In Late May I put away the Bass Flies,say goodbye to the Sonoran Desert,then drive north to Montana and the Missouri River.It’s where the Rockies meet the Great Plains,a spectacular setting.Time is spent reconnecting with some serious trout fishing,do a few guide trips to pay the way and ease back into the Rower’s seat.In short,it’s a Busman’s Holiday.
For the most part the guys I fish with are guides that are between trips or waiting for their season to get rolling.We don’t really care about numbers,we are trying to target the “One”.We all love the hard fighting rainbows,but it’s the gnarly browns that get our focus.
You will catch some flak if you nymph,”anyone can do that” are the remarks.We are seeking the experiences of brown trout chasing streamers,sucking in a dry fly,crushing foam or sometimes eating a small nymph thats hung underneath.The numbers are for the clients.
Normally we are putting in behind the commercial boats,giving us the feeling that we have the place to ourselves.Throwing streamers is the normal protocol as we get going,varying the colours and retrieves to see what they want.
The moody browns respond well once you figure it out.When the Caddis and P.M.D.’s start hatching,the game changes to anchoring up and watching the skinny water for orange “heads” then casting your Dry Fly Rig down and across,drag free with lots of hope.You get a couple of shots at them,if they eat then hang on as they go ballistic in the shallow water.
You’ll get some large brown trout coming up to eat foam to.Hard to believe on a river that is often referred to as the World’s largest spring creek but big Golden Stones along with the browns & rainbows also call this river home.
The average size of the Brown Trout tend to be in the 17 range, going up from there.The Missouri River is home to some toads,fish that pushed past the 2 ft mark.My Personal best was caught? last season,he ate a Chernobyl at the head of a run,a classic fight that one would expect with a fish that’s at the top of the food chain.It moved with authority,head down then awkwardly jumping or flopping like big browns do.
I walked him downstream towards the boat yelling to my friend to get the camera,the leader was in the guides when he un buttoned,caught? if it was an Atlantic Salmon yes,I like to think so to but my conciuos says no.That big Brown goes down as one that I get to take to my grave.
For a Busman’s Holiday it sure is fun,I get to hangout with a few folks that I consider friends.Our communications are limited,We don’t send Christmas Cards to each other but when we do talk it’s all about the time on the water we shared together and the always “looking forward to doing it again..Amen brother.