Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Pretty Good Fishing This Summer

Fishing has been pretty good this summer.  Plenty of water for the streams and consistent nice weather.  The last few years, including this one, have not measured up to the earlier seasons, but I stopped counting and tried to enjoy the whole concept of the fishing environment.  Getting old I guess!!!

Georgetown Lake showed a marked improvement in the hatches and nice fish this year.  The Damsel hatch is the most important to get the big "bows" cruising and smashing naturals and my tied imitation enough to have a good time.  The size of the rainbows was up as well.  16-18" was the norm and very fat!! 

My 6 weight outfit and a damsel fly.
Three nice bows of different shades.

My smaller streams can hold some very nice brown trout.  This 16" had migrated up my favorite cutthroat stream for some reason.  I hate to see too many of them as they can reduce the "cut" population rather quickly.
Of course the lure of beautiful cutthroat trout has always been a big draw to me.  They live in mostly small streams, are eager to hit a fly and put on a pretty good fight till released.  You can see the colorful slash on these beauties and pretty spotted bodies.

Another hazard to cuts and other trout is a stream with plenty of "Bull Trout" mixed in.  These cannibals grow to 10#'s plus and they don't get to this size on minnows.  I once caught a 10# on the Blackfoot.  They are endangered and they must be released.  Bull trout and wolves are pretty unwelcome to most fisherman and hunters but all species have a place in God's animal kingdom.  This little guy is not a threat yet, but give a few years!

The Big Hole river is my top choice right now to wrap up my season here.  "Blue bird" days and plenty of hatching bugs will get some of the toughest to catch 16"++ rainbows up and sipping.  This is about as "western" as a stream can get to my mind and one of the most challenging due to small flies and delicate casting needed to present the fly.  You can see the clouds of "Trico" spinners ready to fall to the stream which gets the trout up and slurping this tiny food morsel.

So in another week or so, we will wrap up our Montana summer and head to our new digs in Goodyear, AZ.  I think this is my 33rd year of Montana summers of a week to 3 months.  It has been a great time out here doing what I find is a most enjoyable pursuit of God's great gifts.  I often wonder how enjoyable my life would have been without Montana, its scenery and wonderful people.  Oh, maybe I would have taken up croquet and other more sociable hobbies, but I am glad I didn't have to!!    TROUT


  1. Glad you enjoyed you fishing season. I don't fish nor do I clean fish, but if I were your neighbor I'd sure enjoy cooking and helping you eat them.

  2. I so enjoy your appreciation of God's abundant gifts... =) blessings ~ tanna

  3. Good looking trout. I know Montana must be beautiful where you are. We went to Montana for the afternoon when we were visiting out west several years ago. Gorgeous country. Safe travels to your new home.

  4. No, you wouldn't be happy playing croquet. Your fishing post is wonderful and agree Montana is the place to do it! Good luck with your new move to Arizona, another beautiful state.

  5. Sounds like a good season. One of our local farmers has imported some yellow trout into his dam, I am told they are beautiful tasting but I have not had the luck to try they out. Hope that all is well with you both. Diane

  6. One thing I've never been able to figure out is why the southeastern BC streams (no need to mention names) have such high numbers of huge Bull Trout, and yet remain the best Westslope Cutthroat streams I've ever fished. That's not to mention the size and numbers of Cutts on the South and Nork Forks of other well-known rivers here in MT where Bull Trout have remained strong. I just got back from another Fork over in ID where the Bullies seem to be doing fine, and I can't say I didn't catch a number of nice 16-18" Westslopes. Fact is, the only places I know of where the Westlopes are truly thriving (I'm talking serious shots at 20" fish!) have healthy populations of large, resident and/or migratory Bullies. No disrespect intended, but that's no coincidence. These fish are truly God's gift in their natural environment, and let be, they and their Westslope Cutthroat brethren thrive together.