Monday, September 13, 2010

Trip Report: Yellowstone River 9/12/2010

Cold, wet weather has been hanging around SW Montana for the last week, gently but firmly reminding us that winter weather is not all that far away. The cold weather finally broke this last weeked, changing to blues skies and warmer temperatures. With the rising barometer, I was fortunate enough to find myself invited along for a day of floating and fishing on the Yellowstone River. Sunday morning, Toby, Scott, and I all met up for the drive to Grey Owl FAS. Toby is a great friend and frequent fishing buddy, who is also a Native Fish representative. Scott Bohr is a seasoned angler, and a top-notch local guide that can be requested through shops like the River's Edge. Scott has fished and guided for many years on waters such as the South Fork of the Sanke, Henry's Fork, and the Yellowstone. His reputation precedes him and he has guided such notables as former VP Dick Cheney.

Today, however, was a casual fishing adventure. We began floating fairly early in the day, and not surprisingly most of the first fish we caught were on nymphs. As the day progressed and warmed up, we began to see fish rising to a swarming hatch of tricos. After this, we promptly switched to the dry fly and stuck with it for the remainder of the float. The fishing really picked up in the afternoon, with fish constantly hitting a well-presented fly. If our hook-sets had been as good as our casting, we would have boated a lot more fish. As it was, we still managed a good number of fish...mostly rainbows and cutthroats. I was happy to see such large, healthy cutthroats in the river. I enjoyed watching the slow and deliberate rise of these fish from the boat. The browns never made much of an appearance, and I can only remember bringing one to the boat. The whitefish, of course, were around and willing to hit a nymph or dry. As we got close to our take-out, Toby hooked and landed the big fish of the day...a gorgeous 17" rainbow with plenty of heft and color. It turned out to be a great note to end on.

The day was a great float, and maybe a final summer send-off as we now begin our transition to autumn. It is hard to imagine finding better company than Scott and Toby to spend all day in a boat with. I'm sure that our constant laughter was heard echoing all along the Yellowstone River, from Grey Owl to Mallards.

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