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Old School Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Second week of August...
Driving from Seattle (12 hours or less of driving)
5 Fly fishermen of various skill levels
Looking for trout.
Nobody owns a driftboat..

So where would you go?:hmmm

We have tried :

Clark Fork
St Joe
Rock Creek

...with mixed results

I appreciate your suggestions
 

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How many days are you traveling for?

If I had a 7 days

Bozeman/Livingston is 12-14 hours depending on speed and stops. If you have a week you could fish and camp your way across I-90 hiting the Yak, Rock Creek, Clark Fork, St. Joe etc or blast straight there and fish a few rivers throughout the week Madison, Yellowstone, Galatin, Paradise valley spring creeks . You have tons of rivers to hit and could even go down to the park for a day or two.


If I had 4-5 days

Bend OR is only 6-7 hrs and offers the chance to fish a lot of good streams. The Deschuttes allows you multiple species (trout and steelhead) and various environs (desert to alpine). Plus there are lakes and the Metoulious, Crooked, & Fall Rivers.

If I had 3-4 days

I would stay local and hit some good E WA rivers. You probably know these.
 

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A collector never stops collecting!
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Last year I went to the Big Hole River, during the second week in August. The water was low and clear and at a nice wading level. There is plenty of wading access and the early part of the week there were relatively few people on the river. Its also cool, because this is one of the only places in the lower 48 that you have a chance to catch grayling. I didn't hook up on any, but got plenty of whitefish along with a few rainbows.

Keep in mind though, that this river like many Montana rivers sometime close early in low water years so you need to be flexible in your final destination. The good news is that if one area is closed you have quite a few other places to go. The rivers around Yellowstone are not far away and you've got plenty of options around Missoula as well.

Rock Creek is also great, although you might have problems with the water level this time of year as well. One place that I've read about, but haven't been too is the Kootenai. Its supposed to be great in late August.

Now I've got to figure out where I want to go this summer!

Bill
 

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It's tough to beat the Missouri, 2 1/2 hours from Missoula, for shooting at heads and ease of moving along the banks and bottom. You'll have weeds but you will have bugs, and trout love bugs. You are going to see traffic over there that time of year, so if you want some really cool out of the way wade fishing try the Flathead Indian Reservation just 30 miles north of Missoula. I know your group doesn't have a boat, but I can't resist saying that cruising banks and banging hoppers on the Clark Fork or Blackfoot would be my number one choice.
 

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Just an Old Man
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I used to know it all---but now that I'm older I seem to forget it all.

I did that Montana thing one time a few years ago. And my fly fishing luck held there also. Went in August and we fished the Blackfoot,Missuori,Madison,Clark Fork,and Rock Creek. Saw plenty of fish but I thought that they took lessons from our steelhead. Tight lipped. I guess that we didn't have the right flies.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the ideas...:thumb

with low water this year, many of the suggested spots may be closed or in low and warm mode...

The Deschuttes (metolius, crooked) is under consideration as is the Clark fork( with drift boat rentals)

We have 5 days...and precious little skill


-Piscean
Calmness is power....
 

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I agree that The Beaverhead, Big Hole and Rock Creek have been plagued by low water in recent Augusts, so they are probably out. Henry's Fork at the Railroad Ranch is the last place you want to take a bunch of beginners. The Missouri is probably a bit too technical for your crew as well.

The Clark Fork can run pretty warm in mid-August with most of the action early and late...Trico time though...and dead-drifting buggers or pounding the banks as Joe suggested can be effective during the heat of the day.

The Kootenai is mostly a floating river I think but you should call the fly shop in Troy to get the lowdown...that could be a good choice for your group. The Yaak is nearby and should provide easy fishing.

You should consider the Bitteroot...the west fork and the tributary creeks can fish pretty good when the rest of the state is in the summer doldrums.

Also, the small streams around White Fish and Kalispell would be worth consideration. Small streams with eager cutts and bows are always good for the less experienced. There are a few opportunities for big fish up that way as well. Anyway, good luck.

-Crock
 

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If you've got your heart set on trout, you could do worse than Sun Valley, ID. Silver Creek (the tricos will be hatching and the trout will kick your ass, but they'll be kicking the experts' asses too); the Big Wood (one of the best and most underrated freestone streams in the west); the Little Wood; and the South fork of the Boisie about an hour or so west. All wade or bank fishing, and not as packed as MT (with the exception of Silver Creek). Plus decent nightlife in Ketchum.
 
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Tough call that time of year but I would suggest a local hiking/camping/fishing trip. St. Helens has some good overnighters with bank access. Merrill will have its annual HEX hatch and Council and Takalak should be fun if you don't mind float tubing. Eastern Oregon is great in late summer with Chickohominy and the Donner and Blitzen in the Steens. Mann lake gives up huge fish wihout the pressure and Davis Lake in Central OR is fly only with big rainbows and bass.
 
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The second week of August is usually about as grim as it gets flyfishing-wise. And this year is shaping up to be even worse. Runoff is already starting in places and what little snow cover we had is going fast. My gut feel is that everything is going to be happening about 3 weeks earlier than normal this year and I am starting to plan trips accordingly. That doesn't change your vacation date but it might influence where you end up going. Higher elevation lakes will hold up a little better in hot dry weather but many streams are going to be seriously low by then. I have no specific suggestions on where to fish but consider this. If you only have 5 days to fish you will probably be better off going to a place that you know has a productive fishery and staying there rather than moving around day to day. By your last day there you will really be dialed in and your rookies will have a chance to build on what they learn the first couple of days. Even in the hottest weather fish still seem to feed at dawn and dusk and by staying in one spot you can take advantage of those feeding patterns. Moving around tends to bunch the fishing into the midday time frame-just when you should be napping in the shade-you can be sure the fish will be! Ive
 

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If you are thinking of renting some drift boats be careful on the water you choose. Most of the Clark Fork is relatively easy so you should be okay.

Suggestion- One thing you may consider with a group is to hire a guide to work the flotilla. Some of our groups bring over an extra boat and the guide takes 2 of anglers in his boat and the group's extra boat can follow and learn a stretch of the river with the guides direction on flies and where the fish are. If you haven't rowed before an hour with a guide can give you the basics on boat handling and safety. It's going to cost you some anyway to rent a boat, and the direction on the water will help advance skill levels and give you a direct connection to where the fish are and what they are eating. We only charge for one boat, so once you break up the cost between the group you get a good bang for your buck. I'll be at the Seattle Fly Fishing Show this weekend if you want to meet and talk fishing.

Good Luck with your trip, I wish I was travelling to some of the mentioned waters, especially to the steelhead game. But when the fishing is good, we are out on our waters working. So goes the life of a guide.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks again for all the suggestions! :thumb

I think we've got it figured out...I certainly agree with those who recommend the early and late fishing...and staying in one place until we've got the routine down...With these guys it takes a while to get them to calm down and fish carefully...Usually after I land a nice fish they get into it and start watching their fly for drag....;-)

-Piscean
Calmness is power....
 

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Old School Member
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
If I told you I would be in breach of U.N. sanction 244B...and Ashcroft might come nockin' down my door with Rumsfeld in tow wielding a baseball bat...

But seriously, someone gave me a good tip which will be kept secret as per their wishes (not plastered all over the net) if you want good info make a request yourself.

I am glad to share my own info with anyone who asks.

-Piscean
 
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