Monday, July 30, 2012

Time is flying

It seems like it was only a few weeks ago that we were all back at school just getting done with all of our finals. This summer has flown by and it's surprising to think that in less than a month, we'll all be back at school once again. I have been returning to Missoula on most of my days off to fish and see Kelsey, who is back for preseason soccer.

This morning we hit Rock Creek for a while. The fish were more than cooperative on dries and we had a great morning full of decent browns and cutties. Kelsey continues to get better. At one point she made a pretty long cast to a small pocket on the far bank of the stream. A nice brownie nailed her fly and she set the hook perfectly. It was a great thing to see.

Another highlight of the morning was catching a trout that I've always wanted to catch; a tiger trout (brookie x brown hybrid). It was a nice surprise and a new species for me.

Fishing on the Mo has for the most part, slowed down. Tricos are showing up in more numbers each day and the caddis are still the primary hatch in the evenings. The fish have become a little picky and fishing in the morning is far more effective than when the water is warmer in the evening.

Ran into Trevor the other day in Missoula. We talked a bunch about our fall fishing plans. We have some great trips lined up and I'm actually excited to get back to school. Trevor has also started a blog, as he has been guiding on the Bitterroot this summer. Check it out at

Tomorrow I'm headed back to Craig to work for the rest of the week. Until next time, I wish you awesome fishing.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Life Goes On

Life goes on in the land of Craig. I’ve had an awesome last couple of weeks and have had no internet to post about it. Now I do, so here you go:

On Fourth of July weekend I had a great time at my friend Cameron’s house in Poulsbo, Washington, as his family put on a party to remember. Tons of people, great food (an underground pig roast), great friends, and watching fireworks over the Puget sound. It was an awesome time for all.


On the fourth, Cam, Riley and I embarked on our three day mission to hike the brothers, a set of peaks on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. We had an amazing time on what was the most technical climb we had ever done. We had our run in with some curious mountain goats, 60 degree snow and ice slopes, and a crazy last rock scramble to the summit. The rewarding views from the summit were worth it all.

Very intimidating

The evil goat

Approaching the summit

Quite the view

The descent

After our adventure I headed north to the cascades to visit Kelsey. We took a nice drive on the scenic mountain loop highway and even fished a little bit for some summer run steelhead. Of course, we didn’t hook any of the elusive fish. I did have one steelhead smolt chase my fly though. I had a nice couple of days visiting Kels and hanging out with her family. Then it was time for me to head back east to Montana.

The mountain loop highway

Some amazing dry fly fishing greeted me upon my return, and the Mo began to show how good it really is. Up until that point I had not experienced how great the dry fly fishing could be. Over the past couple of weeks I have fished a lot, including one night of the craziest caddis hatch I have ever been in. There were so many caddis on the water that it was very tough to actually dry fly fish. I resorted to swinging a caddis emerger pattern. The caddis madness continues on the Mo and I have been landing some very nice fish and Cody has as well.

Big Bow

Big Brown

Big Storm

I am currently in Missoula relaxing after a day of helping Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks for my internship. Yesterday, fisheries biologist Will Schreck, 90 day biotech Jerrod, and I, hiked into a remote section of a small stream to sample it by electro-shocking. The hike was pretty strenuous and we spent the majority of it trying to climb down a steep wooded canyon, jumping over hundreds of fallen logs. The goal was to sample the stream to see if any bull trout were present.

I had never done electro-shocking before and let me say, it is not an easy gig. My job was to net the fish and I figured having all of this time in a drift boat netting fish would help…. Not at all! I learned quickly that you have to have a very quick and aggressive approach or the fish simply get away. We shocked about a 100 yard stretch of stream and collected about 20 fish, mostly brook trout. The few cutthroats that we caught were released and the brookies were dumped for grizzly food because they are a non native species. We did not find any bull trout.

After hiking all the way out to the truck, we headed north to a logging road that was being decommissioned. The road was close to a brook trout and pure cutthroat stream so we took some grass seed and spread it along the hillside that had just been ripped apart. The reason for the decommissioning is to provide a natural slope to prevent sediments from running down into the creek. It was a very similar job to what I had done the first time I went out with MFWP.

After the seeding was over we headed back to Missoula, stopping for ice cream as a treat for our hard work. At the gas station we ran into one of the wildlife biologists for the area. He said that a grizzly was spotted right in the area we were doing work in and that we are going to eventually run into it; Pretty exciting and scary at the same time.  I had a lot of fun yesterday and it was a great experience to work with Will and Jerrod.

Now it’s back to work! The weather has been very hot lately and hopefully it will cool down a little. The fish are taking a lot of pressure lately and the high water temps during the heat of the day are not helping anything either. The water has been low and if the water temps get any higher, the river may very likely be shut down to fishing after noon.

That’s all for now. I will hopefully be back in Missoula sometime next week. Have a great week!