Midway through a summer of guiding throughout western Montana Chris and I found ourselves with mutual consecutive days off. Possibly the first ones since early June. The past three months having done nothing to kill our appetite for trout hunting we declared "guides day-off roadtrip" and set off for the Beaverhead, land of big Browns and super tiny dry flies.
The fish on this storied river are notorious for living in the most impossible of spots. If i had any illusions about what "an inch from the bank" meant, i quickly lost any doubt: Casts that seem to land between cattails on the bank get eaten, casts that are not this close do not get eaten. Drag-free drifts down glass-smooth flats get eaten, flies moving ever so slightly across stream do not get eaten. "Come on trout, that was a pretty frickin good drift, i don't know how much more drag free you want here" The trout lay down simple, stark rules here and they stick to them. So you dust up on your super-reach casts and see what you get yourself into. Or not. The trout here will not tell you sweet lies.
So beautiful. Sneaky trout live here.
As usual Chris caught most of the fish and I helped myself to an extra cold one from the cooler. Fishing isn't everything when you're on vacation, especially after flogging the water to a froth with few fish to show for it. I caught enough to be a happy camper and also realize that i need to lay out the hoops on the lawn more often. The ol' casting gets rusty after a summer of pulling oars, all it takes is a couple days looking for noses on the Beav to remember this.
Well played Trout, well played.