A Grand Slam is a rare thing. Catching every species in a watershed, in the same day, is tough. That means a rainbow, brown, brook, whitefish, and grayling in many Montana trout waters. There are only a few places to do this left.
I have only done this on the Madison a few times. The area that produced the Grand Slam was below the Bear Trap Canyon stretch of the Madison River. All the fish ate the same fly and it was pure luck to catch a Grand Slam.
What was special were the 4 grayling that I caught, were within 100 yards of the same place in the river. These original natives are a beautiful fish, more like a Whitefish than a trout. The huge dorsal fin has iridescent colors and the silvery fish is gorgeous. Grayling are not as common as they once were.
Cutthroat and Grayling were once the “native “fish of Montana. The rest of the trout herd were introduced and have out competed the Grayling. These amazing fish are harder to find.
One of the last sanctuaries for the Grayling is the Centennial Valley along the Idaho and Montana Border. Even in this remote location, Grayling are threatened. Irrigation, cattle damage to waterways, and water levels have taken their toll.
The Red Rock Lakes is a population center for grayling. Many Grayling spend part of their life in this lake or Red Rock Creek. Elk Springs creek also is full of grayling.
The US Fish and Wildlife Dept. is spreading eggs into other once traditional Grayling habitats. Fingerling Grayling are also stocked in potential watersheds. With a little luck, a Grayling revival is on the horizon. Most watersheds require a Catch and Release for Grayling. I have caught and released Grayling bigger than the state record in some local lakes. Oh Well.
Keep your fingers crossed but with some good biology and management, Grayling could be part of a more common Grand Slam.
Gently, rip some lips!
For more Montana Grant, visit his blog at www.montanagrantfishing.com.