PDA

View Full Version : Montana trip


Barbara
09-28-2007, 01:48 PM
Jack and I flew to Salt Lake City and drove to Helena, MT. We were amazed at the country. So beautiful, so big and so empty. From Idaho Falls to Dillon, MT there is not much but cattle, antelope and elk. If your gas tank and bladder are half full, you'd better stop, fill one and empty the other. Could be a long way to the next gas station!

We stayed in an efficiency owned by Dave Ames. Some of you know his books, "A Good Life Wasted" "Dances with Sharks". He was a guide for 20 years. Mr. Ames is about as laid back as a fellow can be and not fall over. We liked him and the accomodations. He was very nice to give me advice and even trout flies. He had about a million.

We fished the Little Blackfoot for 3 days. My kind of fishing, small stream, wading, beautiful forest, kind of like the Smoky Mts on steroids. Saw a huge buck deer right across the river from us, 2 moose, antlelope and some kind of chicken thing, don't know what they were. The stream was full of cutthroat, didn't catch any big ones, but one day I could have caught a sack full of them, all on dry flies. YES! Caught a few brown, fewer rainbow. The browns were even harder to get than in the Smokies.

Then we drove towards Yellowstone and stayed at the Slide Inn. Things didn't work out there. Our room was full of mice, a family reunion of mice. The owner gave us traps. Ha! Montana mice laugh at traps. One escaped the trap immediately, one dragged a trap about 4 feet and fought loose, we caught 3. A bad night for us and the mice. We requested another room the next morning but they only had 1 room left for 1 night only. We had to move to it, then move to West Yellowstone the next day. My guide arrangements to float fish the Madison River were screwed up so I had to fish on a cold day with gale force winds. The guide did what he could but the wind drove us way too fast most of the time. I caught one nice brown, 20", on a streamer called a Butt Monkey. Thanks to the wind, the guide caught the streamer in the back of his shoulder, just hit, didn't stick him, but he was more alert to my casting after that.

I did not get to fish in Yellowstone Park. We did see Old Faithful, lots of buffalo and elk. We are already saving to go back next year. If I could do it over, I would skip the Madison and wade fish the Park. We would also go back to the Little Blackfoot too, just for the fun of it.

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x311/barbarahunter/Montana/IMG_1426.jpg

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x311/barbarahunter/Montana/IMG_1401.jpg

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x311/barbarahunter/Montana/IMG_1404.jpg

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x311/barbarahunter/Montana/IMG_1397.jpg

http://i186.photobucket.com/albums/x311/barbarahunter/Montana/IMG_1454.jpg

donwinn
10-01-2007, 08:59 AM
Barbara,

Glad you had a good time. That was a very nice brown! I still have on my list to tie some "Barbara's Yellow Thingys" for you. It will probably be winter before I get around to it, but I won't forget. Montana is a great place to be.

Bullwinkle
10-01-2007, 09:52 AM
for my money skip the rest of Montana and wade fish Yellowstone.. check in with the nice folks at Blue Ribbon for directions and suggestions. I like staying just outside the NE gate gives me easy access to Soda Butte, Lamar, Slough Creek, Trout Lake, etc.. for a real treat if can get in stay at the Lake Hotel.

Barbara
10-02-2007, 01:46 PM
Don,

Will be glad to see the "yellow thingys". Bet they will catch trout!!

Barbara
10-02-2007, 01:47 PM
Bullwinkle,

The NE gate of Yellowstone is near Cooke City or Cody? We debated staying on the Wyoming side. Maybe next year.

I believe I would like Montana or Wyoming but for the winters. I am not sure I could handle that much snow for that long a time.

jeffnles1
10-02-2007, 02:19 PM
Barbara,
Thank you for your pictures. The Smokey Mountains and the Yellowstone country are my favorite places on Earth. Every time I go to one or the other, I'm filled with excitement and every time I have to leave, my heart is heavy.

Your photos brought back fond memories and more than a little twinge of heart ache and longing to go back to one of my favorite places.

Sitting here looking out of my office window at the grey concrete and red brick buildings of downtown Cincinnati Ohio is not helping a lot either.

Thanks again for sharing.

Jeff

UofMontanaAlum
10-02-2007, 03:31 PM
Whomever says skip the rest of Montana and only go to Yellowstone has obviously not spent much time in Montana.

mstone
10-02-2007, 10:17 PM
Amen. Big Sky country is not to be missed. I'm gearing up for a two week trip soon.
mstone

Bullwinkle
10-03-2007, 07:57 AM
Barbara, the NE gate is at Silvergate/Cooke City... I usually fly into Billings and make a loop over thru Livingston down into the park thru Gardner. Park's Fly shop in Gardner has a nice B&B. Then I head to West Yellowstone to 'stock up' on fishing stuff and info. Spend the night then head over to the Lamar Valley and Silvergate and get settled into some fishing. When its' time to leave I head up the Beartooth Highway to Red Lodge then Billings to the airport. About every 3rd year I will make the trip down to Jackson WY and about every other year I get lucky and can get a couple of nights at the Yellowstone Lake Hotel. The perfect retirement would be a summer place in Red Lodge and a winter place south florida.

Barbara
10-03-2007, 01:28 PM
Bullwinkle,

Can't agree on skipping Montana. It was beautiful around Helena. I believe if I go back I could fish lots of different streams within a few hours of Helena. We just needed more time to explore!

However I felt the same way about Yellowstone, needed about a week there. We saw the old hotel at Old Faithful and we want to stay there for a couple of nights. My picture didn't turn out, too dark, but the woodwork and the huge four-sided fireplace was unbelieveable.

I think a month's vacation would just about cover all the places we want to see. Now, how do I get off work for a month?......retire?

Barbara
10-03-2007, 01:31 PM
Barbara,
Sitting here looking out of my office window at the grey concrete and red brick buildings of downtown Cincinnati Ohio is not helping a lot either.


Jeff,

Isn't it a shame there are no trout streams in the city?!? However, I did read an article that one of the cities in Idaho has a trout stream within the city limits. We just need to move west or to Townsend.

Bullwinkle
10-04-2007, 08:22 AM
evidently I misunderstood your quest.. if you have the summer off by all means explore all of MT but to get max wade fishing within a compact area and don't want to be driving endlessly or worrying about access I still stand by the park. Next summer when I drive (will be retired by next summer) I'm expecting to go to Denver make the loop down to Durango and then work my way to the Yellowstone and then on to Portland to visit some relatives. My Grandfather drove the alcan highway back in '59 and I'm considering doing it myself. It will be me, 2 german shorthair pointers, shotguns and fishing equip.

lauxier
10-05-2007, 04:39 PM
Fish the Firehole--it is kind of surreal---West Yellowstone is a great place to stay---it is close to the madison River--Hang out for a while at the Blue Ribbon Fly Shop--The Timberline cafe has burgers and fries to kill for---The mystery of Yellowstone is hard to explain to those who have not been there----that place will get hold of you and won't let go----pacific creek and nez p. creek are great streams in the Tetons--makes me want to head west----

UofMontanaAlum
10-05-2007, 07:20 PM
I have probably looked at your pictures 100 times now. I love seeing pictures from home. Thank you for sharing.

My wife and I spent a week touring Yellowstone during our honeymoon two years ago. Being from Montana and into the outdoors, I had been there many times. She is also a Montana native but had never been. Her eyes were popping out of her head the entire trip. :eek:That area is truely magical.

I think I have posted this before but ... I also recommend taking time and driving over to the Wyoming side of the park to visit Jackson WY. If you do go eat at the Cadillac Grill, have a beer at the Million Dollar Cowboy Bar and stay at the Inn on the Creek B&B. Can't go wrong with those 3. The Cowboy Bar is GOOD TIMES!

Thanks again for the pictures!

jeffnles1
10-05-2007, 10:54 PM
Isn't it a shame there are no trout streams in the city?!? However, I did read an article that one of the cities in Idaho has a trout stream within the city limits. We just need to move west or to Townsend.

I'm afraid if there were a trout stream flowing through town, I'd get fired from my job for all of the 8 hour lunches I'd be taking.

In fact, I played hookie from work today, drove about an hour north of Cincinnati to Brookville, Indiana and fished the tailwaters. I managed to land 6 nice browns with the largest at 16" the rest were in the 12-14" range. It was good to get away from the office for a while.

Even though they are trout, it's nothing like the Yellowstone country. My wife and I have been there 4 times and like someone else said, it really gets into you. I spend a lot of my time thinking about the next time we will go. I even keep West Yellowstone, Gardner Mt., and Cody, WY on my weather channel favorites (3" of snow in West Yellowstone today).

My wife and I have talked about volunteering in the park during the summers after we retire.

Thanks again for posing your Montana pictures. It did my soul good to see them.

That country is so beautiful, I honestly think God made it just so He could sit back and look at it.

Jeff

jeffnles1
10-05-2007, 10:54 PM
oops, I hit the submit button twice. Sorry

Barbara
10-11-2007, 03:42 PM
Bullwinkle,

After our beagle died, my husband vowed he would not have another dog, just too hard to lose them. Well....now we have a german short haired pointer and she is probably the best dog we have ever had. She has not been trained to hunt but she knows she should find birds so she stalks the bird feeders and generally terrorizes every bird in the yard.

Do you hunt your dogs?

Barbara
10-11-2007, 03:49 PM
To everybody with suggestions on places to go:

I am keeping all the places you suggested. If we are able, we intend to go back next year. I would like to go for 2 weeks and try the Wyoming side of Yellowstone as well as Montana. Really I would like to spend a month just going different places to fish. I can tell from the posts that there are hundreds of great places in and around Yellowstone to enjoy.

UofMontanaAlum
10-11-2007, 04:46 PM
Barbara,

Another thing to do on your next visit to the Helena area is to visit Holter Lake. Holter Lake is basically two lakes (upper and lower Holter) connected by a skinny long section of lake (its hard to describe). You can take a boat tour from the upper lake to the lower lake and when you are boating through the "skinny" section (probably 5 or 10 miles), the mountains around you look like they are opening and closing like gates, hence the name of the area being "Gates of the Mountains". One of the most beautiful places in the world IMO. I spent many weekends walleye fishing those waters with my dad.

http://www.gatesofthemountains.com/

Right below Holter Dam you can get into some serious trout fishing. They pull hogs out of that tailwater all-day every-day.

Bullwinkle
10-16-2007, 08:25 AM
Bullwinkle,

After our beagle died, my husband vowed he would not have another dog, just too hard to lose them. Well....now we have a german short haired pointer and she is probably the best dog we have ever had. She has not been trained to hunt but she knows she should find birds so she stalks the bird feeders and generally terrorizes every bird in the yard.

Do you hunt your dogs?


Both the boys are from the local rescue group and both hunt.. being from central ohio the bird hunting is sad but 3 or 4 times each fall I will pay to hunt planted birds on a preserve. On our fall trip to fish up in Grayling I humor them and go grouse hunting. I suspect they wish I was a better shot. They have hunted Phez a couple of times in SD. Most GSP require little training they seem to know to point and retrieve.