I know that most of you think that the River Damsel looks for mishaps to write about...But, truth be told, this is not the case. My knack for finding unforseen situations happens all the time. Maybe I'm just a klutz or maybe I just have bad luck. It is what it is. And it follows me wherever I go... Don't worry Mel!! I didn't need the first aid kit on this trip. Just a crane. Mmmm..let's get back to that part later. There is much more important stuff to talk about first! The Beaverhead River...
For those that have not been to Montana or to the Beaverhead River...Well, this post is especially for you. And for those who have experienced this river already...Yes, that would be you, Ivan...just nod your head and smile as you read my report. = ) You already know the beauty and the fish that lie beneath...It really doesn't get much better than this. And the scenery is awesome on the way up. Bison, deer, and cattle roam across the vast countryside.
The alarm clock goes off at 3:30 am, Saturday...no biggie. (I start work at 6 am everyday...so, it's routine) I met up with some local friends and we had about a 5 1/2 hour trip ahead. We made good time and before you knew it, the fly rods were loaded up for battle. I was fortunate to have along some friends that had fished the Beaverhead before. I had heard the stories from many. I was really feeling that this would be a successful trip. Another friend "dialed" me in with two fly patterns that would surely work before I left town. Now, how could I go wrong??? The crane fly larvae was money. Along with his little partner there, the zebra midge.
Seriously, as I stepped into the river, I felt like I belonged. Heck, every time I go to Montana, I feel like I belong... So, we started tossing these two flies out...bam, bam bam...All I saw all day long was...you guessed it! Mr. Brown Trout. My friends had a few rainbows in their nets. But, not me! One after another...Mr. Spots. That's ok...I was catching and it was fun! It was Montana fishing...and more importantly, The Beave... The way fly fishing was meant to be...exillerating! I had never sat in a money hole this long...one after another! Who wouldn't??? Those fish must really like those juicy, pastel caterpillars...the crane fly larvae.
I have never fished a whole weekend with two patterns of flies. I didn't need to open up my fly box...it was simply amazing! We chose to go for the "counts" rather than the "size"... And the section of this river proved all that was rumored. Many trout between 14-16 inches...which they call "cookie cutter"?? I was good with that. I can always go back next time and have a slower day looking for the "piggies"!!! But, I felt like it would be way more fun catching consistently... One of my bigger count days for sure. Here is one of the smaller gents!
Ahh...Mr. Brown Trout...he liked my net. Until I watched my new net take a swim down the river...the bad part of my trip. = ( But, I always carry my old net as a back up when I travel. So, Saturday was highly successful. We ended up back in Dillon, MT. for a nice steak dinner and planned the next day's itinerary. How it could get much better...I didn't have a clue...
We decided to start out earlier on Sunday as the winds had presented a little havoc on Saturday afternoon. (Didn't affect the fishing though) The storms that were supposed to bring rain or snow...just kind of blew over and we lucked out. We wanted to check out the Ruby River down the road aways too. So, we headed over that way and spent an hour or two. It was a beautiful place, but the fish were few compared to the day before. So, we headed back to the Beaverhead. We know a good thing when we see it. It's all in the timing sometimes. I'll be back Ruby!
We finished out the day on the Beaverhead...and it was much of the same as the day before. Brown trout mostly, a few rainbows and even ended the day with a "beloved" whitefish! (Not mine, sorry)
Here's a little bit of a "tippet" for you who want to know some interesting factoids. The Beaverhead River is an approximately 69-mile (111 km)-long tributary of the Jefferson River in southwest Montana (East of the Continental Divide) The name of the Beaverhead originates from Beaverhead Rock on the middle river. This rock formation was recognized by Sacajawea when the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed the area in 1805.
There were also many beavers in the area at the time, but the name does not originate from the animal. In 1805, Captain Meriwether Lewis traveled up the Jefferson and Beaverhead first, but when the rest of the expedition came, a sign Lewis had left at the confluence of the Beaverhead and Big Hole telling them to follow the Beaverhead had been cut down by a beaver, and the expedition traveled up the Big Hole instead. Resultantly, the swifter current of the Big Hole swamped two of their canoes before they could travel back down to the confluence. Together with the Red Rock River, the Beaverhead forms the uppermost headwaters of the Missouri River, the longest tributary of the Mississippi River.
|Oh, Mr. Brown Trout!! We got to stop meeting like this...scratch that. = )|
So, we had plenty of trout released, thanks to the crane fly larvae. And then we found out that we needed another type of "crane"...to help out the Damsel in Distress! Yes, folks, I did it again. I walked into some soft mud that I couldn't get out of. As I yelled to my friends that there was a little emergency...they came over and looked at me with a "you got to be kidding" look on their faces! No, I'm not kidding...I'm stuck!
The "crane" was somebody's back that pulled me out as I hung on tightly...one foot at a time. I didn't want to lose sight of the spot where the boot was...it was under black water. When I reached down to pull it out, I still couldn't bring it up! There was no way that I was going to leave my Simms behind! I started scooping out the black mud until I could lift it out. Then a repeat on the other foot. Goodness, messes...I hate them. Bet you would have liked a picture of my black hands and nails...Sorry.
So, the end to this tale (and a true one it is) Never leave home for the river without your pocket shovel. = )
Ok...I guess that is just for me!
Excellent trip! I look forward to floating that river someday!ReplyDelete
Craig - Yes...it is well known for excellent float trips. You will certainly enjoy fishing it that way too!Delete
Huzzah for factoids. :) And you always have adventures wherever you go....I love it!ReplyDelete
Erin - I thought that the library science gal might like that part... heehee.Delete
LOL How does this happen?! No matter what, promise me that you never go wading alone....ReplyDelete
Congrats on all the browns! Those things are just so pretty
Nick - All that I can promise is that I won't go close to mud ever again! I definitely will keep my sand game on the golf course! Lol.Delete
I want really badly to write something nice without being silly. I'm so glad you had a good trip and that mud washes off.ReplyDelete
Howard - Go ahead and chastise me ... we are friends! Yes...I know better than to look trouble in the eye. Let's see if we can find a pond to sit and fish when I come out there! Haha.Delete
Absolute out of this world images not only of the trout, but the scenery is spectacular. Thnaks for sharing a great trip in an awesome place to fish!!!
Bill - Thanks my friend! It was an absolutely incredible fishing trip. So much to breathe in...I hardly could imagine a better place to journey! I will be back!Delete
Hi Emily. Thanks for the nice photos of the countryside. Thanks for the history lesson. I just finished a book about the Lewis and Clark expedition. A lot of it was what you just talked about. And, never a dull day with the Damsel.ReplyDelete
Hi Mark! You timed this post right by reading on your history beforehand! Very nice. I would absolutely like one day without a surprise, believe me. But, heck. I would just be another "normal" person...and who wants that???!!!Delete
Now exactly why is it we get fishy pics when the nails are perfect, but as soon as they get funky with black muck, there aren't anymore pictures?ReplyDelete
MarkSC - How ya doin'? I don't believe that was foremost in my thoughts to ask the rescuer to take a picture before the rescue. But, if it happens again (how unlikely), I will definitely pose with a handful of mud for ya! Lol.Delete
Sounds like a wonderful time. I really liked the history you gave. Good thing you weren't alone, that could have been one messy issue! Great post Emily!ReplyDelete
Jen - Thanks! It was epic. And glad that I could give a little bit of background on the history. I have friends out there that haven't ventured up to Montana yet and thought it might be interesting for them to read.Delete
Short and sweet, RD. Sorry for being a little late reading about your adventure. Pretty fish, great water. Mud, happened to me once. Hopefully, never again!ReplyDelete
Mel, thanks for stopping by as always! Hope you are on the quick thaw up there in Idaho!Delete