Montana Rises

Montana Rises

Harps | Friday, 8 May 2015

These past couple of months have been a bit of a blur.... but there has been fishing!

I've had the privilege to be away from computers and emails. In the past month, I've even had a break from the enforced schedule of a typical Western society job, which seems to befall many people like a blight.
This past week ended the break with a repeat trip to Montana's Missouri River. Like the last few spring trips (2013, 2014), the weather brought snow and strong winds. Unlike the last couple of springs, the weather hasn't been the best and the fishing was realatively poor for it.

This week was different. 

It seems unusual to have sunburn and near frostbite in a two day span. But that is Montana... and something to love. It is also typical of the type of climate that supports a healthy and diverse fishery.

The first day on the river was a day of small fish caught with reckless abandonment, more than willing to eat midge clusters drifting overhead. That night was cold and I woke up in my truck with the windows down and a thick layer of frost on everything. 

The day turned out to be hot and sunny, and all we caught was a sunburn and a whitefish that had been dropped by an osprey.
I was being hungover and snobby and would not tie on a nymph pattern, even though I knew with the bright sun that the fish were likely eating below the surface.

On the third day we floated through a canyon section of river. The weather was pretty horrible. Rather than the sunny room temperature day, it was snowinhg and just at freezing. It was prefect for fish. As the moring progressed into above freezing, drizzle the cloud cover and damp weather brought out the blue-winged olives. The snouts started to appear. This is what the Missouri is known for - technically challaging head-hunting. In my opinion, finding that fat snout or big fin and carefully presenting a small dry right to it is the best part about fly fishing. We put down a good numbr of trout, but also managed to trick some really nice ones into taking out presentations. 

The next day was much sunnier and warmer, so the fish weren't as willing to come to the surface. But I did catcha fat beauty of a rainbow trout in a tiny backeddy. I certainly wasn't expecting that nice of a fish when I tossed my BWO pattern to the seemingly small snout.

All in all, with the hectic trip to the UK and the great fishing in Montana, it's been quite the month!