By Montana Grant

Posted: March 14, 2020


Our Montana weather has been so nice lately. Since it is Montana, I am sure that will soon change. Mornings are a bit chilly but when the sun rises high, the warmer air feels great. The longer days also help. It seemed like the right time to leave the hard water and find some wet water again.

I hit the Gallatin. The sun inspired me to fly fish for the first time of the new year. Fishing in the canyon of the West Branch is more shaded so I fished off Cameron Bridge. It was close to home and wide open. There was couple of guys fishing and drinking beer under the bridge, but no one else was on the water.

I started with the usual nymph rigs for this time of year. A Glow Bug egg fly and a San Juan worm. The first pool and the first cast yielded my first fish! The 12-inch brown was healthy, scrappy, and feisty. I released him and was quickly into several other browns and rainbows.

As I traveled downstream, I noticed a few heads popping up. A small midge hatch was ongoing. Positioning myself downstream, I tried a Goober Midge with a Desert Storm dropper. Talk about the right combo. Every trout I fished to took. Lips were being ripped, reels with screaming drags were singing, rods were doubled over, lines were tight, and whatever other metaphor you wanted to use would have fit.

In just a few hours, the fish wore me out. None of the fish were over 16 inches. There were more browns than bows. The smallest fish was 8 inches. What a way to spend a day in Montana!

The mantra of Montana fishermen is to fish when you can. Some days, it really pays off.

Montana Grant

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