Montana lakes 2013

Jeff Dodd

Active Member
Yes, great photos and obviously a great trip.

About the boat... is that the 13' watershed drifter boat I see advertising on CL? Looks nice!
This is a trip I've done in the past with enough success to motivate me to come back. The general game is targeting browns that are staging to move up the rivers to spawn. The trick is timing the event with stable weather and favorable lake levels. This trip we hit the jackpot. Each day fished a little different and we had to move around to figure out where the fish shifted and what was on the menu.

Day 1 was bright sunny and very little chop. Deeper water 18-26' with #14 micro leeches and chironomids under indicators was the ticket until evening. Then working the drop from 12-16' with larger profile leeches under indicators got it done.

Day 2 we ponied up to get on a private lake. Ended up being seriously underwhelming. It's one of these deals where a maximum of 8 rods are allowed per day and several shops guide on it. We had spotty fishing for 12-18" fish until the last hour of light when we went on a nice run of 16-19" fish. Caught one albino rainbow on a chironomid. Spoke with a guide who had a tough day as well. I guess it was fishing great for rainbows up to 24" the week before.

Day 3 went back to chasing browns and found a streamer fest. The fish wanted to chase. Early in the day the Aqualux with an olive/orange seal bugger was consistent. Once the sun was on the water we needed a type 5 to get it down to the fish. Long casts, let it sink for a full minute then rip it back to the boat. Takes were anything but subtle.

Day 4 started more difficult. The wind was up and pulling us off the 30lb anchor from the start of the day. Got a few on streamers but nothing like the day before. Around 9am we anchored up in 24' and started getting takes on leeches under indicators. I was fishing two flies about 5 feet apart. Indicator went down and I was into a nice fish. It made a short run then bulldogged on the bottom . . . until it took off like a freight train into about 50' of my backing. I finally got it turned around and slogged it out for a few minutes. When I got the fish up to surface . . .surprise! Two rainbows, the larger fish 21" the smaller 18". That was the start to an epic bobber bite that lasted until early afternoon. We caught a mix of 75/25 browns to rainbows with takes every 5 min or less. Just ridiculously good fishing.

Drove home with a sore arm and visions of big browns.


Indi "Ira" Jones
I just looked in the mirror after that post, and yep I am no longer Caucasian I am now martian, and therefore green with envy. I fished pass and landed like 25 on Sunday, does that count? I landed one brown.


Active Member
I caught a double once, brown and rainbow. But they were both about 12 inches, unlike your big-fish double.

Nice report.

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