Montana 2010 Cast and Blast

Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
I just returned from my Montana cast and blast. Started the trip by meeting Old Man Jim in Butte for lunch. He's a great guy, friendly, knows fishing, very helpful. His "grouchy old man who doesn't know anything" is a bunch of crap.

Proceeded to Twin Bridges, started fishing the next morning on the Jefferson. My guide was a man named Greg Bricker who is incredibly experienced and a no nonsense kind of teacher. The weather was cloudy so the threw streamers the entire day until late evening with a mahongony hatch started.

I told Greg that I didn't want to handle the fish much after they were landed so he held them and I took the photos. I didn't start photographing until late in the day. The catch was evenly divided between rainbows and browns with the browns averaging 15-18 inches and the bows 12-15 though I hooked a couple of bows that were much bigger. They both came unpinned on their third or fourth jumps.

The second day Greg said we should float the Madison for some really big browns. He also indicated we would be nymphing most of the day. I've never drifted a nymph so Greg had his task set out in terms of teaching me. It took some time and some "corrective input" from Greg but I finally got the fly to move through the seams without any drag. The current was really quite fast so the strike was really quick, so much so that I had difficulty hooking up. I finally got there and landed my largest trout on a fly to date: 22 inch brown on a size 20 nymph (haven't got a clue as to what pattern).

When the sky clouded over I went back to stripping a streamer (big, black bunny hair bastard) and the browns were all over it. I had to put that big hunk of fur right on the edge of the bank and when I did it correctly the strike was jarring.

After two days of fishing I headed north and hooked up with my hunting buddy and his wife in Great Falls. The next day we continued northward to a few places he knows. There weren't many birds but I ended the day with two roosters and two sharptail grouse. We found one flock of a dozen sharptails in a ravine and could have shot them all. We took two and decided that was enough and moved on towards the truck. The weather was great, my dog did a wonderful job with the birds (two marks and two blinds over ridges). She also rode in the stern of the boat for two days trying to figure out the "release" thing with fishing. She's up sleeping now, she ran her fat little butt off.

It was a great trip, though, given the weather, friends, fish and hunting.

Old Man

Just an Old Man
Your dog looks like it's ready to go to point on that Brown. She's really staring at it.

Well now I'm not going to have much luck at being an old grouch. You spoiled it for me. I'll try to think up another angle.

Glad you had a good time. I don't have any idea when I'm going to get back to Washington.


Active Member
Thanks for sharing. Does not get any better than that. Big brown and good looking dog.

I met Old Man a few years ago and went fishing with him. Nice and helpful guy

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
Outstanding, Karl! Sounds like both of you as well as Jim had a wonderful time (OMJ is a wanna-be curmudgeon . . . I'm a polished professional.), and my favorite brand of dog-buddy, too. Congrats & thanks for the peek at a great trip! Jim didn't drag you to the M&M in Butte, did he?


AKA Joe Willauer
Hey Karl,

Nice meeting you, I was the long haired guide at the stonefly who chatted with you before dinner. Glad you had a great trip and hope to see you out in MT again!


Upton O

Blind hog fisherman
@Jim: is the M&M that gay stripper bar? Yeah, I think that was the one he wanted to go to for lunch but I talked him out of it. We settled for a new place that had pretty good sandwiches.

@Joe: it was good meeting you at the Inn. I'll tell you, that area is just beautiful and the fishing options are unbelievable. Greg did a great job guiding, he knows the waters and he put me on some great fish. We'd have landed more if my skills had been a bit more up to speed. I'll be back again in the not too distant future.

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