It is still way too far away to get pumped, but I cannot help myself. With my last planned fishing trip now completed, the fabled annual Montana outing is what I have left to look forward to in the near future! And it's not that near unfortunately.
This happens every year. Usually by talk beginning amongst the inner circle of the trip schedule, of lodging, and of things to nail down, all done way earlier than we need to. Except lodging which is usually done a little later than we should. When this talk begins I often find myself going back through the photo logs of past trips, which are getting pretty deep now. I'm not one to reminisce, but this is one of the few things I do reminisce on annually.
What is most exciting about this year's outing is that it will be at least a little new. In years past we made the trip either in March or in May; this year it's mid-July, which presents new bugs, new conditions, and who knows how much water. What I most look forward to this year is not encountering 35-45 degrees and overcast like we've had the past few trips. The first few trips were 70's and sunny every day and it was unbelievably nice except for the sunburns. These pictures will give you a good idea of the contrast:
But cold or hot it's always a great time. Campfire coffee made from river water in the morning, breakfast burritos for sustenance, then off to fish fish fish all day long from boat and bank. The river's not really one for the advanced angler; it's chock full of big wild and fairly dumb trout. As long as you can get your bugs near one of the 10,000 fish per mile, which aren't too tough to find, you will catch fish. But it's great for a big group of mixed abilities. The intermediate anglers can bring their family and friends who may have never fly fished before and help them catch fish, while looking like experts themselves.
Most of the fishing is dredging the bottom with nymphs; at least that's the most productive way to catch. Of course there are often some hatches at certain times of the day that lend themselves to the dry fly enthusiast. There's even some trash fish in a few certain locales to sidetrack you after you've been slaying trout for 4 days straight.
And then there's evening meals around the campfire, with good beer, good whisky, good (or not) cigars, and good (or not) people. The only downside of the trip is that it does have to come to an end, but after 4-8 days of fishing, it's usually ok.
It's not surprising that I (and others) look forward to this trip so much. I look forward to the next 3 months of waiting. It should be fun.
But I hope to catch a bunch of big carp in the meantime!!