Well things have been pretty crazy and hectic around the house lately. We’ve been planning our most extensive fishing trip we’ve ever went on. We’re heading into the Wilderness of Northwest Montana for six whole days in search of wild cutthroat trout and the elusive bull trout. On top of that we’ve been setting game cameras and getting the bows dialed in for season. Throw in work, some video editing, and a whole slew of other activities and times a flying. On Friday we made it out to test a couple rods that we had set up to chase bull trout with. Dan at Grizzly Hackle was nice enough to work with us on this project and get us set up to swing some junk in front of some bull trout this next week. We decided to get on some water on the lower Blackfoot and toss a few to get used to these big rods. First cast and I had a chunky little cutt on the end of my line.
We soon picked up and moved up river a bit. Travis and I found some open water and started to find our grooves with the new setups.
I landed a few, and we missed a couple, but I feel better now about getting into the groove right away on our trip. Hopefully we can find some bullies and trick them into clobbering our big streamers.
We followed this up by hitting the hills on Saturday and picking up a couple of game cameras that we have had up for a little over a month now. We crawled up a gnarly road into our spot and began picking our way through the forest. As soon as we made it off the dirt road we were more than impressed with how well the Optifade blended into the surroundings. The Open Country pattern works amazing in a wide variety of habitats, and I was a bit skeptical at how it would blend into the darker green timber. The pattern matches the color of the trees so well that it’s actually extremely effective, and I already feel more confident as a hunter with this camo. If you want some of the best designed hunting gear be sure to check out sitkagear.com for more.
We had left this camera unlocked and when we made it to the camera the cable had been gnawed on and the camera was crooked. We found the culprit after we reviewed the photos.
We kept scrolling through and saw a lot of 1-3 year old bulls. We had a couple good ones swing through but no giants.
This bull was the largest we got on the camera in this location. Unfortunately it’s a bit blurry, but he’s a good 6×6 and a definite shooter.
Another pretty decent bull for the area showing up on the 23rd. If only his top ends would grow out a bit. With the hot weather the wallow was dry. Last year it wasn’t dry until the end of July so I’m hoping we can see some rain soon that will keep this area good and wet. We decided to pull this camera and get back and shoot the bows a bit in a real world setting. It’s always good to get out and shoot in the woods before season just to get that mental imagery in your head.
After some arrow flinging we picked things up and moved on to our second spot. After an hour drive and a stop for some ice cream we finally were parked and ready to set out for camera #2.
We found a good number of rubs on the way in and got a bunch of solid footage for a new scouting short that should be out in a few weeks. Hopefully it will get you stoked to get back into the elk woods.
After some delays to get a few shots, we finally made it to our other Moultrie which was set over a small water hole.
This was the first time we had set a camera in this area. It’s always interesting to go check a camera in a new area. You hope that your camera is going to have a good number of photos and some cool animals captured on the card. We were lucky enough to see that it had taken 290 photos in just a months time.
We pulled the card and fired up the Mac.
Soon enough we had a few good bulls showing up on the camera.
This was a cool looking bull with solid character in his left G2.
We had a couple moose drop by for a drink.
Finally we had a group of five bulls swing by. A couple of these bulls are shooters just based off the character of their headgear. Speaking of wild headgear, just two day before we checked this camera we had one of the most unique bulls we’ve seen drop by.
One things apparent, he has something wild growing off the right side of his face. It’s hard to tell if it’s part of his antler or some weird growth. Either way he’s a crazy looking bull.
Overall the day was a success. We checked two cameras, shot the bows in the woods, and filmed a short video. We have some backup bulls to chase if the Breaks don’t work out according to plan. Tomorrow we head deep into the wild and will be fishing for wild, native trout for six days. The cameras gonna be rolling and we hope we can capture some great footage for you guys.
Ice, elk, cutties
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 out with hopes of finding large native cutthroat trout. This river is a true image of God’s beauty here in Montana.
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. 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. The Subi had been running rough and we were fortunate enough to make it out safely and decided to camp nearby for the night.
After an easy night, we again got the rods ready and started fishing.
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.