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tennswede
05-31-2009, 08:00 PM
Interested in taking a poll. Planning for a trip next year. Can't do any extensive hiking or camping, due to other family members interests and needs. Give me your ideas and why,

Need to be west of Mississippi River.
Fly fishing only for salmonid species.
Wading only.
No guide.
Fishing approx, six days.
Time Frame: Early Sept.
Type of fishing: Easy roadside access.
Lodging: Motel and or Cabin.
Don't mind crowds if fishing is good anyway.


Which destination would be your top choice?
Thanks for any suggestions.

lee0070
05-31-2009, 08:36 PM
I would say Estes Park Colorado. You have the Big Thompson River and the Cache la Poudre River real close. Both are great trout streams with easy roadside entry. Have the park handy too. Lots of motels there.

David Knapp
05-31-2009, 11:38 PM
Gunnison or Durango Colorado...or of course there's always Yellowstone. At that time of the year, the kokanee salmon will be running out of Blue Mesa Reservoir up the Gunnison River so you'll have something out of the ordinary to fish for. The Gunnison River always fishes well...I would take a day trip to the Black Canyon to sight see and fish at East Portal for athletic 14-20 inch fish with large fish possible. Fish the Taylor catch and release section below the dam for the monster trout (but beware, they are picky) that will quickly become an addiction. If the picky tailwater trout prove to be too much, there is a ton of small to medium sized streams in the area loaded with fish...and don't even get me started on the often overlooked stillwater opportunities... Fishing is good in this area but not necessarily easy...

Durango has more for the non-fisher if you are concerned about having stuff like shopping available... Lots of small streams around there as well plus there is the Animas right through town. Also you aren't really all that far from the famed San Juan tailwater in New Mexico and could easily do a day trip down there (or two or three). Durango is located in the foothills of the San Juan mountains which, in my opinion, comprise some of the most beautiful scenery in the country...

Yellowstone...can't say enough good things about it and terrestrial fishing will be on fire at that time of the year...

PeteCz
06-01-2009, 08:59 AM
I'm with PA:
1) Durango - A great town for non fisherperson, as well,
2) Yellowstone - This one may even be at the top of the list since you are looking at September...

kytroutman
06-01-2009, 09:56 AM
Personally, I would hit Montana, especially in September. Most the tourists are gone and you can have your choice of streams.

Troutman
06-01-2009, 01:14 PM
Yellowstone. wadable rivers all around you. The Madison and Gibbon are all easily fished with roadside access and sept. is a great month to be there. Lots of things to do with the family as well. I like to stay in west yellowstone for the hotels, restaurants, fly shops, Imax and walk around small town shopping. Easy drive down from Bozeman airport.
You only need a guide if your doing a float trip outside of the park.

Carolina Boy
06-01-2009, 01:41 PM
Gotta agree with Troutman, West Yellowstone is great and U are in the middle of trout heaven with tons of stuff for the family to do while you wet a line, the bear/wolf expo/zoo thing in W-Yellowstone is cool too.

waterwolf
06-01-2009, 02:01 PM
No question in my mind where I would go.

Maupin, Oregon
Deschutes River Canyon
Endless miles of wadeable water
No people
Nice fish
Steelhead and trout
Perfect weather every day during Spetember
The only limitation is how far you are willing to walk
If you go leave the soft hackles at home, may not work ;)

Grannyknot
06-01-2009, 04:09 PM
I hope waterwolf is right, cause thats where I'm headin' in September.

tennswede
06-01-2009, 06:58 PM
Lets see!

We got a vote for Oregon, a couple for CO and the rest MT. Hum, I have been contemplating Durango area and West Yellowstone. Oregon would be nice also, I have spent a lot of time there non fishing about twenty years ago. This is not going to be easy. I also found out about a lake in AZ with grayling but it's a long way from anything else.

I'm going with my old mom, she is in to taking a road trip with me. She is not hard to please as long as we can find clean and comfortable lodging and our day trips can be done in spurts of two three hours of driving at a time.

I'm leaning towards MT.

David Knapp
06-01-2009, 08:29 PM
I also found out about a lake in AZ with grayling but it's a long way from anything else.

Hans, that lake can be very good but at that time of year all the lakes around there will be very warm and the fishing probably marginal at best. If you can put off the trip until early-mid October, that area will be killer. That lake and others in the area also have the problem of having a winter kill every few years so the grayling may or may not be there in another season. They don't stock them every single year but there are always apaches... If you get serious about Arizona though, give me a holler. I'll be glad to enlighten you by way of email...;)

flyman
06-01-2009, 10:55 PM
Montana without a doubt. They let me drive as fast as I want to in the daytime, and I don't have any outstanding warrants there. At least I don't think so, I think the statute of limitations finally ran out on that little problem I had in Livingston. :biggrin:

waterwolf
06-02-2009, 09:30 AM
I hope waterwolf is right, cause thats where I'm headin' in September.

Give me a heads up, and I will gladly offer up some pointers.

hw3
06-02-2009, 05:32 PM
Have made an annual Western Trip for abt ten years, and I think I would head to Montana. Another special place is Kelly Creek and Cayuse Creek in eastern Idaho, best approached from Missoula and abt forty miles of dirt road. Snowpack will determine water levels in this watershed; we were there last year and there was still snow in the higher passes in July, and water levels were unusually high. Those who fish it alot said it would never get right in 2008. Do not know abt snowpack this year, but many of the folks said SEP is usually good. Westslope cutthroats, and lots of room, few people. I can only imagine what the fishing would be like with about half of the water and all of the fish. Skip Watson

tennswede
06-02-2009, 06:26 PM
Hans, that lake can be very good but at that time of year all the lakes around there will be very warm and the fishing probably marginal at best. If you can put off the trip until early-mid October, that area will be killer. That lake and others in the area also have the problem of having a winter kill every few years so the grayling may or may not be there in another season. They don't stock them every single year but there are always apaches... If you get serious about Arizona though, give me a holler. I'll be glad to enlighten you by way of email...;)

David,

I read about that fish kill a few years ago, I probably will shoot for MT, I've got a full year to plan.

pineman19
06-03-2009, 07:23 AM
Hans,

Personally, I think you should consider northwestern Ohio;) The Mad River is near there and it's a fine limestone stream with naturally reproducing brown trout. I also hear the people from that area are good EGGS.

Have fun! Neal

Tiger fly
06-03-2009, 09:43 PM
I was in Bozeman Montana last September and I plan on being there this September. Amazing place. Didn't get to fish the Madison due to a dam problem they were having at Hebgen but the float down the Yellowstone made for one of the best days of my life. Lot's of water access around, plenty to do, nightlife, trees are changing colors, I'm getting excited just thinking about it!
Just my 2 cents but my vote goes to montana

GrouseMan77
06-04-2009, 10:45 AM
Hans,

What are my odds of hitching a ride to Western Montana with you and your mom? I do not need a return trip.

I have been able to fish the Madison, the Gallatin and some areas within Yellowstone.

I absolutely love it there and am trying to talk the wife and dog into moving out there.

tennswede
06-04-2009, 02:45 PM
Grouseman77,

If It wasn't for the cold winters I would be all game for moving. I got tired of that from my native land. As for hitching a ride, sure no problem, the only drawback for you is that it's still not nailed as far as the dates, I'm shooting for next year, early September.

tennswede
06-04-2009, 03:08 PM
Tiger Fly,

Did you go in early Sept or later in the month?

Thanks

tennswede
06-04-2009, 03:12 PM
Hans,

Personally, I think you should consider northwestern Ohio;) The Mad River is near there and it's a fine limestone stream with naturally reproducing brown trout. I also hear the people from that area are good EGGS.

Have fun! Neal

Actuall, all jokes aside, I might do a Mad River trip with you one of these days.

waterwolf
06-04-2009, 10:37 PM
Having fished all over this country, I will throw my .02 in the ring just for discussion purposes. Montana is the last place I would travel especially with all the other options around the country, which have 1/10 of the people and much better fishing. SOme of the streams are legendary, but most of those are disappointing if you fish the tailwaters here with any proficiency.

I guess if someone has never been out west Montana is great as there is a plethora of info to make it easier to find places to go, and it is somewhat historic in terms of rivers. Scenery is nice, but the crowds suck and the fishing just isn't as good as other parts of this country.

Don't get me wrong, there is some great fishing in MT, but there is much better, less crowded places out west.

Tiger fly
06-05-2009, 12:53 PM
It was the middle of the month. Some people have made remarks about crowds but we had zero problems while we were there.

kytroutman
06-05-2009, 01:32 PM
I would half way agree with waterwolf, if you were going during the peak tourist season and if you were focusing only on the more popular streams. A trip to the Absaroka or Beartooth mountains will lead you to a number of smaller streams, including Rosebud Creek, where you won't see another person for days. You can also focus on Clear Creek near Red Lodge where you pretty much have the streams to yourself. While the Gibbon, Madison, Yellowstone and the Big Horn receive heavy pressure, there are also a number of streams and creeks that receive very little fishing.

waterwolf
06-05-2009, 01:39 PM
I never thought I would hear those creek names anywhere other then out there. I have fished most of those you mention over the years and they were very uncrowded. Of course the fish I caught were small, but it was peaceful.

I like larger bodies of water, and larger fish, thus the reason I don't waste my time in the smokies anymore.

But you are right, if you want to get away from folks in MT you have to go to the little creeks.

tennswede
06-05-2009, 02:19 PM
Thanks Tiger fly,

kytroutman,

I have somewhat different plans than most folks. I have some lakes and some less known rivers in mind if I go to MT, I'm mostly curious about water temp, weather and the changing of seasons as I have to take into consideration that my mom is going with me on this trip. We got to find a few things for her also.

Thanks,

kytroutman
06-05-2009, 10:50 PM
Hans, you can actually have large water temperature differences in the streams, dependent on which part of the state you are in. I prefer the smaller creeks or streams where those swings are as great. As for the lakes, I haven't fished them in the West. I have been interested in trying some of the Alpine lakes (we would call them large ponds) around the Moab, UT area. Given the time frame you are considering can be the wrap of late Summer to an early Fall. I have also been there the last week of Sept to the first week of Oct and encountered snow and been there the same time in a different year and have temperatures in the 60s. As for your Mom, most of the areas around Bozeman, Billings and Red Lodge have other activities for the non fishermen so that shouldn't be a problem.

kytroutman
06-05-2009, 10:58 PM
waterwolf, perception is everything. A small native brown or rainbow in Clear Creek is still much larger than you see in the Smokies. I would love to have access to the areas of the Yellowstone River around Laurel and Joliet areas (not exactly but you know the areas) that are on private properties that have no public access due to the trophy potentials.

EarlOfSoDak
06-06-2009, 02:40 AM
Hey-
I'm partial (very biased) to the Black Hills of South Dakota. I worked on these waters for four years and I love 'em. You've got reservoirs, tailwaters, spring creeks and freestone streams all within an hour of each other. Access is easy, but pressure is minimal. The hills are often overlooked by people on their way to more famous waters in Montana and Wyoming. Spearfish Canyon is a place that's unforgettable. Also, the Black Hills are very close to the Bighorn River, the North Platte and the Bighorn Mountains. Take a trip here and you'll be very pleased. There is plenty of lodging and plenty of tourist stuff to boot. There's a fly shop in Rapid City with good info (and the guy who owns it is named Hans.) www.flyfishsd.com (http://www.flyfishsd.com)
Jamie

waterwolf
06-06-2009, 05:48 AM
waterwolf, perception is everything. A small native brown or rainbow in Clear Creek is still much larger than you see in the Smokies. I would love to have access to the areas of the Yellowstone River around Laurel and Joliet areas (not exactly but you know the areas) that are on private properties that have no public access due to the trophy potentials.


The whole Yellowstone thing got old after the first trip. Too many tourists (:smile:) for my tastes. It was worth one trip, no question.

I just found much better fishing in other parts of the west, there are some parts of MT that were excellent, but they are well off the beaten path.

The fishing in OR, ID, and UT are ten times better then MT and there is literally no one around.

Small streams are fine, but dinking around with cutthroats just didn't fire me up much and after a couple of hours was quite boring. But to each their own, and you know what they say about opinions. :biggrin:

WVBrookie
06-06-2009, 08:53 AM
I have fished all over the Rockies in UT, ID, MT, WY, and CO. They all have their + and -, but over the last couple of years I have found myself returning to Colorado.

I now prefer the hike-in, backcountry pursuit of the native cutties (yes, dinks). I also prefer the beauty of Colorado's scenery (and it's 58 14ers) to all of the other states. If you were looking for hike-in fishing, Estes Park would definitely be number one on my list! Hands Down!

Durango is a great area and early September would put you on the early kokanee run (I hit it last year at Roaring J). From Durango you are also not far from the Conejos and Rio Grande headwaters. My recommendation would be the I-70 corridor somewhere in the Front Range. I have never stayed in the Dillon/Silverthorne area but you would be within a couple hours of the Colorado, Arkansas, Eagle, Frying Pan, Roaring Fork, South Platte headwaters, RMNP, etc. Some of those tailwater streams can get crowded but you are talking about BIG wild fish!

Another option you may consider would be Wyoming and the official Cuttslam. I stayed in the Hoback area a couple of years ago when I did the Cuttslam. From the Hoback area, you are within a couple hours of some very nice waters in WY, ID, and Yellowstone. You would need to hit the park or the Cody area to pick up the Yellowstone cutt, but other than that you have the Snake, Greys, Hoback, Gros Ventre, Teton (ID), Henry's Fork (ID). The official Wyoming Cuttslam certificate is first class, the Wyoming Fish & Game have a very nice program in this.

I've fished MT from "base camps" in Big Timber, Bozeman, and Dillon. They are all nice and I have never had an issue with crowds, because everything is so spread out.

Again, just my opinion and I don't think there is a wrong answer.

Good luck,
Chris

tennswede
06-08-2009, 04:16 PM
Thanks all for the suggestions, I think I'm going for MT with a side trip to a couple of places in northern Idaho.

tennswede
06-08-2009, 04:21 PM
Hey-
I'm partial (very biased) to the Black Hills of South Dakota. I worked on these waters for four years and I love 'em. You've got reservoirs, tailwaters, spring creeks and freestone streams all within an hour of each other. Access is easy, but pressure is minimal. The hills are often overlooked by people on their way to more famous waters in Montana and Wyoming. Spearfish Canyon is a place that's unforgettable. Also, the Black Hills are very close to the Bighorn River, the North Platte and the Bighorn Mountains. Take a trip here and you'll be very pleased. There is plenty of lodging and plenty of tourist stuff to boot. There's a fly shop in Rapid City with good info (and the guy who owns it is named Hans.) www.flyfishsd.com (http://www.flyfishsd.com)
Jamie

Earl,

I have actually been to Rapid City area back in 1988. Stopped at Wall Drug of course. Didn't do any fishing, I was on my first trip to the states and was visiting with some family in Nebraska. We took a car trip to the Black Hills and Mt Rushmore etc. I loved it, if I could just find a lake with some grayling nearby I would consider it. Problem is, I don't think they have any grayling lakes in SD.

tennswede
05-18-2010, 09:57 PM
Update,

Well, a lot changed, I was going to go to MT with side-trips to ID. Family changed their plans so I will be going solo on this one. It's probably better anyways. No I can be selfish and ignore the touristy stuff and concentrate on the fishing. I will be going to New Mexico instead. See my other post.