Monday, July 15, 2013

Montana Trip Photo Recap

   After recovering from my lengthy trip fishing the legendary waters of southern Montana I have finally settled down to review some of the photos I took along the way.  As I sit down to write this post with a cup of coffee in hand I can't help but notice this my 600th post on this blog.  When I set out to record my fishing and art adventures with a blog I never imagined it would lead to this.  Over the years I have been blessed with some great fishing and artistic opportunities through this blog and there isn't a better to celebrate my 600th post than with a photo recap of a trip to Montana.  It was a wonderful trip done at the perfect time of year and the fish did not disappoint.  I got to see family I haven't seen in over a year and had the wonderful experience of giving some instruction on how to cast a fly rod to my future brother-inlaw as well as my own father and I am happy to say that both of them caught fish on that outing.  I saw some of the most beautiful country this land has to offer and enjoyed the joy of sharing it with my wife and kids.  It was a trip of a lifetime and a memory starter and feel blessed to have done it.  Now the only problem is ... When can I go back?
For a few of my first outings I had the added privilege to fish with a master of Montana waters. Brian not only showed me some of the most storied waters Montana has to offer but also local knowledge on flies and how to fish some of the biggest water this angler has yet wet a fly.  He wasn't a guide but I would venture to say he had more knowledge and experience than anybody I have ever fished with.  He represents the die hard culture of fly fishing that is so prevalent out there and I am looking forward to fishing with him again.
I hooked this beautiful 20 inch plus brown with Brian on the Ruby River.  It was the biggest fish of the trip and I was glad he was there to help bring it in.  For you bloggers that read this you might notice the bamboo rod I caught this on was the very same Fall River Bamboo I received this past winter from the OutdoorBloggerNetwork.  Paired with my new Abel Fly Reel I fished this setup exclusively on this trip and was extremely satisfied with their performance.
The browns I caught here are just amazing.  Every color was brilliant and I have seldom caught such pristine fish in the numbers that I hauled in here.
Fishing the Gallatin river downstream from Bozeman
Buffalo Jump park near the Madison River.  Atop this butte my brother and I discovered the tell tale stones of teepee rings.
These Montana bugs were amazing.  Never had I seen such hatches coming off at all times of the day.  The fly of choice always seemed to be the Yellow Humpy or Yellow Caddis and I fished the dry almost exclusively. 

When those ran out I used a Yellow Sally.  Besides a few catches on small nymphs I used the dries as much as possible.  Nothing beats a take off the top and as long as they were biting I was a dry fly man.
The flowers here are also amazing and thanks to the late rains I was able to witness some brilliant colors on the plains and rolling hills.  
The only day that I did not fish was the day the whole family went to Yellowstone National Park.  If you have never been then you need to take the time.  Last time I was here I believe I was about 13 and it leaves a lasting impression.  I was happy to have shared this last tip with my own kids and am sure they will remember it for a very long time.
One often visited site in the park is the Yellowstone Grand Canyon.  What A Sight!  Overall we spent only one day in the park and a total of about 14 hours driving through some grand country.  Someday I would like to tour the park on a bike for a week and see all the sights but with four very young kids - one 4 months old - 14 hours is a healthy day for anyone.
We exited the park at around 7pm and had dinner just beyond the north gate originally dedicated by Teddy Roosevelt.  It was simple an awe-inspiring trip.
For this angler Montana was a dream and I cant wait to get back.  


Brk Trt said...

Fabulous. Thanks for posting those photos.
Congrats on your 600th. I'm a big fan.

Swamp Yankee said...

Looks like an awesome trip. Congrats on your 600th!

MarkW said...

Those are some awesome pictures. This country has an amazing diversity of landscapes !

Feather Chucker said...

Great pictures. I fished near Missoula once as a kid. I want to go back so bad and fly fish.

cofisher said...

Congratulations on the 600 Joel and 600 more. I just knew there would be some really beautiful photos coming when you got back and you certainly didn't disappoint.

Lefty Angler & Flies said...

Sounds like you were around me but one valley away all through! Maybe next time, see you along the water. Have a good one - Lefty Angler

Lester Kish said...

So much to see and do. And you caught some nice fish too. After forty years I appreciate Montana more and more. It appears that others do too! Glad to hear you had a great trip.

Unknown said...

Brk Trt & Swamp Y - thanks for your support. Awesome doesn't describe how good a trip it was.
Mark - you see these parts of America and wonder if most Americans even know how beautiful it really is. I say explore the country you live in and maybe you'll appreciate it more.
Kevin - you really should and when you do let me know.
Howard -thank you sir. Many more thanks for your support over the years.
Satoshi - I did drive through your valley and drooled. Simply beautiful!
Lester - a fly fishermans dream. And all that live there are blessed. Thanks.


There is only one Yellowstone. And Montana... the whole state, has incredible fishing. Why do you think that I spend so much of my time there? Glad you got to enjoy the beauty of it.

Randal said...

This is awesome!