Fly Fishing Adventures

Montana’s Wild Brook Trout

Montana’s Wild Brook Trout


My family and I had an opportunity to visit Missoula in mid June, this was our first time flying and first time staying in a hotel since mid March.  This is a recent record for me, it’s been 15 years since I’ve not flown for three months in a row.  We flew out on Delta, connected in Minneapolis, then Salt Lake City, and then onto Missoula.  Walking through the Minneapolis airport, we had an odd feeling, the place was like a ghost town.  Then Salt Lake City, looks like normal, except for all the masks.  We felt that the airlines did a good job of making everyone feel safe.  We came to Missoula for a little college visit, our daughter is attending The University of Montana in the fall.  As you all know, no visit to Montana will occur without a little search for trout!  

The third day, my wife and I found a place called Garnet Ghost town, and old mining village in the middle of a forest.  As she read to me the description, she mentioned Elk Creek.  I’ve read A River Runs Through It, and I’m almost certain this was mentioned...I was in.  



After a ten mile gravel drive off the highway, we had a fork in the road, Elk Creek left, Garnet Ghost town right...we decided to head left first.  The road tightened significantly, as did my wife’s death grip on the handle on the door.  Luckily our friends at Hertz upgraded us from our Chevy Malibu to a Chevy Traverse.  The ruts in the road were no joke, the picture above was a small one.  



  After navigating the ruts, and not driving off the cliff into the abyss, we found a TINY little creek maybe a few feet wide, was this is?  We went along for a while, not finding what I was looking for, and then the ruts got too big, and my wife gave me the look.  It was time to turn around, I was sad and assumed around the next turn was going to be the most epics stream I’ve ever seen.  There was one pool back up the road I would give a shot.  It was about the same size as the pool I pulled a number of brook trout out in Iowa a few weeks back.  



I tied on a dry and dropper rig with orange stimulator up top, and a red midge below.  I fished our five weight El Jefe kit, a three weight would have been perfect here, but we fish what we have with us, and it’s always fantastic.  One of my favorite traits of brook trout in truly wild remote places is they will eat flies, if presented halfway well.  On the very first cast...boom, the dry was dunked in the little pool.  Before my wife and kids even got out of the vehicle, it was on!  (Full disclosure, I’m not sure my kids ever got out of the vehicle).



These gorgeous fish were eager to eat and the action was fast and furious.  The colors of these trout were so incredible that even these pictures didn’t do them justice.





I really enjoyed fishing for these fish with my wife right next to me.  It was also great to have a photographer with me!







After about 20 of these little brook trout, we headed back up the tiny road to the mining town.  What a great way to test the gear before heading out on my float trip of The Blackfoot.  Until next time, tight lines!



Reading next

Epic Afternoon on Waterloo Creek
Floating The Big Blackfoot Near Missoula, Montana

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