Another weekend is upon us. We’ve been back on the sprawling expanse of rivers that course across Montana, and we wouldn’t have it any other way. Friday we set out to begin filming for one of a few short videos we’ll be producing this spring. Not much for details on the project other than we’re going to be filming about 7-10 days for just this project, and I hope we can make it better than I envision it in my head.
The day started with a bang though. Travis and I were looking for a new area to fish and had our eyes out for the parking area. We passed it and turned around. As we took a left off the highway, our attention was on the river and where we were about to park. We only had to cross the railroad tracks and gear up. As we slowly neared the tracks I instinctively looked right and left. When my eyes made it to the left side of the vehicle I saw a gut wrenching site, a train barrelling down upon us. I stopped on a dime as the train roared past us just 15 feet away. No horn, no warning, just raw reality. A little unnerving doesn’t quite describe it, but I’m glad it happened. I truly think God meant for that train to scare us. It humbled both of us and made a lasting reminder that life is never to be taken for granted. We enjoy so many amazing things in our lives and especially in a state such as Montana. It’s just a good reminder to be thankful for what you have and to make sure you put forth your best foot each and every day because you never now when it’s going to be your last. We quickly tried to forget what had just happened and get out on the river. About five minutes after wetting my boots I was into a spunky rainbow. Three fish were pulled from that hole and the vibes were good. We knew some big fished lived amongst the depths and snags of the river and it was only a matter of time before we laid into one.
We moved on and decided to hit a hole hidden under a bridge that has netted us some good fish in the past. With the camera rolling I began methodically working the hole. After about 5 minutes I hooked up on a strong fish. At first it was more dead weight than anything. I slowly worked the fish into the slow side water and caught my first glimpse of this beast of a fish. It looked like a baby steelhead. Once it saw me it was headed deep back into the current. I yelled to Travis that I was gonna need a bit of help to land this brute. After about 10 minutes of trying to wear him down, I wasn’t making much progress. With a 5wt rod and 4x tippet I had less control than the fish did. As he tired he wouldn’t move into the slow water. He would only slowly drift backwards towards the tail of the pool. I knew if he made it out of the pool I was toast. Travis got in as deep as he could and we gave it a go. I pulled as hard as I dared to try to get him close to the surface. It was now or never and I tried to impart my will upon him. Travis swooped in with the net and chaos ensued. The fish fought with all its might. All I could see was a monstrous trout thrashing on the wooden edge of the net. My line went slack and I hoped to see the net rise from the water with my largest fish ever. Unfortunately, it came up empty. That pig of a fish won. We were a little upset, but after our close call with the train I easily remembered how blessed I was just to be on the river with my brother. Travis estimated this rainbow at about 24-26 inches. It was the biggest fish either of us have seen in the rivers of Montana. We continued to fish on and did catch a small brown who was set on trying to fly. A decent rainbow finished our day off and considering the time of year we were pretty stoked. We still have room to improve.
Today Annie and I headed up to Rock Creek to see how the infamous river was faring with such a light winter. It wasn’t long before Annie had her first fish hooked up.
The river sure has changed since last spring. The heavy runoff we saw last year has altered almost every hole. It’s cool because it’s almost like fishing the river for the first time again. There’s still a decent amount of snow and the water temp isn’t quite there yet. There’s fish to be had but not in true spring fashion. We landed about 5 fish today, and I was reminded that the fish of Rock Creek make up for their size with their stunning colors.
Tomorrow Travis and I are headed back out for a full day on the river. Hopefully, we can get some shots. I can’t decide if snow is going to be a good thing or not. Might make for some sweet shots or it might make for some slow fishing. I guess well find out soon.
Winter has been more of a cold, dry spring. Trying to chase wolves a day at a time without snow has been difficult. The more we drive the more the rivers have been enticing me to bust out the fly rod and get back to swinging flies. In pulling together footage for a fishing highlight reel for 2011 I came across this fish Travis caught last year and thought I’d throw an edit together to get stoked to be back on the rivers soon. Check it out and drop by soon for more video from 2011.
Alright here is an edit that I did for my final project in one of my editing classes. All the pictures were taken from a GoPro HD. The video depicts our lifestyle here in Montana. Enjoy.
Well the fishing as of late has been sporadic at best it seems. Last Thursday we went up Rock Creek about 12-13 miles to fish. The rainy weather and low cloud cover, matched up with the green moss and grass so well I could have sworn we were in a different country.
That day was productive though as I caught a fat 18″ rainbow out of a deep side hole and later on my brother caught his first fish off a dry of the season. Of course I always seem to catch the fatties when I’m alone and thus no pictures. We’ll learn. Soon enough it was dumping snow and hovering around freezing and this pushed us off the river.
The next day I made it out was Saturday and the weather was gorgeous.
Again the fishing was very slow. We nymphed for about 2-3 hours as there was no surface activity. Only one measly whitedog made it to the net but the sun felt amazing after the long winter. Our random spring weather made for up and down conditions and an almost non-existent skwalla hatch. With the warm weather this weekend the rivers are gonna spike and fishing may be on hold until runoff is over. That’s fine by me as I’ll be dusting off the bow or the .300 and seeing if I can’t find myself a bear. I’ll leave ya with a couple pictures of a bird I can’t quite identify but is badass nonetheless. Hawk or golden eagle you be the judge.