking down on 1st Meadow coming back from 2nd....

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    View of Yellowstone from the top of the ridge...

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    Next stop Yellowstone and the Gallatin...
     
  9. GABoy

    GABoy Member

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    Paradise Valley and the Gallatin...

    Went and tried to fish the Yellowstone in Paradise Valley... Gorgeous area! But tough fishing unless you are floating. Tried a few spots but the wind and big/deep water proved to be too much for my skills...

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    Definitely wish I had access to a boat!!!!


    Decided to head over to Bozeman and try my luck on the Gallatin... Got in touch with KnotSlippin' and he invited me to come fish his awesome little section of the Gallatin. This stretch is less than a 5 minute walk from his house!! Definitely envy you buddy!!!! Did alright with a indy rig and weight. Caught a brown, a rainbow, and a whitey. Broke off a VERY solid brown when my reel was set too tight!!!
    But overall an awesome stream... With a lot of variety of water types to fish!!

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    Steven, thanks for the hospitality brother!!! Give me a holler next time you are back in GA!!!


    Next on the list.... The Madison
     
  10. GABoy

    GABoy Member

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    Madison...

    Made my way over to Ennis and camped at a Fishing Access Site. Breakfast at the Diner and flies from Madison River Fishing Company and I was headed back south towards 3 Dollar Bridge....

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    Fishing was fairly tough... The river looks like one big riffle and it makes finding fishy spots a little harder...

    Finally found a nice seam and put a good cast right on the edge... FISH ON!!!

    Beautiful Madison River Brown...

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    Nothing really more happening on indicators rigs, so I tied on a hopper-copper john set-up and fished the slack water... Picked up a few bows here and there... And missed a few more...

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    Managed this big pretty rainbow on the hopper...

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    Started heading back to the Jeep and tried one more cast right under the bridge which resulted in an instant hook up and an instant break off... Big silvery rainbow jumped twice and the 3x popped like it was nothing!!! BIG FISH!!!


    Talked to an older gentleman named Walt for a good 30min before finally hitting the road to what I thought was going to be the Missouri River below Holter...

    Walt got me second guessing myself... And I ended up in Twin Bridges for my last day out West...
     
  11. GABoy

    GABoy Member

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    Twin Bridges - Melrose Area...

    After leaving the Madison I contemplated driving 2 1/2 hours East to fish the Missouri just to turn around and drive 3 hours West to fly out of Missoula...

    Decided to stay local and drive 30 minutes over to Twin Bridges, MT. Did a little sight-seeing and ate an awesome breakfast croissant before stopping in the fly shop for flies and info...


    Green Stick Lovers???

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    Fly shop guy convinced me to avoid the 3 perfectly good rivers around town (Ruby, Beaverhead, Jefferson) and head a "short 20 mile" trip over to Melrose to fish the Middle Big Hole. I figured this guy knew what he was talking about and unfortunately followed his instructions...

    Well after getting lost trying to get there by GPS (See PIC) I went back and got directions from him... Which weren't much better, but I found the right "road" at least...


    Where Garmin took me... Don't think I can "Continue straight for 4 miles" Garmin!!

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    Got on the cut-through "road" over to Melrose... This was more of a 4wd drive trail than any road I've been on. A short 20 mile trip takes a while when you can only go 5-10 miles and hour!!!!!! Pretty country, but not how I wanted to spend my last day in MT!!!!

    Some of the terrain...

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    Playing on the rocks in front of an old mine operation, I guess??

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    I finally reached the Big Hole and couldn't buy a bite the first few hours... Saw numerous drifters and rafts who weren't fairing much better... But it was beautiful water...

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    Offerings to the River Gods...

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    Finally managed to land a pair of rainbows nymphing a fast riffle... One was a decent fish, maybe 16in... The other a dink.

    Headed back to the Jeep to get a snack and find a can of dip. Saw a few guides hanging out in front a shop and stopped to BS for a minute. Told them where i was fishing and they told me that section gets hit hard from boats and local hardwarer fishers.

    I asked about a spot to strip streamers and they told me about a small bridge access that has some nice undercut banks.

    I tied a big articulated olive Sex Dungeon on the 6 weight XP and started firing right up to the bank and then stripping back as fast as possible... The results were amazing!!! Maybe my new favorite type of fly fishing!! I moved 5 fish in an hour... And the first about ripped the rod out of my hands!!! I could only stay connected to one of the fish... But I know I missed some HAWGS!!!!

    But it gives me a reason to come back now...

    Here is the last fish of the trip...


    A Streamer caught Big Hole Brown...

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    It was an amazing trip and can't wait to do it again...

    Hope yall enjoyed it...
     
  12. Skysoldier

    Skysoldier Trout Hunter

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    Awesome! GA that is what I call a road trip, thanks for sharing.
     
  13. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    Holy Crap, an amazing trip report.
     
  14. manOfaith

    manOfaith New Member

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    Nice report! Brings back some good memories as I have had a few similiar trips to some of those waters...I must say you did cover a lot of water!

    MooseDrool was a good find when I was out in MT last year!
     
  15. Kenneth Yong

    Kenneth Yong Member

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    What a ROAD TRIP! These are rivers and fish that I can only dream about, I am so [​IMG]!

    Thanks for sharing,
    Kenneth
     
  16. Upton O

    Upton O Blind hog fisherman

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    What a report and a hell of a road trip. Well done.
     
  17. Stew McLeod

    Stew McLeod aka BigMac

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    Thanks for a great report. Heck of a road trip, I am envious.

    Stew
     
  18. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    Wow. Wow. Wow.

    You have me crying in my coffee. I just blew through that area on a recent road trip where the purpose wasn't the fishing. But man o man I have GOT to go back sometime soon!

    How long of a trip was this for you? How much time did you carve out?

    -Jesse

    Man - thanks for posting so many awesome pictures!
     
  19. surfnsully

    surfnsully Active Member

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    Thanks for an awesome report. I will have to try and equal it sometime in the future if possible? Thanks!
     
  20. Dehlan G

    Dehlan G Member

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    Wow amazing! Thanks for sharing
     

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