Hazards of Fly Fishing Montana (and elsewhere)


New Member
HI Trapper. Is this the Trapper from the Missouri river? It's been a very long time since we fished together. I am still here in Paradise Valley, surrounded by griz, wolves, big cats and moose.

Cows... I grew up in dairy country, walked through pastures countless times with nothing more than curious looks. Then one day while bow hunting in eastern Montana I walked along the edge of a big pasture with about 50 moo cows. The edge of the field has a ditch along it and a thick row of very thorny bushes. Suddenly one of the cows began grunting and stomping her hove. She made a charge at me and stopped 50 feet away. Several more cows dropped in behind her. When she made her next charge she was joined by 6 or 7 of her friends. I was out of options and threw my bow over the thorny hedge row and dove into it head first. The "docile" cows were almost on top of me. I came out of the hedge row with ripped up camo and bloody cuts from the thorns on my arms, legs and face.

What part of the world are you living in now?

Old Man

Just an Old Man
I was once fishing the Ruby. I was up high in the river, above where the forks come together. I was down in the river and I heard some huffing in the willows. I turned around and left. I usually fish alone. And things like that tend to scare me. Being in Bear country and the same with the meese.

Rob Allen

Active Member
Hank Patterson world renowned fly fishing expert and guide has great advice for being safe in animal country. Though his you tube video is geared towards yellowstone park his principles are valuable for all animals wild and domestic that are not your own.
Highly recomnend you tubing it.
My number one negative encounter by far has been mosquitoes, and not just in Montana. Bears, bison, moose, and livestock have never been a problem, a concern, yes, but no problems, and I take reasonable precautions. But no amount of precaution and DEET has yet prevented me from getting mosquito bitten. And sometimes black flies, and once the white sox in AK in September.
White sox are a badass bug and their bite/sting is the gift that keeps giving.
Lots of risks out there, but few can equal the severe terror and risk of injury that occurs when letting ones boat drift too close to Bush Point during a pink year. I still have flashbacks of all the pink lead raining down upon me.

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
Year before last I didn't use any bug spray on myself when I went fishing. I never got one bug bite from anything. Wonders never seem to amaze me.
Congratulations on making it to the "no bug zone." You have now achieved a milepost rarely attained! Due to your formidable gnarliness and ever-thickening hide, no bug would dare risk breaking its proboscis in an attempt at biting you. Seems like they prefer more tender meat.:D


Active Member
Then there's lightning at and above treeline in the summer. That'll kill ya too. Been in some pretty damn scary storms down here. Wish I'd learn the lesson to start down the hill earlier. But there's just "one more cast"...

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
I rarely make it that high up anymore. (I figure that my spaceship, which I left in the high country, is encrusted with lichens and inhabited by marmots by now...and otherwise "out of service":cool:).


Author, Writer, Photographer
My grandpa had really high end cow horses, but he still had an expression I loved: You know why a horses head is so big?...to get all the dumb in.
My grandpa used to say, “A rodeo is a sport where a man gets on a dumb animal and chases an even stupider one.”

I left out the cuss words. My grandpa cussed like a wounded pirate.

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
NO state is free of really stupid people & Montana is no exception. This guy qualifies for triple stupid! Hiking in to that den through dense cover with no snake leggings was incredibly foolish, for lack of a better word. Those are a couple "Darwin Award" candidates right there. "Here's your sign" . . .