Fly fishing and scouting in Montana, pt. 1.

18 Aug

The beautiful St. Regis River

I kinda feel like I was robbed of my summer. This spring I had all kinds of plans for this summer; plenty of scouting, backpacking trips, fishing, etc. But spring seemed to drag on and then FINALLY gave way to summer. It was late in June when the snow-line finally began to lift and allow access to some of my favorite places.

And of course life has a way of laughing at any plans you attempt to make. Several things delayed my backcountry plans, which I don’t need to bore you with. But finally, things began to settle down and I was able to carry on. Never too late, is how I like to look at things!

So far the highlight of the summer has been my recent trip to Montana for some fly fishing and scouting for the upcoming hunting season. Darin and I, accompanied by his step-son Ethan, struck out  for the beautiful St. Regis River hoping to land any of the species of trout that inhabit the pristine stretch of water. We arrived with plenty of time to set up camp and get an hour or so of fishing in before retiring to the campfire, for a dinner of  venison smokies.

My little point and shoot couldn't quite capture the magnificence of the moon the first night.

 
  The next morning we awoke bright and early and didn’t waste any time getting down to the river to toss our flies into the water. The fish weren’t as quick to arise as we were, so after a few hours we decided to head into the town of St. Regis for some Buffalo burgers and huckleberry shakes. We also stopped at the local fly shop for some advice and to pick up some “ammo” for our after-lunch assault. 
 

Ethan and I were working our way up-stream, Darin had just hooked two dandy trout in quick succession; one 14" Rainbow and a 13" Brown.

 

 
 
 

Darin tossing flies right outside our camp.

 
 The kid at the fly shop told us that they’d had good luck with Madam X’s and small Para Hoppers; so like the anxious “tourists” we were, we quickly shelled out for a handful of new flies.
 

The kid drew first blood of the trip; Darin with Ethan's 11" Rainbow he caught on a hopper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The fish seemed to heat up as the day wore on. Darin and Ethan both caught several fish along the strip of river alongside our camp this day. Even though I had several strikes; I could never seem to set the hook properly enough to land any fish. Chalk it up to being a complete greenhorn, I guess. But this didn’t stop me from having an awesome time. There’s nothing like standing knee-deep in crystal clear water as it quietly flows by. I found myself content to just stand mid-stream, with feet planted on the rocks below; feeling apart of the living river, trying to tap into its life-force.

What's left of what was a two lane bridge on a road paralleling the St. Regis. At some point someone rebuilt it with left over scraps to facilitate foot and ATV traffic across the creek.

The next morning we broke camp and headed off onto the second leg of our trip. We planned to head to the ranch we will be hunting next month, to check the game camera, but also decided to do some scouting for elk and just a little more fishing along the way.

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4 Responses to “Fly fishing and scouting in Montana, pt. 1.”

  1. Chad Bell August 18, 2011 at 12:16 pm #

    Very nice work Luke! Wish I was there fly fishing with ya’ll…beautiful country up there!

    • jeremiahjohnson78 August 19, 2011 at 1:46 am #

      Thanks Chad! Yes it is! one of these times we’ll have to arrange for that!

  2. Bud Gallegos August 19, 2011 at 12:49 am #

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this my friend. I could feel the enthusiasm and excitement in your writing and the pictures were a nice touch!

    • jeremiahjohnson78 August 19, 2011 at 1:45 am #

      Hey thanks Bud, I appreciate it 🙂 Stay tuned for more to come!

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