After many years of fishing Montana streams together, my main man Jan brought his crew of executives from his concrete accessories company to fish the Bitterroot River with us. Team Meadowburke, as we’ll refer to them, was a four person group with lots of fishing experience, just not much in the way of fly fishing. So, Chris and I had our work cut out for us assembling our troops and teaching as much fly fishing knowledge as we could cram in there in our short two day trip.
Starting with casting instruction in the lawn for a couple hours, then shifting right onto the river, our guys quickly picked up the basics of fly fishing and proceeded to lay into quite a few nice trout out there. What our anglers lacked in fly fishing experience, was made up by their general fishing abilities: once they were hooked into a trout, a lifetime of fighting fish on the salt helped them to bring em’ to the net quickly and efficiently. Casting and drifting a fly can be a whole new experience to most folks, but good ol’ fish savvy comes from spending time on the water with a rod in hand, fly rod or otherwise.
Montana weather, always on the sketchy side, didn’t let us down in the least. Our days would start warm and sunny, but would quickly deteriorate into overcast skies and falling temps: trust your weatherman when he says thunderstorms are predicted. Soon enough the rain jackets would come out as we prepared for whatever was coming down the pipe from the West, dark storm clouds and lightning flashes. We took shelter wherever available, sometimes under the immense canopies of ponderosa pine trees, sometimes anchored under the nearest bridge until the deluge passed us.
With all the weather ups and downs, the river fished downright awesome. Drys and streamers played very well with fish chasing the bugs hard from rocky banks and inside seams. Just after we’d get clobbered by one of the many storms rolling down the valley, the fishing would light up, helping us forget about the drip off our hats and our soggy jackets.
A big thanks to the Meadowburke crew for fishing with Bitterroot River Guides, we enjoyed a true Montana fishing experience out there. Many big trout came to the nets, we suffered with the mountain weather, floated and fished over twenty miles of scenic river, and enjoyed good camaraderie and great times in the mountains. See you next time.