Wednesday, August 22nd
I fished a smaller creek west of Missoula today. This is a creek I never fished when I lived here in the mid-90’s. A beautiful classic Montana fly fishing stream suited for wade fishing and dry fly action.
A good number of fish and most on a dry fly only.
Easy to read this water to find the fish. There were a good number of Stonefly shucks on the rocks and branches along the stream. Water temp was perfect at 56 degrees. Some beautiful wildflowers along the streambank.
I was surprised at the size of fish taking the dry fly! While most fish were in the 12″ to 14″ range a few were caught into the 16″ range as well. Beautiful Cutthroats with the brilliant red slash on the jaw.
I worked my way up the creek past 4000 feet and fished a bit more.
The creek got a bit skinnier up here.
I made my way to Hwy 12 to Lolo Hot Springs were Lewis and Clark stopped in the winter for a dip. I went up Hwy 12 three miles further, crossed into Idaho (now in Pacific Time zone) with a stop at the Lolo Pass Visitor Center on the border of Lolo National Forest and Nez Perce/Clearwater National Forests . Saw a fox run through the parking lot just as I got there.
Checked out the Lewis and Clark info and artifacts.
Also checked out the Trail of Sorrow exhibit about Chief Joseph and the Nez Perce tribe.
I fished a bit on Lolo Creek, on my way back to Missoula, which I used to fish on quite often when I lived here and was somewhat disappointed as the access is much more limited and the fish were quite small at 6-7” – still a bit of fun anyway.
Ate dinner at the Lolo Creek Steakhouse. The steak was fantastic!
After dinner I drove back through Missoula and on to Rock Creek to camp overnight at Norton campground setting myself up for a trip to the headwaters of Rock Creek on Thursday.