I am still looking for the crowds.
Yep.It's all the rage these days, with the social media "look at me!" Craze. Every one needs to feel special and get that pat on the back/likes. I've fished that area plenty of times and even though it was known by many, no one talked about it openly. If anyone asked, we just said "we fished the Mo".
TERRIBLE form. Hotspotting causes ED assholeFirst disclaimer is that this area is one of the few areas in the state of Montana that can and does experience combat fishing. Second disclaimer is that this is fishing during the rainbow spawn, generally over reds. It is what it is, however it can be a blast and I personally do as much as I can in the way of handling to ensure minimal stress. This is my second trip out here this month and although I do not have pictures from the first trip (not even worth trying to take a picture with such large fish by ones-self without a GoPro) this second trip was a blast.
First trip summary, got there, hooked a lot more fish than landed. The GPS routed a goat trail of a road down to the access point that did not end up being the road we were supposed to take. Tons of people wading, tons of boats passing pretty close (think Cowlitz River @ Blue Creek). Pretty successful.
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We hiked up towards the dam, checking out the water. This is one of the combat zones.
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No pictures I have show how big this area feels. Cliffs on both sides and the mighty Missouri right in the middle.
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Broke out the spey rod and swung up this nice bow. Shattered my previous size record. 24" on the dot. This was not the only 24"er of the day that our group pulled out. The average fish was about 18" and a handful went over 20"
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The most solid fish of the day I managed to nymph up. These fish are very large and fight hard. The most productive method for nymphing was actually to fish the dropoffs on the outer edge of the redds. Much more effective than fishing directly over reds (which is the main method on this stretch of river)
All in all a great trip with a solid group of friends. Again not for those that want to deal with crowds and not for those who will not fish reds regardless of circumstances. For those that do go, Handle em fast. They are big fish but 90% of the fish were fought, caught, and released in about two and a half minutes. Also watch your step to avoid tromping on reds.
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VERY POOR FORM... never used to see very many people there .. now its always swarming with people from out of state camping there for weeks on end that get up at 4am and go sit on the good spots and wont move.