Friday, March 12, 2010

Fly Fishing's Best Kept Secret

The idyllic scene above was captured following a fine day fly fishing a favorite little freestone creek beside a well-traveled forest road about a hour's drive from our home in southwest Montana. The solitude was palpable (we did not see another angler all day although we did hear the occasional vehicle passing by), the fishing on a scale of 1:10 was at least a 9+ (many trout, all wild, most of decent size [10-13 inches or so]all on dry flies, can't beat it..right?).

Early in the morning we watched a cow elk and calf feeding a nearby meadow and later saw black bear sow with two tiny cubs--one cinnamon, one black--in tow. In addition over the course of the day was an almost endless wildlife parade--beaver, muskrat, mink, a hen merganser and a vertitble flock yougins, a golden eagle, a kingfisher or two, countless songbirds, pine squirrels and on the way home, more elk, mule deer and, of all things, a fisher cat scooting across the road. I don't know about you but this ol' boy hasn't seen many of those elusive critters in a long life of looking.

True all days spent flinging flies on little seldom fished waters are not so...ah, dare I say it, phenomenal but I can hardly recall one wasn't at least damn enjoyable.

Which begs the question why don't more folks do it? By far the vast majority resident and non-resident anglers instead flock to our many "blue ribbon" streams where truth be known the crowds are often such they rival flocks of sheep. One day last season I landed my drift boat at Melrose (Big Hole) and counted an astounding 60rigs IN the parking lot...the overflow parked on the road all the way from the entrance to the bridge!! Believe it or not I shot the above photo next day.

With a little research and map work you too can find your own "secret" trout spot...make that 10 or 100 secret trout spots. Actually in Montana there are countless dozens (100s, 1000s?) what a friend calls "jump cricks" that for all practical purposes go unfished year in year out.

As previously hinted solitude and wildlife viewing are high on our list while the fishing hot or cold puts us in bonus territory. But jump cricks are full of surprises, some are wall to wall willing easy to catch trout, where you bean counters in the audience can run up truly mind-boggling numbers; some hold trout of surprising size, especially considering the small stature of the crick itself. Trust me, an 18-inch trout tearing up a 10-foot wide crick...well hell, give it a try ya just might like it.

Obviously we do, and I could go on and on but by now I'm sure you get my drift so...

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