Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Summer 2014 Part 2

I've been meaning to get around to a new post for awhile now. I'm a full-time student at Weber State, doing my undergraduate in Biology and planning to apply to dental school this year. Needless to say it has been a very busy spring.
Anyways, I still have a few other places that I want to talk about from last summer, starting first with Montana. Every year I take a trip up to Anaconda, Montana and I deal with the same dilemma year after year. Every night of the weeklong trip I can't decide which river to go hit up. From Anaconda you have so many streams, rivers, and lakes within an hours drive. Just a few I can name off are the Beaverhead, Missouri, Clark Fork, Little Blackfoot, Warm Springs, Big Hole, Rock Creek, and Georgetown Lake. That doesn't include any of the small streams in between (which I love to fly fish). Well this year I decided to spend a lot of time on the Clark Fork and it definitely paid off.
The headwaters of the Clark Fork start at the drainage of the warm springs tailings ponds. The river is safe to fish here but the fish are not safe to eat due to the high level of mercury and presence of other toxins. Which means it's all catch and release so the fish get big. Surprisingly the fish through this stretch are very healthy and strong. Every fish I have pulled in here (and lost) has put up a huge fight. I used my 8.5' ft 5 wt. Sage Fli every day I fished here and I could have easily used a larger rod weight but I love the fight on my 5 wt.
There are so many things that I love about fishing in Montana. One thing that I love in particular are the stream access laws. Here in Utah under Governor Gary Herbert's blessing and signature in 2010 we lost our rights to recreate on the river.  Landowners with rivers adjacent to private property can place no trespassing signs and the river becomes closed off to everyone unless it is accessed by boat. In Montana, (and Idaho) as long you access the river from a public right away (bridge, public land, etc) you can wade the entire river as long as you stay within the high water mark. Which is the way that it should be!
Anyways, back to the fishing and away from the politics.... the fishing in Montana is fantastic and has never let me down. I've only had the chance to fish up there in the summer and I can only imagine that it gets even better as fall starts to settle in. Large dries, streamers, and hoppers for days bringing in fish after fish is hard to beat. If you haven't made it to Montana do yourself a favor and go! Don't be afraid to venture out on your own and explore these rivers and lakes. I'm not one that can afford to get a guide to help me get into fish, and I believe in Montana you shouldn't have to, there are plenty of fish for you to find on your own.
One last place that I really had a great time fishing last year was the Teton river in Driggs Idaho. This was a trip that was last minute towards the end of summer and it was a fantastic time to be up there.  I was in awe watching the sun rise over the Tetons. It was a crisp late summer morning, with fog rolling in over the river. Huge browns and Cutts were hitting early morning midges off the surface. No one around but myself and Kade taking in this surreal moment. It didn't take long for us to get into a few nice rainbows and brookies, but it also didn't take us very long to realize that we were going to have to work for these fish. First of all I was very unprepared for this trip. I was in Idaho Falls on a Friday night doing some research on a few places I was deciding to fish, Saturday morning I was in Driggs with a fly box full of a few go to's and river staples. Well after going through just about every fly we found the small flies to work the best. Zebra Midges, baetis, sow bugs, and really small dark dry flies seemed to work best. We had quite a few baetis hatches while we were on the river and I have never seen so many fish rise, it was unbelievable. One of the first things that we had to do was switch out our 4x tippet and put on 6x, the fish were very smart and easily spooked. We also found that getting as close as possible to the rising fish gave us the best presentation and got us into the fish. Fishing on the Teton river is going to be a yearly trip for me. There is just something amazing about fishing under the towering Tetons, an experience that everyone should have.
Fly Fishing Montana
Montana
Fly Fishing Teton River
Teton River


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