Trip Report Land of the Giants


I have an amazing collection of fishing shirts
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".

I don't mind at all the photos, story, etc. But there is simply no need hotspot, let alone call the place out in the title of the thread.

Poor form.
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.
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Craig Pablo

Active Member
First 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.

Second trip.
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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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TERRIBLE form. Hotspotting causes ED asshole
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Nick Clayton

Active Member
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.


But it sounds like you need to start getting up at 3 am and beating them to the punch.

For the record, I agree in regards to hot spotting. There is really no need to name any location, regardless of popularity


Active Member
Hotspotting...not sure what to think. Thread has been dead for several years, then a recent few posts saying we shouldn't be talking about this place pops up out of the blue...While I don't disagree (I try to never use the river or even lake names when I post infrequent fishing reports but I sometimes give the name of a region). I'm wondering if bringing it up again is almost as bad as the original post?

My friend and I almost went last year but we got busy. We talked about going this year too and we still might if the stars align. But not because of the post on WFF. Rather the 3 or 4 books that talk about fishing in Montana is where I first heard about it maybe 20 years ago.

I just googled "Land of the Giants". On the first search page results there were 8 different guide services and fly shops (I didn't look any farther past the first page) that talk about fishing the area and yet you rarely hear anybody chastising guides for pimping a public resource out?

I guess I'm not saying anybody is inherently right or wrong on the subject. But it seems like it should go both ways. If it is wrong for a private individual to make a fishing report on an area, shouldn't the guides, fly shops, book authors, etc. be held to the same level of scrutiny?

Welcome to fishing in 21st century. More and more people...same number of places (or less) and often diminishing resources to accompany everybody.

I'll guess I'll continue to keep doing what I'm doing (not posting specific names) partly because I don't really want more people fishing where I fish and partly because it is considered bad form on a public forum. But I often wonder how much difference it really makes on the places I fish? I'll probably never know but will continue seeking areas that allow me to fish in relative solitude. That is how I have come to fish and learn new areas...when my previous spots got too busy for my liking...I moved on, often driving, hiking, floating farther and farther away. That is the price to pay...or keep doing the same thing.
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Active Member
"Hotspotting" in a two year old thread aside, my only complaint is the "Land of the Giants" title. I read that and got all tingle-y with visions of Arapaima, Taimen, GT's, Tarpon, and billfish dancing in my head. Nice bows, and sounds like a fun trip (in the extreme unlikely event I happened to be in the area) but "Giants"? Guess that's a relative term.
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Nick Clayton

Active Member
I'm as guilty as anyone for getting upset for people naming locals on the forum, so I totally get it... however one thing I have learned over the years here is that if there is one thing that brings a place to people's attention more than simply naming it, it's people getting upset that it was named in the first place.

Now days when I see a place named that I wished wasn't, I try my best to simply ignore it and not bring any more attention to the thread and hope it fades away. Nothing gets my own attention quicker than a bunch of locals posting about how a certain spot shouldn't be named.

Just a thought.
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