So it’s been about two months since we made it on our yearly fishing trip up North near the South Fork of the Flathead River. This country is amazing. Finally we found time to get an edit done. Be sure to watch in HD.
To check out the original post with pictures and some backstory on the trip click here. In the future we’ll have a shorter ”highlight” style edit up to accompany this one.
Also, I just shot my first elk so be looking for an update on that next week.
Not much new around the Montana Wild camp but we did head out to the river this morning. The fishing wasn’t great but I did catch a nice rainbow to start off the morning.
Only a few days till school and only 7 days till hunting season. We’ll be checking our game cameras once more before archery opens and hopefully we’ll have some action opening weekend.
Most every serious fisherman has a yearly trip. This trip was extra special, for our Dad was coming along with us on our 3 day trip. Our voyage takes us north to the edge of the Bob Marshall Wilderness to fish small rivers for native cutthroat trout. The country is wild and beautiful and a three hour drive put us far from any urban environment. We were able to get some great photos and some awesome video which we’ll have edited and posted soon so check back.
The first day found us fishing near our campsite which was settled on the riverbank. That morning we hit some holes that we had found last year and we caught lots of smaller fish.
Although we caught mostly small fish the first day, the scenery was more than enough to keep us smiling.
Day 2 started out with a search for fishable waters. We quickly found a nice stretch of river and started our way upriver. Right away our Dad (Eric) hooked up on a nice cutthroat.
Eric was excited to say the least, for this was his first time able to fly fish this summer.
As we continued upriver, we found what turned out to be one of our favorite holes of the trip. We all pulled nice fish out of this hole back to back.
One of the fish out of the honey hole proved to be a survivor of some sort of attack, for he only had 1 eye.
The fishing started to slow down, so we headed back to base camp to grab some food. Zack and I decided to make the last 3 hrs of daylight count and hit some bends and riffles close by.
I ended up landing this nice westlope cutthroat, which turned out to be our only trout of the evening. (Not to say we didn’t miss some hits)
Day 3- Our Dad headed home after a slow morning fish, which left Zack and I to explore more waters for our final chance at some fish before we headed out of town. We found a beautiful creek, and started casting some dries.
After fishing 3 holes straight with no sign of fish, we came upon a hole that showed some fish hitting top water. After snapping off a couple, we quickly started having luck and pulled in some of the biggest fish of our trip. We encountered a bear on the way and somehow managed a couple dozen mosquito bites and a pocket full of memories.
Last week Travis and I headed to the Blackfoot River to get in some fishing. We needed a nice reminder that fishing the Blackfoot on the weekend tends to be a boat parade. We saw a great bull trout but couldn’t get him to bite. We switched gears and hit a small creek which we’ll call “Cutty Creek.”
Soon we hooked into some nice cutthoats.
A small hike upstream and again we found more great, small stream holes. The fish slowly grew as we headed further on.
With the sun bearing down on us we soon decided that the mid-day heat was slowing down the fishing. We decided to call it a day and the river’s beauty left us wanting to come back.
Soon we’ll be headed up to skirt the Bob Marshall Wilderness and do some backcountry fishing for native cutthroat trout.
Well the day’s are getting shorter and that means summer is slowly leaving us for fall. Travis and I have been trying to get in some fishing in cause there’s only 23 days till archery season! Stoked. Anyways we headed up to the Blackfoot to get some fishing in.
If your ever looking to take a guide out around Missoula be sure to check out Doug Jones @ Clear Creek Outfitters. He’s a good friend of ours and always knows the goods. He said that the spruce moths were coming off in the mornings and sure enough we showed up on the river around 8:30 and they were everywhere. The fish were keyed in on them and we were surrounded by rising fish for a good couple hours.
A size 12 caddis did the trick, and I finally got in some fun dry fly fishing. The small fish were everywhere and it was tough to keep them off your fly. A couple good fish missed my fly, and I didn’t catch any fatties. Overall it was a fun hatch to be able to fish.
Travis and I set off down river and I milked a couple more fish to the net before we headed home.
A couple days later we were headed up to Holland Lake which is north of Seeley Lake.
The lake is fed by a small river which has a great waterfall just a few thousand yards up from the edge of the lake. It’s an easy mile and a half hike in.
On the way down from the falls we got to see a small black bear and he let us get about 50 yards from him.
After that we made it back to the Dodge and has a great feast on our tailgate. We were eating subway and drinking some Bud Light Limes next to a family going on what looked like a week long backpack trip. I don’t think those kids made it more than a couple miles before they dropped to their knees screaming at their dad. We rooster tailed out of there and headed to the lodge to rent a canoe. After three hours of canoeing, fishing, and swimming we headed back towards Missoula. Of course we had to stop and throw a few flies on the way.
Overall it’s been a nice relaxing week and next Tuesday were headed to the South Fork of the Flathead to do some fishing.
The Montana Wild crew had another 2 days off to explore new fishing grounds. The rivers here in Montana have started to drop and the fishing has begun to get hot. We headed to the North Fork of the Blackfoot, with hopes of finding large native cutthroat trout. The North Fork is a true image of God’s beauty here in Montana.
The North Fork is an image of true backcountry fishing. The trail that we followed zig-zagged along the river endlessly. Right away we noticed the water was clear, but the river was still moving quickly, with minimal fishing opportunities.
Five miles upstream, we made it to a forest service cabin. This is the point where the 50-60lbs of camera/camping gear was starting to wear on our shoulders and we made the critical decision to head back downstream and fish the holes we had seen on the hike up.
Zack started the afternoon off lofting some casts into some calm currents.Within minutes Zack had hooked up with a nice fish. Zack of course managed to try and tangle the fish in some logs, but fortunately landed the fish safely.
Zack decided he would give me my chance to prove myself on the North Fork. I quickly hooked up on a couple beautiful cutthroats.
Within a couple hours we could tell a storm was brewing to the west of us. We continued to battle the winds and rain. I pulled in a couple smaller fish and hooked up on what felt like a large bull trout that took off into the rapids and broke off my fly. Zack landed another great cutty in less than stellar conditions.
We made it back to the Subaru, which we had taken through a knee deep puddle on the trip up to the North Fork. The Subi had been running rough and we were fortunate enough to make it out of the North Fork safely and decided to camp by the Upper Blackfoot for the night near Lincoln, Montana.
After an easy night camped next to the Upper Blackfoot, we again got the rods ready and started fishing. The Blackfoot was far from hot so we left and headed on down to a lesser known river.
Travis dredged up this nice brown from behind a boulder.
Eventually Zack landed his first fish on a long drift with a stonefly nymph.
We finally decided we’d had our fill of fishing for the day and headed out. Be sure to check back soon as were headed back into the mountains in preparation for elk with our bows.
So today we traveled again in search of some fishing. River levels are at or around historic levels right now and the fishing is sure to be off for maybe even a month longer. This time of year is always a bust as the weather isn’t quite nice enough to hit the lake and the fishing is non-existent unless your on a lake or pond. We decided to test the waters at Ninepipes outside Ronan, MT. There’s some nice bass fishing there and we hoped to hook up on a few.
Well we got there and found out that the water in the main pond was way up. We waded through waist deep water and overhead reeds just to make it to the edge, and by then we were in so deep it was difficult to cast anywhere. I had hoped to film some bass but it just didn’t happen. I did throw together a little preview edit that should give you a feel of what’s to come throughout the summer.
Be sure to watch in HD.
With our limited time we decided to save it for another day and we headed into Ronan for a quick snack break. After filling ourselves with some delicious Hutterite cinnamon rolls we headed south to a stocked pond and knew it was only a matter of time before we had ourselves a fish.
We finally made it to “the pond” and got set up. This pond holds up to 15 pound rainbows. They are fed daily and it gets pretty intense when they all swarm the fish food.
Fortunately we came prepared with fish food imitation flies. The trout would endlessly come up and almost nose our flies before swimming off. We finally tricked a few and landed some nice fish. Travis switched over to a streamer and caught this average size rainbow.
Shortly after the fish were fed and they went ballistic. Soon I tricked a great cutbow on my fish food fly and landed the largest trout of my life. Travis was slightly brain dead and the camera was way overexposed but you can get an idea for the size of fish still. I figured he was a good 5 pounds and he wasn’t even close to the big ones we saw.
Eventually we left as we both had to work that night but it was good to feel a fish on the end of the line again. We also put together some shots of us behind the scenes when were just being us.
That wraps it up for today. We might be trying some predator hunting soon if the weather and rivers don’t shape up so be sure to check back.
Well today we thought we’d head on up to Fish Creek which flows into the Clarkfork west of Missoula. This was our first time fishing this and we left empty handed. The water was high but clear. Even though the water had great clarity it was pushing real fast and finding good holding water proved to be difficult. The spots we did find didn’t seem to hold an fish or we just did entice them enough with our fly selection.
Early on I was showing Travis a few features of the new camera and without knowing it happened to catch this cow moose on the opposite bank. We were messing with exposures and this pictures way blown out and out of focus but you can see the moose on the far bank.
There was plenty of fresh moose sign all along the river. We kept on scoping the river for fishable holes and worked nymphs and streamers around some bends and log jams with no success.
We ended up stopping in 3-4 spots along the creek and we never saw a soul on the river that day. With the water as high as it was moving up and down stream was a real bushwack.
It was nice to get out on the river again and the weather was amazing. After not fishing for 7 weeks I was just happy to be closer to being back on the river on a consistent basis. Hopefully soon we can land some fishies soon.