Sunday, August 2, 2015

Monster Brookies?

This is Peter Tragos posing with a huge brook trout by Central Montana standards. In fact, I've seen a couple pics of brookies out of the Missouri that might have been a little bigger but I've never seen one this size up close and personal.
We knew it was going to be busy this weekend on the Mo and hot as hell so Carson and I got off the big water with the boys and ran into nothing but rainbows, browns and even a few brook trout in clear cold water--all on dries and all happy to please. Central Montana really does offer an amazing array of experiences for all anglers if you're willing to work for it and if you establish a good relationship with the right outfitter.
The group came in Wednesday afternoon at around 2 pm, which isn't ideal for this time of the year. They expressed wanting see a lot of different stretches of the Missouri in their four days of fishing but also said they didn't want crowds. So, Wednesday we took them up to the dam in the afternoon and evening and threw hoppers. Yep, hoppers and we got a bunch to eat and didn't see another guide boat. At some point the PMD's started hatching and the boys got to see what really technical dry fly fishing looks like with hundreds of targets on the riffles but trout that weren't going to just give it away.
I posted this in an earlier blog entry but it's worth sharing again. This is Jeff's first Missouri River brown on a hopper just as the sun was setting. Can't get much better than that.

Day two, we went down to Cascade with a hoard of other boats and nymphed up a bunch in the morning and then got a few on hoppers in the afternoon. It was a little disappointing and a little ironic that we would want to go down low to throw hoppers and get away from the crowds only to find the traffic we did. With that many boats, we certainly didn't avoid traffic and the fish tend to get a little shy after dodging foam all day. It is what it is though and we made a good day out of it regardless. It actually is a little refreshing to see folks venturing out and taking advantage of such opportunities for their clients. The Missouri has so much to offer and I'm glad people are getting a chance to see it.
Day three was really good as I took my guy for a marathon float--Craig to Prewett Creek, which is about 15 miles. We fished dries all day and until about 2:30, the fish were looking up and they were aiming to please. It did slow down late but we still managed to get about a dozen hopper eats in the last couple hours. I'd say that's not bad for the conditions and we literally only saw three other fishing boats and maybe three or four groups of rafters.
At lunch on day three, we had an unexpected visitor--a bat. Seeing a bat in the middle of the day is a little unnerving; especially when it skims the water literally two feet from the boat. After the third dive bomb, we got the hell out of there but it made me think that either that bat was crazy or it was taking advantage of some kind of bug life happening...flying's one beautiful brown Bill took on an ant just after lunch.

Like I said, we got off the Missouri on Saturday and couldn't be happier we did. These guys really did get a truly diverse and representative Montana experience thanks to one; getting connected with an outfitter like Mitch Kowalski that works to put clients in the right situations and two; just having the balls to communicate what they wanted. A great week of fishing guys. Hope to see you again.
Keep 'em where they live...

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