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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
But it came with a bit of adventure...

We had checked the forecast yesterday and it was calling for 50 degrees in Bozeman, light winds. It has been warm all week so we decided to grab the drifter and head out for our first float of 2017.

Funny thing though, once we got east of the pass it got super cold. And continued to get colder the further east we drove.



Hmm, that was not in the forecast. But hey, it is supposed to warm up and we were itching to get on the water. So we continued on to the put in.

Got to the river and from the looks of it no one had been in this thing since last November. My buddy hiked down to see how deep the snow was.



I also scouted it and while it looked manageable, we decided we should head down river and check out the take-out before we dumped the boat in.

The take out was deep. Fuck.



We dicked around for a bit digging out the truck. I had found the only hole but the rest of the access was not that bad. We figured these fish had not seen a fly in probably three months so we decided to head back up river and give it a go.

Not what comes to mind this time of year when I think of fresh tracks.



Got on the river and it was cold. Guides were freezing up and did so all day as it never got above freezing. So annoying.



When it is this cold I don't even bother stripping streamers. Not only does your line constantly freeze but it is hard to get fish to move. So we started off drifting worms, midges, and rubberlegs under an indicator and while slow, we did pick up a couple.



About halfway through the float, I decided to drop a small streamer off the back of my wire worm. Things immediately picked up and it wasn't too long I landed our fish of the day.



Next came this beautiful cutthroat.



Followed by this brown that I'm assuming had this scar from spawn.



Then more browns.



This little guy was the ticket



It was pretty good trout fishing. All solid fish and felt good to put a bend in the rod.



But the last obstacle, which we knew was coming since we scouted the take out, was getting the boat out. There was about a 5' ice wall at the take out.

After breaking one rope, we managed to get the boat up and over. Total pain in the ass.



Funny thing, as we headed west back to Bozeman, it got warmer and warmer. Guess it was just some weird inversion. Oh well, cool to say we were first boat down this stretch in 2017.

 

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Good to see the Montana varsity team doing well and putting in the effort needed to get into some nice fish.
It's pretty obvious based on pictures the JV team has been posting recently that they aren't ready to move up yet.......unless Swimmy goes on the IR.
SF
 

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@Swimmy Did you get any feel of how the whitefish might be doing in that section of the river after last year's kill?

Those trout sure look healthy enough, and that bigger brown looks to be in great shape for being that soon after last fall's spawn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Good to see the Montana varsity team doing well and putting in the effort needed to get into some nice fish.
One of those moments in life where being dumb and eager worked to our advantage.

@Swimmy Did you get any feel of how the whitefish might be doing in that section of the river after last year's kill?
Only caught one whitefish which is a little odd. But not really enough of a sample to see any effect last year's kill had. We didn't however see any dead fish so the scavengers have probably had their fill.
 

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One of those moments in life where being dumb and eager worked to our advantage.

Only caught one whitefish which is a little odd. But not really enough of a sample to see any effect last year's kill had. We didn't however see any dead fish so the scavengers have probably had their fill.
There may not have been many, if any, whitefish left in that section of the river. At least this year is looking at this point like there may be more water for the rivers this year.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Feeling a little tired after yesterday's float. So today we decided to stay close to home and got out for a short canoe. Fishing was slow. Water temps are still cold and the river had a touch of color. But we managed to find a couple.





The bow ate a chartreuse egg.



The brown ate a white zonker.





Is it salmon fly season yet?
 

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How do you know you were the first boat down that section of river in 2017? That Green dumbbell eye fly looks like the one we used on the Tsiu River for silvers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How do you know you were the first boat down that section of river in 2017?
Up until recently, that section of river was non-navigable due to ice jams.

There were no tracks at either access which tells me no one had been there within the past week.

Most would have seen the 5' wall of ice at the take out and opted to go to another section of river that had easier access.
 

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Up until recently, that section of river was non-navigable due to ice jams.

There were no tracks at either access which tells me no one had been there within the past week.

Most would have seen the 5' wall of ice at the take out and opted to go to another section of river that had easier access.
So, based on your observations, the probability is high. But, could someone have floated down to that section from above before you did? Might another adventurist have portage a frameless inflatable sometime between the "until recently" period? Not meaning to be a knit-pick... just using this as a teaching opportunity for Gorge. Just when I think he's making progress. :(

Oh, and you get my vote for the 2017 "will not be denied" award - there is no way in hell I would have gone through all that for a float.
 

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So, based on your observations, the probability is high. But, could someone have floated down to that section from above before you did? Might another adventurist have portage a frameless inflatable sometime between the "until recently" period? Not meaning to be a knit-pick... just using this as a teaching opportunity for Gorge. Just when I think he's making progress. :(

Oh, and you get my vote for the 2017 "will not be denied" award - there is no way in hell I would have gone through all that for a float.
Dude you don't have to ruin every thread...
 

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