Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Traffic Lights

We need traffic lights on the Mo. I'm serious. Every guide from Montana is fishing the Missouri because their rivers are blown out and there's only about 7 miles of river that's fishing here. When we put in yesterday at the dam, thirty other rigs were putting in and more were on their way. I couldn't even park in the parking lot. Guys weren't communicating at the ramp to see who was ready to back in next. I didn't see any real problems with guys getting ticked off but it was weird to not see the courtesy we usually see when it gets busy up there with guides actually asking other guides if they were ready to put in yet or if it was ok if they backed in.

And on the river? Holy crap! We left the upper runs because there were just too many boats fishing them. We got to the first island and started doing row-arounds with two other boats, which is pretty typical and as long as every one's on the same page, it works. Within a couple trips, at least a dozen boat jumped in on the run and we were pretty much screwed. We headed down to the next run and the same thing. All the way to Craig it was the same story. Every run had at least three boats in it and I'm not going to push people out of their run just so we can fish.

There were some options with a couple spots when I knew the guide. Brian Nielsen actually waved us into a run he was fishing and we worked it for a while. But then a few boats saw us working and jumped in. Even the Sterling Channel had a dozen boats go down it while we were in there. We got back to the lodge and one of the guys said he'd rather go down stream and not catch a single fish than fish like that all day.

I talked to one of the Missoula guys last night and I do feel for them. His busiest time of the year is right now and they have absolutely no options. And he was very sympathetic to us local guides who are having to deal with all this traffic. I'm not sure what the solution is but we worked hard yesterday for the few fish we got and it would have been much easier and MUCH more productive without all the extra boats.

Keep 'em where they live...

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