There is something about fishing for trout that reminds me of my favorite vacations. Nothing is quite as relaxing and mentally stimulating at the same time. I’ll never forget my first image of what fly fishing for trout is really like. The movie “A River Runs Through It” takes place in Montana. It follows the lives of two brothers who fly fish their local streams in Montana with their father. It was not long after my father took me to see that movie that we took our first trip out west. Being from Florida, I loved being on the open water and fishing for Red Fish or Snapper with a spin casting rod and reel. Having done this most of my life, I was intimidated by the images I had seen on the big screen. I was not sure I could learn a new art of fishing that looked so fluid.
Montana is a wonderful state that is about as large as California and has 1/30th of the population. I had never seen such wide open spaces. Wintertime skiing in Montana had been my only experience out there, and it was a completely different experience. We stayed in Big Sky and traveled all around that area in search of the best spots. Luckily we had a native Montanan with us who had fished the state since childhood. He knew every hot spot like the back of his hand. All I had to do was learn the new art of fly fishing.
We set out to a prairie that had a river on it that meandered like something you’ve seen on a postcard. This was after the three mile hike in from the road that started with a sign reading “Beware of grizzly bears”. To start out, I had loaded my line with a Mepps lure so that I did not have worry about bait while I practiced. To cast you let out a couple of feet of slack and also hold a couple of feet of line in your free hand. Wave the rod forward and back with mainly just your wrist, you get the feel for the weight of the rod and the line. While doing this you just search the opposite bank for some still water. Trout love to wait in the still water for food to pass by with the current. Then you simply cast just upstream from the still inlet that you spotted releasing the extra line that is in your free hand to extend the cast. By letting the current do the work you can dangle the lure near the hole to entice the trout. It takes less time than you think to master fishing with a fly rod and you quickly learn that finding the right spot is the difficult part that comes with years of practice.
Fishing with a fly hook is not much different, but floats on the water. It can get frustrating and first and if you find your self with an empty creel, just ask a local where Loveland Pass is. This is a small lake that is stocked with trout. It’s got a great view of the mountains and it is just off of the highway. It’s a local secret and you can catch as many fish as you desire.
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