Bright Lights, Big City (Help Me!)

Peter Kovah

Active Member
I will sum it up the best I can:

You're 28. You are moving to New York City. At the very last minute, you switch things up and cancel your flight, and decide to drive the entire way rather than fly. You're leaving Washington on Friday (as in, this upcoming Friday) in a shitty Chevy with all of your belongings in it. Your girlfriend has recently left you. You are by yourself. You've been drinking too much. Your new job starts in a month. You secretly think you are unqualified for the job. You have much to think about.

And you love fly fishing.

I'll stop with the prose now and get serious.

I've decided to spend at least 8 or 9 nights in Montana, fishing every day. I'll either stay at motels, or just camp out. I'm on a budget, and I'm totally solo. Can't afford any guides.

I have done my manic research, and have learned all I can online, but I know damn well there are some folks on here that can point me in the right direction (looking at Old Man...)

The best way to phrase my question is:

What is YOUR ultimate 10-day Montana dream trip, West to East, if you were fishing by yourself and with no boat/guide (meaning, I'm looking at smaller and more wade-friendly rivers)???

I know that late April isn't prime time. I know that weather will be tricky. But, Goddamnit, it's the only time I have. It's an interesting window, right after winter but right before the Spring runoff.

I'm thinking:

Set up base a couple of nights in Missoula. I've read wonderful things about Rock Creek. Any thoughts? Blackfoot? Bitterroot?

And then head East. Ruby River? The Paradise Valley Spring Creeks on Yellowstone? (The ones that charge a $75 rod fee)? Gallatin River? Upper Madison? Smaller streams that no ones ever heard of? Say screw it and call Delta? I'm open to any and all advice. I've been on this forum awhile now, and I know there are some folks who really understand Montana. I'm not looking for any honey-holes. What I'm really asking is WHAT WOULD YOU DO if you had a two week fishing road trip through Montana (and Idaho for that matter? Or any state from here to Manhattan really?) Have fun with the question. There is no suggestion too outrageous or too silly.

I'm trying to be more realistic about this trip than I have with fishing trips in the past. A quick Google search tells me that the Missouri/Yellowstone rivers can't be beat. But then I think about how I'm by myself with no boat, etc etc. This time, I'm very willing to sacrifice size of trout for beautiful, accessible rivers where I could find some moderate sized trout.

Thanks, and I hope this post finds everyone well.

- Peter
 

MT_Flyfisher

Active Member
Maybe Swimmy will read this and respond. If not, I'd suggest sending him a PM, and ask him about fishing the waters around Bozeman.

Another possibility would be the Missouri around Craig.

The fishing in Montana can be hit or miss this time of the year, given the changeability of the weather and water conditions, however.

On the other hand, you might want to consider driving all the way east, and getting to know your new "home" waters of Pennsylvania and New York, where things will soon be coming into their prime for spring trout fishing. There is nothing like the experience of fishing the Grannom or Hendrickson hatches in the spring there.

The Upper Delaware watershed is just a couple hour drive from Manhattan, to the area around Hancock or Roscoe, NY. You'll find rivers to fish like the Beaverkill, the East Branch of the Delaware, and other rivers in the area. The West Branch of the Delaware River has ample wading opportunities, and its hatches and trout numbers and size will rival any river in Montana.

John
 
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Rob Allen

Active Member
I hope the job in NYC is worth it.
I cannot imagine a job worth living there but that's just me. It sounds like a grand adventure.
I don't know what flows are like or the weather but.
Rock creek could have Skwalas and or March browns. Get a cabin at the rock creek merchantile for a night or two.

For some solid nymphing check out the very uppermost section of the Clark Fork.

Probably some good streamer fishing on the Lower Madison.

Maybe sime Beatis hatches on the Missouri?
 

Old Man

A very Old Man
WFF Supporter
Be sure to read the regs as not all skinny waters are open. Montana is divided into three sections. I live in the middle one. Most of the skinny water here is open year around. The other two sections I know nothing about. But some waters don't open up until the 3rd Saturday in May.

Get a good map and see where you are. Is it open or not.
 

jersey

livin' the dream
Don't sweat the girl. Manhattan is chock full of beautiful women. Be prepared for a massive change in work ethic.

Also, hope you have some heavier sticks, because there is great SW fishing close by NYC too.

With a month, consider breaking your trip up into sections of this great Country, West, Mid west, and then East. Cool waters in MT, and folks will steer you through. CO, OH, PA, NJ, and NY come to mind.

Pretty cool you are having time to rest, reset, and refocus. Traveling cross country is f'ing awesome. Have a blast and don't be surprised by the amount of cool people you meet.
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
Being young and unattached, you should have a great time there.
I've always enjoyed my trips to NYC.
Enjoy your month off as many folks don't get that opportunity during their working lives.
SF
 

jasmillo

WFF Supporter
Maybe Swimmy will read this and respond. If not, I'd suggest sending him a PM, and ask him about fishing the waters around Bozeman.

Another possibility would be the Missouri around Craig.

The fishing in Montana can be hit or miss this time of the year, given the changeability of the weather and water conditions, however.

On the other hand, you might want to consider driving all the way east, and getting to know your new "home" waters of Pennsylvania and New York, where things will soon be coming into their prime for spring trout fishing. There is nothing like the experience of fishing the Grannom or Hendrickson hatches in the spring there.

The Upper Delaware watershed is just a couple hour drive from Manhattan, to the area around Hancock or Roscoe, NY. You'll find rivers to fish like the Beaverkill, the East Branch of the Delaware, and other rivers in the area. The West Branch of the Delaware River has ample wading opportunities, and its hatches and trout numbers and size will rival any river in Montana.

John

Another river worth the 2 hr trip from NYC is the Farmington River in Connecticut. A very nice little tailwater in the northwest corner of the state. It tends to get crowded in the in the FF only sections but there is some great water outside those areas.

That is my home river, I grew up just a few miles from it. I have explored every run, riffle and pool from Riverton through Farmington.

Shoot me an IM if you ever get up that way and I'll give you a few rocks to stand on.

The Housatonic River is pretty good as well.
 

David Loy

Senior Moment
Most guys would dread NYC to death. I have only visited, but enjoyed it very much. The people were NOT rude as most folks think. Not sure I would enjoy living there, probably not. But hopefully it's a stepping stone for you, on your way to something better. While you're there though, keep an open mind. Lots to do, even some fishing. Best of luck.

I probably know less than you about Montana and points East.
 

wadin' boot

Donny, you're out of your element...
WFF Supporter
As stupid as this sounds if you can get the tail end of the Delaware shad run 90 minutes out of NYC you should try it. A two pound shad will put up a fight that rivals a 4 pound trout. The Trenton Makes the World Takes has some spots just beneath it...I have illustrated the rock to stand on.

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Oh and go through Michigan's UP rather than south side of the great lakes, just more fishable water up there...
 

McKivergan

Active Member
Just a word of caution here if you haven't driven that route before - its farther than you think... I also have a soft spot for the Michigan UP. Some great fishing and people up there. Lots to see. Spread it out.
 

weiliwen

Kicked
My idea: If Montana runoff is too much, just keep going. Take I-90 to Wisconsin's Driftless Area, get into some great brown and brookie action on spring creeks - it'll be perfect about then. Then head straight for the famed Upper Peninsula rivers - folks in the West don't realize how wild that area is. Last stop: the Catskills, where you can steep yourself in fly fishing history, and get a little advance intel on the spot that's the closest for NYC fly fishers.

That's some serious variety.
 

Bryce Levin

Active Member
If the freestones you named arent blown, they will fish well. If they are blown... Missouri near Craig, Madison River Beartrap Canyon, Beaverhead and Ruby. Streamer fishing.

Rod fees on spring creeks is Paradise Valley are $100 per day, at least in peak season if I recall.

Don't stay in hotels, Montana has free camping all over the place.
 

Kyle Smith

Active Member
Late April will put you at the start of mother's day caddis on the lower Madison. It's quite the hatch, even down by I-90. If you go the Iowa/SD route, you will be really close to the Bighorn. You could spend a couple days there catching football fish.

On the way to NYC, check out the small streams in NJ. There are many.
 

Yard Sale

Huge Member
If you really want this job, which it seems you do, and are driving a jalopy then plan to arrive a week early. A lot can happen on a drive like that which will take a week to fix. Take some to soak in the country too. You can always fly back for trout fishing.

Wall Drug!
 

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