A look inside the "Trout Life" under the Big Sky

Posts tagged “outdoors

Nocturnal Rodents

It’s 1 am. Pitch black. And you can’t see a damn thing.

It’s hard not to turn on your headlight, but if you do its game over. It really is amazing how well you can cast when you cant see. You lay down what feels like the perfect cast and start to twitch the hell out of the tip of you rod.

All you have for reference is the sound of the fly skating across the water. Just when you think the drift is over an explosion at the end of your line. And nothing. He missed… Or maybe you botched it. You strip in the slack and as the fly reaches your feet he’s back. And hes hungry. It’s a mix between a toilet flushing and a cinder block being thrown in the water and it’s scary.

The fight is on. Before it’s even over you want more.

Go ahead and forget sleeping. Just knowing you could be out throwing junk like that makes it even harder to fall asleep at night.

Flies the size of  your hand and 20 lbs test Maxima. Its like a grind-house version of fly fishing. It’s too easy to get addicted too. Dark circles under your eyes, bugs bites everywhere, bruises from falling, and now leeches. You have to pay to play.

Bringing one fish to hand is a good night. But when the one fish looks like that… It’s okay.

The next time we look like we are dragging in the morning you can guess why.

-Zach

FCFT

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Too Busy Fishing for Posting

Last summer we slacked on our fishing big time. This summer we are making up for it. We have been getting out as much as possible and trying to make the most of everyday (and a few nights) we get this summer.

It’s summer time and life is easy

We have explored a lot of new water and made a few new friends along the way. The fly fishing community in Missoula holds a bunch of pretty cool cats and we have been getting to know a bunch of them on the water lately.

Stan has been on fire lately. He has been sticking some big fish. Both this brown and bully within 2 days.

I am hoping to get some work done on the blog tonight. Streamline a few pages and get the photo gallery updated and working again. Thanks to everyone for sticking with us through our second year of FCFT.

-Zach


A Long Weekend of Fishing

It rained the entire weekend here in Missoula. We didn’t see blue sky until Monday afternoon. However the fishing was great. We found some fish and some bugs. The streamer bite wasn’t too shabby either.

We all caught some nice fish and saw some big orange hummingbird sized bugs flying around. It was exciting to watch those huge bugs crash land on the water.

Big Bug Eater.

Bigger fish eater… Lesson learned. Never throw streamers with 3x. You never know what you might hook into.

The Zen nympher gettin it done.

Bugs are here and more are on their way. The fish are starting to look up and the days are still getting longer. Floating tomorrow. Life is good.

-Zach

FCFT 


Friends and Family

“It’s pretty amazing living somewhere where other people get to come on their vacations”

It’s too easy to forget where I call home. Talking fishing over a Summer Honey with a buddy, I was reminded of that. I am also reminded every time someone comes into town that I get the chance to fish with. Showing someone my favorite reasons of why I live here is like getting a fresh look around. It’s like seeing these mountains, rivers, fish, and animals for the first time again. It’s as much of a vacation for me as it is for them.

That’s just another reason why I love summer in Montana so much. Getting the chance to not only see friends and family but to share this place with them.

Sometimes its too easy to forget that I am fortunate enough to call this beautiful place home. When work is long, money is short, and getting caught up in the little things is far too easy. Thankfully I get the chance to see it all with fresh eyes every time I get the opportunity to share it with someone else. And I am very lucky for that to be the case.

Over the past two weeks Stan and I have had friends and family come into town. Stan’s great friends Dan and Shannon from high school stopped in Missoula on their trip across the country. Daniel had never fly fished and getting the chance to row him down the Missouri while Stan put him on fish after fish was a blast.

Dan’s first fish on a fly rod. I don’t think I caught a fish like that for a few years at least.

It was like he had been doing it for years.

We were blown away by the size of this whitefish. As usual… The photo doesn’t do it justice.

The following week my cousin Austin came up for a few days from North Carolina. We have had the chance to fish all over the country and Canada together, but this was the first time he had come out to visit since I have been living in Montana. Austin said he hadn’t picked up a fly rod in over a year, but he didn’t seem to miss a beat.

Back in the saddle

All the water was high and off color. But the fish seemed to cooperate. which was very considerate of them because we only had two days to get it done.

Like he does it everyday.

We didn’t even get out of town before Austin was sticking some solid fish.

Thanks to Dan, Shannon, and Austin for coming to visit and showing me how lucky I am to live here. Getting the chance to share this place is like I get to see it all for the first time again. So please do me a favor, come visit, and ask to be shown around.

-Zach

FCFT


Creeks and Streams

This weekend officially started summer according to FWP and the opening of the creeks in Montana. The amount of water that we can fish for the next 6 months is more than a lifetimes worth.

It’s always exciting to see how the creeks and streams have changed over the winter and early spring push of water. Finding out what holes, bends, banks, and buckets are still there and what is different is kind of like Christmas. Of course new honey holes are always a possibility and who doesn’t love a good surprise?

So this weekend we got a ways out of Missoula to explore one of our favorite streams that we haven’t been able to fish since the fall. The warm weather had the stream running high but clear. Saturday we even found a pretty good golden stone hatch in the afternoon. Fishing dries on 2x to haul fish across the fast currents was a challenge, but worth the effort.

We had some great eats on top. 2 or 3 fish going for a single fly all at once was a pretty cool thing to watch and something that sticks with you to help you make it through the work week.

Pretty water and pretty fish

Perfect

Some fish deserve a few more photos.

The tight casting quarters and the high flows called for some improv fishing techniques. (At one point I had to throw him his rod across the creek…) Stan managed to find fish in all the right looking water.

Deer, Owls, and 2 bears all with in a quarter mile on the stream. Naturally we get close to the bears when we are fishing, not hunting.

Every fish was colored up and full of spunk. The bigger ones even managed to make some impressive runs into the backing when they would get out into the fast water. The fish was either fast and furious or you lost them 60 yards downstream in the whitewater. I think I got my share of water in my waders chasing fish downstream.

These fish even got some camera time. Hopefully we can throw all of our spring footage into a short sometime in the near future.

Hungry, healthy, and willing to play along. What more can you ask for?

Small Water… Big Fish. Who’da thunk?

Thanks to Sam, my brother, for an amazing net job. I wouldn’t have been able to get my hands on this fish without his help.

We had a great weekend chasing fish on some little water. Last week Stan had some friend visiting from back east. We had his buddy Dan catching his first fish on a fly rod. I fished for years before ever catching a fish like that. We will have photos and a write-up later this week. My cousin Austin from N.C. is flying in this week. While he is a big time large mouth guy, I am sure we will find ourselves on the water chasing trout at some point during his visit.

-Zach

FCFT