Fly Fishing Adventures

Montana Backcountry Camping & Fly Fishing Adventure: Part 3

Montana Backcountry Camping & Fly Fishing Adventure: Part 3



One of the best parts of camping in the mountains is exploring new lakes.  We checked a GPS prior to heading up into the mountains, and noticed a couple of lakes straight up the river from where we were camped.  We knew if we followed the river, we would eventually find our lakes.  Who knew if they had fish in them, but given their size, we were pretty optimistic.



Everyone packed up their gear for the hike.  We knew this could be a tough hike, and the sky looked like it could rain.  We packed our fly fishing gear into our Go-Pack Sling Packs, clipped our El Jefe combos to the pack, added rain gear, water, and some snacks.  



There was a great trail next to the river, but it shortly disappeared within the first quarter of a mile.  We found a few game trails we could use, but the terrain turned into a large boulder field surrounded by very thick vegetation.  We bushwhacked out way up the mountain very slowly.  Then…it started to rain.  Bushwhacking through thick trees and traversing boulders in the rain was a little tricky because the rocks got really slick, but we took out time and made sure everyone made it safely.



One of the coolest things about this hike was the wild raspberry bushes we encountered all along the boulder fields.  It was so nice to find these delicious treats.  It was also un nerving because just about every large raspberry bush had bear shit near it.  Yes, we were just north of Yellowstone National Park, and there were definitely bears around here.



After a long wet hike, we found the lake we were looking for, and a huge thunderstorm let loose.  We experienced a massive  downpour.  I used this time to move ahead of the group and look for places to cast a fly, while the others took shelter under the trees.  This lake was actually two lakes connected by a large area of faster moving water.  There were a ton of places to spread out, and after the rain stopped, I could see fish action everywhere.  I had half of the group move up and fish the area of the top lake where the water was running out into the river.  This was a great pocket that kept the trout concentrated in the moving water where their food was funneling out.  



I took a couple of guys and concentrated where the river again, flowed into the next small lake.  These were incrediblly happy fish, and would eagerly attack a dry fly.  They clearly don’t see a lot of fishing pressure, which was great for our group, mostly compromised of beginner anglers.  



This was one of the most beautiful lakes I’ve ever seen, the water was crystal clear, it was surrounded by trees and mountains, and it was full of bright colored brook trout and snake river cutthroat trout.  If you ever get the chance to hike up to high mountain lakes to fly fish, I highly recommend it.



Until next time, tight lines my friends.




Reading next

Montana Backcountry Camping & Fly Fishing Adventure: Part 2
Lake Taneycomo Streamer Fishing at Night

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