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Old 09-28-2007, 01:48 PM
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Barbara Barbara is offline
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Smile Montana trip

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.










Last edited by Barbara; 09-28-2007 at 02:13 PM.. Reason: trouble with picture sharing
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:59 AM
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donwinn donwinn is offline
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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.
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Last edited by donwinn; 10-05-2007 at 09:05 AM..
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Old 10-01-2007, 09:52 AM
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Bullwinkle Bullwinkle is offline
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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.
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Old 10-02-2007, 01:46 PM
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Don,

Will be glad to see the "yellow thingys". Bet they will catch trout!!
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Old 10-02-2007, 01:47 PM
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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.
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Old 10-02-2007, 02:19 PM
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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
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Old 10-02-2007, 03:31 PM
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Whomever says skip the rest of Montana and only go to Yellowstone has obviously not spent much time in Montana.
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Old 10-02-2007, 10:17 PM
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Amen. Big Sky country is not to be missed. I'm gearing up for a two week trip soon.
mstone
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Old 10-03-2007, 07:57 AM
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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.
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Old 10-03-2007, 01:28 PM
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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?
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