There’s nothing quite like August fly-fishing in Montana. The grasshoppers and other terrestrials are out in force, the fish are hungry, and the days are sunny and long. I recently took a five-day trip with a couple of great friends to my home waters of Montana, and even ventured over the border into Idaho to scratch our summer fishing itch. I flew the Skywagon up to my hometown of Bozeman where I met two friends, and we fished our way down to Victor, Idaho and back.
The good amount of snowpack that most of the west received this past winter has made for great water conditions this summer, and Bozeman and the surrounding area are no different. Water temperatures are still cool, so fish are staying happy and willing to play. We began with an afternoon float on the Upper Madison, one of my favorite rivers. The scenery here is as picturesque “Montana” as it gets with sweeping views of the valley and dramatic mountains. Large historic ranches run up and down the valley. This area in many ways is just how it was a hundred years ago. The pristine landscape and ranching culture still remain here, and is supplemented only by fly-fisherman and other sportsmen coming to enjoy the splendor too.
After a night spent camping riverside under the stars we continued down to Idaho to fish the Henry’s Fork River west of Yellowstone National Park. This is a classic blue-ribbon trout stream surrounded by beautiful country. The next two days were spent on an overnight trip down the South Fork of the Snake River. What a beautiful float this was, and it didn’t hurt that the fishing was good either. Being just west of the Tetons and the Wyoming border this river is easy to access for the folks out of Jackson Hole.
The main part of the South Fork of the Snake is a majestic 30-mile float through rugged canyons and high mountain valleys. This area is home to the largest cottonwood gallery forest in the west, and is one of the most diverse ecosystems in the U.S., supporting 126 bird species (including 21 raptors), and other wildlife including moose, elk, deer, mountain goats, bears, foxes, and otters. Bald Eagles use the deep canyons as precious roosting areas. The BLM and National Forest Service do a wonderful job of protecting the wildness of this area while still providing recreationists a great experience. The fishing was nothing short of spectacular. There’s nothing quite like big trout coming up to eat a big foam hopper on the surface!
This was an epic adventure on some iconic western rivers. It’s so important to remain connected to these places we so passionately work in. Be sure to check out our fly-fishing ranches for sale throughout the west, and don’t hesitate to reach out to me directly for more information. I’d love to talk with you.