Fish Creek Trip

As I’ve probably stated on this blog before, I wasn’t much into fishing as a kid. It just didn’t appeal to me. The last time I can recall fishing was with a spinner set up on Fish Creek. I have a vague recollection of catching a rainbow. Who knows, maybe Dad did most of the catching. Either way, this was probably my first time on Fish Creek in 14 or 15 years. It was a bit of an auspicious start to the day, Chad left his waders at home. Thankfully, he realized before we were out of town so it was just a quick trip back to the house and a restart of the day.

On the road, we saw this statue just outside of Missoula. The thing was huge!

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Rain had been coming down in Missoula all morning and as we headed west it looked like we wouldn’t be escaping it.

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But, things started to look a bit nicer as we headed up Fish Creek Rd and by the time we got to our destination, we had blue sky.

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Chad, as usual was first in to a fish. Conveniently, I wasn’t there to see it and he only managed to get a picture of his knee, but he didn’t make any wild claims about its size so I tend to believe him 😉

I started the day with a big bugger. Switched to a San Juan and gave a Montana Prince a try. I saw a fish or two give them nothing more than cursory glances. I recently picked up a vise and have tried my hand at tying some flies, figured this would be as good a time as any to get one wet so I tied on a kebari.

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Starting on the downstream side of the stump I ran the kebari a few inches below the surface. I had one fish bump it but didn’t get a set. I moved up-stream and cast down stream to the pocket just above the stump. Holding it there and doing a twitch I hooked into my fish.

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It won’t be breaking any records but, it was a nice fish on a fly I tied myself. To say that’s a satisfying feeling is an understatement.

We worked our way upstream a bit further, finding some nice water but no fish that would cooperate. Then, a few thunderclaps. We thankfully had enough warning to get the rain gear on for the walk back to the car.

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Chad gave it a go under the bridge near the car with no luck.

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On our drive out, the sun broke through the clouds and we spotted a nice patch of water. I left the camera in the car, and sadly, my kebari in a tree branch. I had a second one that I’d tied however, and learned that it wasn’t just one random fish that thought it was worth biting. Against a rock face with the fly about 4 feet under the water I got a bite but, the fish threw the hook. Chad dragged a streamer through the same hole and we guessed it to be around 15 feet or deeper. Strange water flow through it… rivers are strange places.

As usual, it was a great day on the water. Sad to leave my kebari in the woods but, glad it had a chance to meet a trout. Can’t wait to get some more material and tie some more flies.

Happy angling!

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