Monday, October 1, 2012

North Fork Cutties

Yesterday Chris, Riley and I set out in search of some big cutthroat that call the North Fork of the Blackfoot River home. I was pretty excited to to get back to the North Fork, both because of its resident cutties that stack up in its pools and the scenery that should basically be labeled, "This is what Montana looks like".

We started early and the fishing was slow until the water warmed up. Streamer fishing (we were hoping), would be as good as last year when I had an amazing day of fishing on the North Fork with our friend Troy. It was not to be, and many of the cutthroat didn't even move for our streamers.

With no fish rising, we were forced to nymph which actually worked pretty well from time to time. The fish would readily take purple and black zebra midges, and the occasional big golden stonefly.

Photo by Riley

My nicest fish of the day


At one point while we were fishing a nice pool, we heard a whining noise coming from the ridge above us on the other side of the stream. Riley and I spotted what looked like two foxes looking down at us. We snapped a few pictures and upon further inspection we noticed that the animals were actually not foxes at all. They were either bobcats or Lynx. Not sure from the pictures but I'm going to talk to a biologist tomorrow and see if I can get a definite identification. The first picture definitely shows some pointy ears while the second picture almost looks like a baby mountain lion. Please comment if you know for sure...

It was a pretty cool thing to see, but at the time we thought for sure that they were baby mountain lions. We didn't hang around for very long.

Riley had been having a rough day of fishing and on the way back downstream he finally redeemed himself with a beautiful cutthroat.

It was an interesting day of fishing, but a good one at that. Going to the North Fork is always a good time, even if the fishing isn't stellar. 

Chris working the last pool of the day


  1. Gorgeous country and fish. Call me jealous.


  2. What a fabulous post! I'm thinking I need to get a Montana fishing license next year. Your photography is beautiful! I just bought my first DSLR and I'm still playing around trying to figure it out. Your pictures are inspiring. Thanks for sharing. Nice catches too!

  3. Thanks Kim. The opportunities are endless here in Montana, as they are in northern Idaho too! Have fun with your new DSLR.