Trip Report Trip Report - Another Day South of Butte

Got rested up from my Memorial Day trip to YNP so today I thought I’d try a favorite water south of Butte. Good brown trout water. Still a bit cold but the weather proved to be warm enough to generate a good PMD hatch around mid-morning. 50 degrees when I started but reached 83 by the time I was off the water. No one at the parking spot at 6AM and no one on the river all morning. Moss starting to show which complicates the streamer fishing a bit. Still a good day except for the first hour. A White Pelican high-holed me for at least an hour which had to impact the bite in the clear water. I just couldn't get him to fly or turn around. He just kept cruising alone a head of me. A bird which consumes on average 4 pounds of fish a day is not a good fishing buddy. However I did get to break in my new Fish Monkey sun gloves.
There were enough fish early on to keep it interesting. However once the PMDs started showing, fish moved into the head of pools and riffle buckets to feed on the nymphs where they were easy pickings. Some big boys came to hand including several large ++ whitefish. Toward the end of my day I was covering a long riffle bucket with the streamer and hooked a big brown. Unfortunately, the fish hadn’t taken the fly (or if he tried he missed). The fat 18”+ fish was solidly hooked in the pelvic fin. Needless to say in the fast current I had no control whatsoever and the OX tippet wasn’t inclined to break. It took me at least 10 minutes to back down the river in heavy current and eventually cross to shallower water out of strong current where I could winch the poor guy home and get him disconnected.
I got off the river about 1:30PM to head home and there was still no sign of any other anglers around. Who says Montana fishing is crowded?

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