Montana Monday

Sean Visintainer - 07/29/19

Underwater photo of a Madison River brown trout being released by Ben Visintainer.

Big Sky, Beautiful Browns.

Spokane and Coeur d'Alene residents are very fortunate to live near some of the country's greatest trout water. We have in-town options like the Spokane and area lakes, then of course the Coeur d'Alene and St. Joe River of North Idaho. What's really cool though is just a short drive across the Idaho Panhandle and you are on the doorstep of America's greatest trout streams. Once you cross that Idaho threshold the options for 1-3 day adventures in Montana are endless.

The first river you come to is the St. Regis, which feeds the Clark Fork River, a major Montana waterway. Those two are just the start though. More feeder streams from small, lesser known ones to larger famous ones like the Bitterroot, Blackfoot, and Rock Creek all add major volume to the mighty C.Fork. All of these fish well throughout the summer, offering more than the Coeur d'Alene and St. Joe River to your "local" fishing repertoire.

While rivers like the Blackfoot or Rock Creek are a bit far for a one day excursion, an easy two day trip can be made out of them. Buzz over in the morning hours, get a good 6-8hrs of fishing, camp or stay in a local hotel, then fish another 6-8hrs the next and be home the next evening for dinner time. Yes it's that easy.

Rigging new flies while Euro nymphing the Madison River in Montana near West Yellowstone.

If you have three days to kill one can even get a little more adventurous and hit rivers like Big Hole, Beaverhead, or Missourri which are all 5 - 5.5hrs away. Plenty of camping, plenty of lodging options.

This past weekend I did a three day'r. Got up early, headed to Bozeman. Met up with my uncle who lives there, yes I'm lucky I have free lodging with him, but there are plenty of options to camp or grab a hotel there. Tons. We fished an evening on the East Fork of the Gallatin near Manhattan. The next two days we fished the Madison, one day of walk wading, and one day of floating the Palisades stretch... then a little walk wade near Reynolds Pass in the evening because we hadn't caught enough on the float lol.

Up early and back to work Monday morning.

Moral of the post... make the most of the rest of the summer! If you have had enough of fishing local rivers, do a little exploring. There are many options just across the Idaho Panhandle in Big Sky Country with some beautiful browns to behold.

A Madison River brown trout being released.
Euro nymphing the Madison River in Montana by Beaver Creek Campground.
Ben Visintainer with a quality rainbow from the Madison River near Reynolds Pass.