After a two-week Montana fishing trip, “re-entry” into the real world is both a privilege and a struggle. It is great to see again your family and to sleep in your own bed. But real life is a totally different vibe from 10- to 15-hours-long fishing days, and it has taken me a few days to re-acclimate.
For the first week, Joel and I did a DIY trip, sleeping at Airbnb spots, eating PBJs for lunch, and cooking our own dinner each night. We stayed in both Livingston and Ennis, and fished one of the famous spring creeks, the Gallatin, and various stretches of the Upper Madison.
We were fortunate to run into fish consistently. We tied flies at night once we got a sense for what the trout wanted. With both of us throwing dries, Joel casting streamers, and my Euronymphing, we were able to fish all parts of the water column with different styles, allowing us to see pretty quickly what the trout did and did not want to see.
A robust spinner fall one night, with fish gulping all around like goldfish, was a pretty epic experience.
We often visited Kelly Galloup’s famous fly shop at The Slide Inn and were able to spend some significant time chatting with him. It’s a different world out there in rural Montana.
Week 2 was a totally different vibe: I was on a Concord Outfitters group trip that featured a beautiful lodge, meals made by a gifted cook, and guides (and their flies) on private ranch water. That was fun as well, and it was my second time on this particular trip. The fishing was challenging at some waters when the sun was bright and high, but the camaraderie was always high.
The fish of the trip for me was a brown that taped at 19″ and had an 11″ girth.
Montana: what a special place! I’ve already penciled in dates for next summer and cannot wait to get back there.