15 June 2013

Spring Trout Fishing

Spring trout fishing in southwest Montana involves choices, all in Butte's backyard: The intimacy of a small stream loaded with Eastern brook trout and the occasional large, spawning rainbow? A mid-elevation lake (ice free before July) with colorful cutthroats? The Big Hole River with peak snow-melt run-off but big bugs and big trout? Yes to all.

I do relatively little lake fishing, but occasionally seek out the solitude that comes from a pleasant hike, and the colorful treasures (in this case a Yellowstone cutthroat trout):

Along the way, there are other treasures to be found. Though I have hiked this area dozens of times, I somehow always missed this intact though long-forgotten miner's cabin:

From the inside, it appears that hunters may have used it seasonally for some years after it was abandoned by the full-time resident miner:

I like the old bedroll, tied up and hung from the ceiling to discourage mice:

Outside, c. 1940 Dodge truck (flathead 6 engine, NO BULLET HOLES!!!):

Trees growing in the road to the cabin indicate it's been abandoned c. 40 years. What you discover when you take the road less traveled by...

This past week, the lilacs on the Butte Hill were in full bloom: 

Blooming lilacs = hatching salmon flies on the Big Hole River: 

 These large stone flies are a favorite food of large trout, and make for good fishing (though often a nymph works better than a dry fly, though occasionally big trout do slash leap from the water to grab a mouthful): 

After fishing, time for a little high-bank diving and stick-fetching for MollyTheDog:

The largest trout of the day came during a hailstorm with buckshot-sized hail pelting the river (and me). It was worth it, though I did not chance drawing my camera during the downpour. Back at home, after supper with sun setting, a brilliant nearly-vertical rainbow lit the sky: 


Janie said...

The rainbow photo is gorgeous!
And the old miner's cabin and antique truck are interesting finds. I'm especially impressed that the truck has no bullet holes. Don't think that would ever happen around here. No matter how remote, there are always bullet holes.

Should Fish More said...

I fished 'notellum' creek a few weeks ago, it was remarkably good, lots of 'bows. Nice posts, Pat.

John Bardsley said...

I'm overseas at the moment. Reading your posts today both gave me comfort and made me long for home.

Secret Agent Woman said...

Mmm, trout. That's all I have to say.