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Welcome to the west…

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When opportunity knocks, the best plan is to answer, so welcome to the west…

Earlier this month I was invited to Ennis Lake, MT to do some fishing. Sounded like a good plan so I accepted.

Montana Dry Fly

I hadn’t fished in freshwater since I was kid. I really had no idea of what to expect. Simply put, I just did what I was told.

Day #1

Welcome to the west trout

It worked, shortly after setting out on the lake I caught my first trout.

Ha, I thought, this isn’t so hard.

Of course, I was struggling with laying out any kind of decent cast. Suffice it to say that as a saltwater caster I found myself overcasting the six weight rod I was using.

Day #2

While enjoying my morning coffee, I looked down at the lake and saw the tell tale sign of fish rising, rings on the water.

Ennis Lake Montana

Today’s vessel would be a kayak, add my six weight rod and a dry fly and off I paddled. Quietly I waited for the trout to rise, then gently I would lay down my fly on the surface of the water. I was quiet, I was calm, and I was patient… yet nobody came to check out my fly. Hmmm, this might be harder than I thought! 🙂

Drift boat fishing is the bomb!

Day #3

The day had a late start as early October fishing requires awaiting the warming of the water. Local fishing guide Anni Shores was in charge. We trailered her Clackacraft drift boat up the highway where our trip would begin.

Clackacraft drift boat

I love whitewater canoeing. Floating a drift boat down a river combines fly fishing with white water excitement. I was thrilled.

The drift boat comfortably held two anglers (including my saltwater side arm cast) and the rowing guide. Anni’s job, aside from rigging our rods with the appropriate fly choice etc., was to pilot the boat down the river. Of course, there were rocks and small rapids to maneuver amongst.

My job was to keep my dry fly in the a part of the river that seemed fishy to me. I caught a couple of trout and the native (although apparently largely unpopular) Montana Whitefish. Seemed fine to me! Of course, it was a “catch & release” day, not like the next fishing trip.

Day #4

Gates of the Mountains on the Missouri River is the home of the “giants”. This fishery is known for large trout that feed off of the churned up waters of the Hauser Dam. For trout, these fish were big. However, I have to admit, the style of fishing wasn’t really my thing. It felt like glorified fly fishing with a bobber on the end of your very long leader. We caught a few fish, including another Montana Whitefish. It was another beautiful day on the water, but I’d rather ride the rapids any in a drift boat any day. Welcome to the west!!!!