Things have been busy with everything but fishing lately, but finally the time came to get on a flight with three friends and spend a week fishing numerous rivers in Southwest Montana. We've been flying into Billings and working our way west the last few years and this year was no different. Stop #1 is about an hour west of Billings on the Stillwater River. It's run and gun pocket water for browns, rainbows and the occasional cutthroat on the section we float.
|Typical water for the Stillwater|
|The Stilly's waters run crystal clear|
This photo shows the typical pool, riffle, run, pool nature of the Stillwater. It's one right after the other for this 8 mile stretch we floated but pretty much the rest of the 30 plus miles of floatable water is the same way
|Typical Stillwater Rainbow|
|Rich getting it done with a creative net job|
Foating the Stillwater is as much fun as the actual fishing and to me the river symbolizes all that is wild about Montana. It takes a bit to adapt to it's run and gun nature but the flows this time around were a lot more manageable than in years past.
Our time there was pretty eventful: lost rod and reel, a bad back, a dunked camera, a broken rod tip, and a leaky radiator hose on the rental car (3 of those things happening the same day) made for an auspicious beginning to the trip. But things settled down after that and all was good. Things would soon change from big attractors and nymphs on the Stillwater to small size 20 Trico's on the Big Hole with steadily rising fish along it's banks.