Day 2 started with partly sunny skies and mild temperatures. After a wholesome pop tart and Clif Bar for breakfast we grabbed the fly rods and packs and hit the trail. We hiked about a half mile upstream before starting to fish. Again we found deep pools cut into the valley and surrounded by grey toothpicks. There aren’t a ton of amazing holes on this stretch of river, but the good ones are real good. After finding one of the largest log jams we’ve ever seen, we headed just above it and found our first hole of the day.
Prospecting this fine piece of water.
After some rock climbing to get down to the water I quickly was into a good rainbow. After untangling him from some underwater branches after a failed net job, I had my first nice fish of the day. Travis was above filming and things were looking good. Again we had to bushwack through the nasty dead burned timber and small growth pines to get back to the trail and head further north in search of fish. The mountains are sure unique in this area. Almost everything was burned out at one time and grey and black dead trees extend for as far as the eye can see.
Soon we were back down on the river. There’s so much dead water that it’s frustrating at times bushwacking only to see foot deep riffles for two hundred yards, but when you get a bend or small cliff to pool things up, the fishing always delivers.
Sure enough it wasn’t long until more fish were landed in the emerald water.
Unfortunately there wasn’t really any kind of hatch going on while we were there. The small fish were eager to smash a dry, but the 15″ and up trout had to be tricked with nymphs. I think areas like this are usually a few weeks behind schedule as far as the fishing is concerned, and just recently the main local rivers have just started to see some good hatches. I think the later in the summer you can go the better. Soon it was well past noon and we pulled off just before another great hole to cook some lunch.
We didn’t bring a whole lot of food on this trip. I think we both were taking in about 1000 calories per day. We definitely felt the stomachs shrink a bit on that meal plan. While the food was cooking I decided to blind fish the hole we were at with a golden stone/skwalla pattern. First cast and a rainbow absolutely destroyed my fly. The fish up here jump like crazy and this one was no different. I proceeded to drift the hole another 15 times afterwards but couldn’t get any other fish to rise. We sat back down, ate lunch, and then it was Travis’ turn with the nymph rig.
Of course the nymphs turned up a handful of fish. After about four minutes of fishing Travis finally hooked a good one that immediately jumped the entire width of the river and then back across. When I checked the footage I found out that our memory card had filled up just prior to the catch, d#@$! Oh well, shit happens.
We soon turned around and headed back downstream. After a few short casts I had one very brightly colored rainbow to show.
Around 6 o’clock we trekked back to camp and decided to fish the remaining holes below camp. The fishing was just ok as a lot of small fish seemed to dominate this water. And to top it off, we were almost out of memory, the camera batteries were on their last legs, and we were down to one freeze dried food meal, one pop tart and a Clif Bar. While we didn’t prepare as well as we could have for a longer trip, it was a great preparation trip for our 5 day Bob Marshall trip planned for later this month. Overall the fishing was amazing, the scenery was top notch, and the weather held out on us.
The next morning we hit the trail and headed back to the truck parked at the trailhead. We don’t have much to show or tell from the last day as we hiked a lot, fished mostly for fun, and had a full, dead camera. One thing is for sure though, I won’t be forgetting that day anytime soon.
Overall the trip was a success and we’ll be heading back next year for sure. This trip has us stoked for our 5 day excursion into the Bob Marshall. We’ll be filming a little short film up there, and it should easily be our best when it’s said and done. After that it’s straight into hunting season, and we have been shooting the bows quite a bit lately. And until next time, get out and explore Montana.
Every summer we get urge to go fish in some of the most beautiful places Montana has to offer. This is the backcountry, a true wilderness. To top it off the fishing is pretty darn good. Travis and I decided to head out on a small camping trip that would take us far from society. With the weather questionable we finally pulled the trigger and loaded up. You only get so many days a year. We arrived at the trailhead around 1PM and knew we had a bit of a hike to get to our area. The trail was dusty and beat down with horseshoe prints and the occasional boot track. Every couple miles the horse tracks would get more prominent. To me this means little pressure on these wild trout. After five miles we made the last cross of the river before camp. We were sore and sweaty. The view of what was to come was a constant rejuvenatory.
We had one last push uphill push to make it to camp and get to fishing. We quickly got distracted again and decided to bag a few shots with the Nikon.
A lightly stylized look behind the lens of the camera.
In front of the lens.
Our Nikon sure is spoiled in what it gets to look at on a daily basis. After a few minutes of spectating, we made it back on the trail. The fishing was looking better and better and the effects of the 6 mile hike with 40lbs+ of camera gear slowly faded in my memory as fishing pushed its way in 100%.
Finally we found a nice little strip of grass next to the river, and we dropped the packs. We took the next hour to set up the tent and re-situate gear for some evening fishing. We had holes both upstream and downstream of the tent and the options were endless.
After changing into waders and piecing the fly rods together, we finally set foot in the river. We slowly headed upstream. The small fish were eager to smash a dry, and the bigger fish weren’t picky on what nymph we threw their way.
Slowly the river started tightening down and re-entered a mini-canyon full of small deep pools. You just knew where the trout were stacked up, and as long as you could physically make it to the hole you were landing spunky wild trout. That’s the thing though. There are no trails next to the river and moving up or downstream is difficult and sometimes outright dangerous. If you fall back here it’s going to be days until anyone comes looking for you. We encountered two channels of the river that had a knife edge of dirt between them. We made the right decision in not risking sliding down a hundred foot rock covered hillside and simply took the 20 minutes to go around to get upriver. Just before dark was starting to loom, we found a deep short pool under a small waterfall. It was only a few well placed steps away and Travis finally made it into position. A couple casts later and the rod was bent.
The sun soon crept too low to keep fishing, and we returned to camp. We even had company for the night. A curious mule deer doe circled our camp at about 20 yards as we were collecting firewood. Soon the smell of campfire filled the riverside and kept the mosquitoes at bay.
After cooking up a delicious meal of salmon pesto pasta we got to kick back and enjoy the fire. We were anxious to get deeper in the backcountry and explore some new water. We’d be hiking upstream from camp fishing the deepest holes we could find. I had a good feeling that the fishing 8 miles back would be pretty exciting. The water looked good, the fish were hungry, and the weather was looking nice.
We soon put out the fire and crawled into the tent. It wasn’t long before sleep hit and day one was a wrap. Day two was looking to be one we wouldn’t forget.
After a short hiatus from fishing we decided to jump back into the swing of things on the lower Clark Fork with our friend Trevor who runs flyfishingwest. The plan was to get a morning float in due to the fact that we needed to work that evening, damn jobs. We met out at Wheat Montana where I ordered a very tasty cinnamon roll to get things going in the right direction for the day.
Now I’ve never fished this stretch before, but the word is that streamers usually work best early morning. Well we didn’t have much success with that. After getting harassed because I had a “pike” streamer on and working through a few different patterns, we didn’t even succeed in getting a little nibble. Good thing I still had half of that cinnamon roll to eat. There was basically zero TOPWATER action. Apparently this term is for bass fishing only according to Trevor. We’ll probably use it till we die and soon were resorting to calling our bobbers buoys just to keep things a little edgy. We tried a variety of flies, I mean lures and got a few small, uneducated fish to eat. Overall things were pretty slow, and the most excitement came from Trevor yelling at us angry guide style, giving us casting and rowing lessons, and Travis taking a little gel coat off the Clacka. I pretty much had a grand old time in the back of the boat with the shirt off catching some Vitamin D. I let Travis and Trevor fight it out for fisherman of the day. Finally about 300 yards from the takeout Travis had his buoy go under and he set the hook on a nice rainbow. After some yelling and vigorous rowing we were able to land the small beast before we were swept downstream into some burly Class IVXVII rapids.
I guess that made the day better? I dunno I was to busy looking at stonefly nymphs that keep the trout happy.
Even thought he fishing was slow I’m sure we will be back. The lower stretch is know for it’s evening caddis hatches, and we’ll be down there one of these days trying to see what it’s all about and hopefully running into a few rising fish.
Sun, fishing, and beer. They all go together real well. Maybe throw in a few other items of choice, and it’s hard to beat a good summer day in Montana. Recently Travis and I decided to hit up some smaller water and see if we could find a trout to snipe. No sooner had we pulled into our parking spot and there were already fish rising within sight. We tied on some tiny dries and started wading upstream. After failing to connect on a few rising fish we soon moved to the next bend and sat and waited to see the next nose break the surface. After 15 minutes of imagining rising fish, the silence was broken by a wild thrash on the surface. A few minutes later and another hit. We had a target. After about 6 casts he took my green drake, and immediately I knew I had a nice slab on the other end. After a few jumps and a long stay on the bottom, Travis netted my largest brown and on a dry to boot.
I was pumped up. To top it off the camera was rolling, and I think we got some quality footage. He definitely filled the net up and it was difficult to even grab him with one hand. It’s been a very long time since I’ve landed a fish over 18″ (the Missouri doesn’t count) on a dry. Last summer seemed to sneer in our faces as we struggled to find any solid fish during the summer months. Hopefully this is a good sign of things to come this summer.
We’ll be back home on the lake for the weekend and no fishing is planned for a little while but we’ll be back after it soon enough. We’re banking on the fishing really being off the charts in a few weeks and we plan on getting out with the camera and hopefully cranking out an edit in the near future.
Summer is never long enough so we always try to make the most of the weekends knowing they come in short supply. This weekend the plan was to fish, scout, and sit a stand or two in the open country in hopes of luring in a coyote. We left the house at 6AM and drove east to a spot we’ve called coyotes at before. We walked in to our stand and called for about half an hour in hopes of getting to test out the new Vortex on the AR-15.
Unfortunately we weren’t able to call anything in. This area only holds a couple smart coyotes and trying to call them in the summer makes things even more difficult. We figured if we were going to be in the area we’d give it a shot. We quickly moved on and headed back down to the river and got geared up for a long day on the water. We were fishing the upper Clark Fork, and with the warm weather we hoped a hatch might come off at some point during the day.
Things started out a bit slow as the water was still running high and fast, but the clarity was fairly decent. Of course the one day we decide to take a good drive and commit a day to fishing the wind decides to make a heavy appearance. It would only pick up as the day wore on. The Clark Fork fished just mediocre. We never netted a trout over 14 inches. A handful of healthy whitefish decided to eat and put on a good show. The eagles have a strong presence on the upper stretches of river as we saw at least eight during the first four hours of fishing. They were very vocal and we saw two nests with juvenile eagles in them.
After numerous missed hits and plenty of walking under the summer sun we decided to move on to new waters with a small pit stop at the local gas station for some tasty ice cream. Once again we began exploring miles of new water. Of course the wind only decided to pick things up a notch and began to make just about any cast impossible. We even managed to watch a three hundred pound willow tree branch get ripped from a tree. Mother nature sure can be hard to get along with sometimes. We kept fishing where we could cast downwind.
We soon worked up a feeder of the Clark Fork in search of any browns lurking in the deeper pools and undercut banks. We had lots of strikes from smaller fish and a few larger browns and rainbows chase and nip the tails of our streamers, but we never laid into anything of good size. We tried a variety of different patterns and found that white was really moving the fish. We finally trekked back to the truck and fired up the grill.
We grilled for about an hour and then sipped some beers until dark. A long day under the sun wears you out quick, and it wasn’t long until we were out for the night. The next day we decided to get into the mountains and do a bit of backup elk scouting. Even though we both drew tags for elk we always like to keep tabs on some areas that have potential. It’s always nice to have a few spots to hunt that are within an hour of home and having cams up gives us an idea of what’s lurking in the dark timber come September. We decided to make a 3 mile loop around a mountain where I’ve ran into some good bulls in the past. We found a fair amount of fresh sign, and the area still seems promising. We aren’t the only hunters in the area though. About half way through our hike we found a marker on a tree along a good game trail.
We kept moving on unfazed though. We know the area gets pressure, it’s just a matter of hunting harder and smarter than the 90% of hunters that won’t give it that extra bit during season. We soon came across a seep in the mountain where the deer and elk water as they move from their feeding and bedding areas. This was going to be camera spot number 2 for the year. We quickly set up the camera that will catch animals in both the seep and walking along the game trail.
We bought a couple Moultrie M80 game cameras this year and hopefully they will work well and give us some cool pictures to look at in about a month. We skirted around the hillside and back to the truck. We parked in a nice clearing and to our surprise held a healthy population of gophers. Well let’s just say we spent some time slinging lead at gophers. Managing the small game population always provides some good fun, and after about an hour of shooting the gophers had wised up and kept their heads below ground. We moved on and drove back down to the river. We were sitting in the truck enjoying some PB&J’s when a couple guys pulled up with their personal drift boats in tow. They came over and we chatted for a while. They claimed to be from Missoula and acted like they knew the river. Either they were pulling our chain (California plates made us think twice about this) or they haven’t learned much about fishing etiquette on the river. We told them we were going to fish one large pool about a quarter mile upstream. Of course we had been fishing there about ten minutes when they showed up and proceeded to fish the same hole about 70 yards downstream. I wasn’t a fan of their bad manners or the wind so we picked up and decided to call it a day. The fishing wasn’t even close to hot so it was an easy decision. The weekend was a bit duller than we had planned, but it can only get better from here on out right?
For 2012 we kicked off the hunting season with a few days of turkey hunting at the parents house. We got up bright and early to the sound of gobbling turkeys off in the distance. We made it down into a small clearing unnoticed and proceeded to get to calling. A few toms we’re headed our way but never got close enough for a quality shot with the bow, those dang turkeys! This was our first attempt at calling in a bird and we got real close. A bit of lack of experience and no decoy probably was our downfall, but we got to lay eyes on some toms and got them all fired up and strutting like champs. The second day out we were hoping our luck would swing, but the weather had other plans. Snow was falling and the birds were shut up and hunkered down in the woods. After that Travis and I spent the rest of the spring in the mountains chasing bears and never got another day of turkey hunting in. We decided to throw a short edit together from our short time spent chasing turkeys and we hope you enjoy it. Next year I can guarantee we’ll be back on the birds and this time I think we just might bag one or two. And again, for the best viewing pleasure please watch in HD with a pair of headphones.
Tomorrow were headed out to cast some line and hopefully lay into a few fish. We plan on getting some filming in and we’re crossing our fingers the fishing is good and we can have a little summer fishing edit up in the next week or two.
This spring Travis and I decided we wanted to film multiple days on the river and start out 2012 by creating a short fishing film. Well what was going to be only a handful of days turned into about 10. When your out there filming you learn a lot very quickly and the shots don’t always turn out the way you see them in your mind. We caught some great fish and lost some even better ones. All the biggest fish we hooked into other than one got away at the net. Looks like we just need a bigger net. We had hoped to tell a story through our film but without any pre-planning before shooting it turned into one big highlight reel. We didn’t want any cheesy recreations and gimmicky lines like so many other films. Highlight reels aren’t usually 10 minutes but we saved the best for last in this one. We’re excited by what we were able to produce and look forward to this summer and improving upon our previous works. Enjoy in HD!
Thanks for watching and we look forward to getting out with the camera and fly rods soon.
Spring in Montana. It brings beauty and beast to the western half of the state each and every year. Mostly it’s been beast. Since Travis killed his bear, we’ve been blasted with rain almost every day. The state of the weather flips on a dime it seems and the second you think the weather is shaping up, well think again. The conditions have been making my goal of arrowing a black bear more and more difficult. With the rain and longer days the grass is green almost everywhere, and it’s making the bears less and less reluctant to stay in the open for long. Fortunately we’ve still been getting after them and we have upped the bear count to 20 for the year with 7 seen in the last 7 days. Let’s just say seeing bears doesn’t convert into killing bears. Often they are a ways off and on the move. I could have killed at least 4 with a rifle, but the challenge of the bow makes it more intense and rewarding when it’s all said and done.
The weekend started slow as we left town and drove 30 miles into the mountains. We were able to glass one clearcut before the rain started coming down and hard. Soon we were fogged in and had to call it a day. It’s a bummer when you can’t even get out of the truck, but the mountains make the rules.
The next day we were in a spot we hadn’t hunted this year but knew held bears. We had ran into two last year doing some elk scouting and there was plenty of open landscape to glass. About 20 minutes in on our bike Travis made a crazy good spot. There was a good black bear crossing some rocks and moving up a north facing slope.
He was about 850 yards across a deep ravine. We watched him bed down right behind that tree and watched him for a while. He seemed to be staying put despite it only being 8AM. We decided we better try to locate him and try to get a shot. We backtracked on the bikes and went down into a steep ravine before climbing up onto the ridge the bear was bedded on. We had taken landmarks and knew we only had to go down this ridge about 100 yards. We slowly started creeping down the ridge. I knew we were getting close but it was thick. The wind was perfect, the only problem was we had a bunch of downfall between us and the bears position. Finally I saw black fur through the trees. He was still laying down and I could see his butt and legs. We were only 45 yards away, but there was no shot with all the branches and downed trees. There was no option of approaching him any other way and getting a clean shot so I kept sneaking forward. Every step was slow and we were being as quiet as we could be. Of course a chipmunk decided now was a good time to start screaming at us. That combined with one tiny, and I mean tiny twig breaking was enough to make this bear sleepily sit up. I could see him sitting there, groggy, and contemplating laying back down. Well his intuition had the better of him, and he slowly stood and walked back down and to our left. There was never a shot and we were only 37 yards away at that point. We slowly crept down the hill only to never see him again. It was a letdown but it felt great putting such a stalk on a mature wild animal. I truly believe this is the best way to hunt, and I hope you’ll never see us hunt from a treestand over bait. I feel that bears should be hunted fair chase, spot and stalk just like every other animal unless they become a problem or there’s zero open terrain to catch a bear in. It’s just seems like the American way to throw out your bait and sit there and pick your bear. You just learn so much more being out there, seeing new areas, learning about animal movements, and experiencing God’s country. It’s also going to be so rewarding when it comes together. We left that area and decided to explore some new roads on the other side of the highway. Well we made it way up in the mountains and decided to get some more time in with the new Razor HD spotting scope before the weather changed.
We found a few new areas that looked promising as far as bear hunting or some elk scouting but it’s still a little brown that high up and the snow is still sticking around. We both took turns on the scope but only found one lone cow elk bedded in a small cut in the timber.
We finally packed it up and head back to Missoula. After a couple hour break we were back up the mountain and glassing more open country. After about 20 minutes Travis made another solid spot. He could see a nice blond bear about a mile away. Ordinarily we would have gone after this bear right away. On this day we pulled the spotting scope out and took a closer look. Good thing because it was a sow and two cubs and it saved us a heck of a trek. We watched them until the weather began to change and we knew it was time to call it a day.
The next day we woke up at 545 only to find it raining and foggy. We’ll looks like we’re sleeping in. When I got up around 930 it was clear out and sunny. Uhhhhh ok Montana you win. Looks like you’ll let us hunt this evening. Well of course as we start heading out of town the clouds start building.
About 2 minutes into driving the dirt road it starts pouring rain. Soon it began to hail and we were surrounded by lightning. We decided to see if it would pass and reluctantly turned around as it was just too dangerous to get out of the truck. We rallied some mud puddles and made it about a mile down the road before we stopped to get a few timelapses. We’ll by the time we had finished some filming it was turning out to be pretty nice again. We figured we’d drive back up top and at least glass and see if we saw anything pop out of the timber.
We continued to glass for about an hour but only were able to spot one lone mule deer doe. The weather was shifting so much I’m sure most of the animals were seeking cover in the timber and waiting for nicer weather to really come out and feed.
Things aren’t shaping up to be too great the rest of the week. It’s raining now and the forecast is calling for 100% tomorrow. I’m sure we’ll be back at it again this weekend. It’s coming down to crunch time as this Thursday marks the one week mark until season is over and it’s officially summer fishing. I hope we can pull it together and get one more chance before it’s over. If not it’s been an amazing spring and time spent in the mountains is always a blessing.
It’s here. The final hunting episode from the 2011 season. In the 4th installment we follow Zack along as he chases elk with the stick and string. Things started out with a couple long weekends in the Missouri Breaks. This was new country to us and we got after it the best we could. We found the elk every day but just couldn’t seal the deal. They came tantalizingly close and we learned a bunch that’s going to make us successful when we return this fall. Zack decided to switch it up and fight it out with the elk close to home. He sealed the deal with a great shot @ 40 yards on the first day back in the Western Montana woods.
Here’s the blog posts leading up to Zack nocking his 2011 elk tag:
Be sure to watch in HD and with a pair of headphones. Enjoy!
Look for our first fly fishing project of 2012 to be dropping at the end of next week. We were delayed for almost two months on this project, but this terrible weather finally spared us enough time to get some solid editing in and finish it. If you like what you see please subscribe to our posts by entering your email into the right sidebar or visit our Facebook page and [LIKE] us.
Episode 2 takes us to Central Montana to meet up with the McCann brothers for opening weekend of the 2011 Montana Rifle Season. Watch as I get the opportunity at a rare velvet buck on opening day. This video proves that its always handy to carry a coyote call. Enjoy!
Episodes 3 will be released in 2 weeks, so be checking back soon!
We told you that ever two weeks we’d be releasing another hunting video from 2011. Well true to our word we’ll be releasing Episode 2 – The Haggard Horns Buck later this week. Look for it to drop late this week on Friday or Saturday. Head over to our Facebook and if you haven’t already go ahead and [LIKE] us. Once you’ve done that then look for the post about Episode 2. [LIKE] that post and once we get ten or more likes we’ll randomly pick two people who will receive the password to the video. Who doesn’t like a sneak peak?
This episode is an awesome one as we follow Travis on opening day in the badlands of central Montana. We were able to capture some awesome footage of this rare velvet covered buck on opening day of rifle season.
On another note Travis and I have been hitting the mountains each weekend in search of those black fuzzy critters called bears.
So far the bears have been eluding us. We went back up into the mountains where I killed my bear last spring but the area seemed devoid of life. We didn’t spot up a single animal. The area was just starting to green up and we were out about three weeks earlier than last year so I think the area just needs a little more time before it’s a go in that area.
This weekend we hit up two different areas again in search of a bear. Unfortunately, things are still a little brown for my liking and the snow still has some melting to do in those upper elevations. We covered a lot of ground and only managed to find a smaller den that had recently been abandoned.
In my opinion “most” bears are probably out of the den by now. I think there’s definitely going to be more coming out in the next week or so and with the rain and warmer weather things should green up fast. I feel that most bears are lower in elevation right now, but unfortunately these areas are fairly dense and don’t allow much as far as glassing. We’ll wait for them to move up into the clear cuts and higher elevations where we can spot and stalk them much easier. Yesterday we again spent a lot of time looking through the glass at mile upon mile of timber and clear cut. We only spotted a few deer and one moose. It’s amazing how animals just pop out of nowhere when you sit and glass. We probably sat looking over a few square miles of clear cut for 20 minutes before we spotted a moose out in the open. You really have to pick apart every little area of land meticulously if your gonna do it right. I’ll be glad when the spotting scope shows up later this month. Until then we’ll be in the mountains getting in shape so when we do find a bear it will be game on. This week might be a little slow with rain and school but we’ll be really hitting things hard starting next week.
Considering it’s hunting season again here in Montana, we decided that we should begin the release of our 4 hunting episodes from the 2011 season. This was our first year ever filming hunting, and we’re excited about what we were able to capture on film and share with everyone. It takes innumerable hours in the field to capture quality footage and then another slew of hours behind the computer to create a hunting webisode. This first episode follows Zack as he attempts to arrow a deer, spot-and-stalk style on public land. For the best viewing experience please watch in HD, fullscreen, with a pair of headphones. If your a touch short on time please refer to the video on our Vimeo page, as it has markers that let you jump between the 3 stalks.
I hope you enjoyed the first of four episodes. We’ll release one every 2-3 weeks from now on. Here’s a quick outline of the remaining episodes:
Episode 2: Montana Rifle Mule Deer
Episode 3: Travis’ Elk Season
Episode 4: Zack’s Archery Bull Elk
It’s spring break and of course the weather could be better. Yep it’s spring in Montana. Saturday we had a mellow day and went up to the Deep Creek Range to shoot the rifles.
We had some new loads to fire through the 6×284 and the .300 Win Mag. Both rifles were on point with some minor adjustments. Let’s say we’re very deadly at 300 and anything bigger than a coyote should be very scared at 500. If worst comes to worst the .300 will have to do some bear damage again this spring but let’s hope we can get up close and personal with the bows.
Today we decided to attempt to fish despite all the rivers spiking up in flows. We went up on the Bitteroot and found dirty, but fishable water. Travis has been tying up some streamers and he wanted to give them a go. About an hour into the day he hooked up on a nice brown with an freshly tied streamer.
I had a large rainbow snap a nymph off and then proceed to jump out of the water to taunt me. Travis lost a big one, and I missed a few nibbles on the streamer rig. We fished till about 4 and decided to call it a day. Unless your really itching to fish I’d stay home and do other things. Once the flows start to drop, which is a big if right now, the fishing should heat up again. Only saw 2 skwallas and there wasn’t much for any type of bug activity on top. We’ll be heading to the Mo tomorrow for a two day fish trip and I can already predict that there will be lots of photos and video to come from the trip. Check back soon and until then “carpe diem.”
2011 has become a golden staple in my life. My brother and I have worked countless hours trying to progress our level of content from amateur to professional. Montana Wild videos started out as amateur GoPro only videos, but we have long since progressed our video capabilities way beyond what we expected for our first year. We no longer put together a short video and say, “ya that looks good enough”. We now view our videos with the mindset of “how can we make this video the best we can”…. this is Montana Wild’s 2011 year in review.
About this time last year I broke my digital point and shoot camera. It was a sad day, but I didn’t spend that much anyways. I talked about purchasing a new camera with my brother Zack. Zack came back with the response, “Start saving your money because the next camera we are buying is a DSLR. I want something that actually shoots quality pictures and videos.” I was opposed to the thought of buying a camera worth a couple grand! I mean that is a lot of money for a college student. He later convinced me that it was more than just a purchase, it was an investment. My brother and I are servers at a brewery here in Missoula. We’re your average college guys trying to make a buck, and we worked our butts off until we came up with the cash for a new camera. We finally purchased our Nikon HDSLR during the spring of 2011.
I want to thank my brother Zack for pushing me to make this purchase. I have since then developed a passion for taking photos and filming in the outdoors. The things I have experienced and learned through filming and being in the outdoors has educated me far more than what I have been taught in my college courses. Check out the difference between our 1st video and our most recent.
Hunting and fly fishing is my passion and there is no better way to re-live those events that take place in the wild, than through photos and videos. The very first video we shot with our new camera was surprisingly for a Bear Archery Video Contest. It ended up turning out pretty darn good, and I was able to take 2nd place. Check it out.
We received a lot of positive feedback from this video, which boosted our moral going into the 2011 hunting season. Our first hunt of the year was a spring black bear hunt. The very first day out we brought along the DSLR, but of course our memory card had an internal error and we were unable to take any photos or video. We also didn’t have the GoPro and we only had one pack and no food or water. Well after about 8 miles and spotting 2 bears Zack ended up dropping a great bear at 60yards! A great start to our 2011 season!
We had a busy summer trying to make ends meet, while preparing for bowhunting season. Not to mention we had a big runoff year on the rivers, so fishing took awhile to get started. We did manage to put together our first fly fishing edit with the new HDSLR on the North Fork.
About a month later we made our way up to the Bob Marshall with our Dad for another fly fishing trip. We got into a lot of beautiful fish and had a blast. We ended the trip with by far the best fishing and are already planning a return trip for 2012.
This was our last fly fishing trip before archery season started. We were anxious to get on some elk. Zack had the chance to hunt some 300 class elk out in the Missouri Break, but the warm temperatures (85-95 degrees everyday) made the hunting tough.
With no luck in the Missouri Breaks, Zack decided to try his luck at some elk spots we had around town. On his first day hunting somewhere other than the Breaks, Zack ended up double-lunging a nice raghorn bull, his first elk ever!
Bow season ended, and rifle season started. On opening day of rifle season I dropped a unique mule deer buck that was still in velvet. We were able to capture some amazing footage on this hunt. Look forward to our hunting episodes to drop later this year.
A week after I dropped the mule buck, I shot my first elk ever! I was on a real high after a frustrating archery season.
After that Zack dropped a nice mule deer with his bow, and I ended up putting down two whitetail doe’s within 5 days. Both of these were bow kills, one spot and stalk and the other from a treestand.
The general hunting season ended here in Montana, but that didn’t keep us from hunting. We took a trip over winter break and laid the smack down on some coyotes on the Hi-Line. We also did some wolf hunting but never got a chance to sight up one of these elusive creatures.
This year was full of amazing experiences and my 2012 season is already starting off with a bang. Zack and I have been shooting our bows inside our apartment for the past week, in preparation for our spring black bear hunt. Fishing is just starting to pick up and we have multiple video projects in the works. I thank God for allowing me to live in such an amazing place called Montana.
Also I want to thank all of my friends and family that we were able to share some of these experiences with.
So I had a few days off and thought I’d head home to Bigfork where my parents live on Flathead lake and take it easy. I took along our new Nikon D7000 and tried to start familiarizing myself with it. I think I got some cool shots. Check out the slideshow.
Alright so Bear Archery has a video contest going on and I decided to enter (because I love Bear Bows!). This is the first time filming with the new Nikon D7000. My brother (zack) did a great job filming and I did all of the editing. Enjoy!