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Fun day on Rock Creek

By Troutnut on July 9th, 2019
July 9th was the fishiest day of the wife-oriented portion of this Montana trip. After a late-morning start, we drove the scenic highway from Philipsburg to Rock Creek and then down the valley to a spot that fished really well last year. My backpack included a Jetboil, can of Campbell's chicken noodle soup, a Mountain House meal, tea, apples, a large book about genetics, and several other unconventional amenities designed to keep everybody happy on the river for 8+ hours. It worked, I think.

The fishing was good for most places and alright for here. Nymphs were surprisingly ineffective and most fish rose to dries instead. I caught quite a few decent cutthroat and brown trout, along with one brookie, although nothing exceeded 15 inches. Rainbows remained in hiding. Lena caught a nice cutthroat, too.

Photos by Troutnut from Rock Creek in Montana

Closeup insects by Troutnut from Rock Creek in Montana

Alloperla (Sallflies) Stonefly AdultAlloperla (Sallflies) Stonefly Adult View 9 Pictures
Collected July 9, 2019 from Rock Creek in Montana
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on July 18, 2019

Failed attempt at the Ruby

By Troutnut on July 8th, 2019
I tried for a couple hours to fish the Ruby River at a public fishing access site below the reservoir, but nothing was happening. The water was pretty high and off-color, probably thanks to recent thunderstorms. I don't think I even found a strike, but I did collect a couple good bugs.

Photos by Troutnut from the Ruby River in Montana

 From the Ruby River in Montana.
StateMontana
LocationRuby River
Date TakenJul 8, 2019
Date AddedJul 18, 2019
AuthorTroutnut
CameraNIKON 1 AW1

Closeup insects by Troutnut from the Ruby River in Montana

Male Rhithrogena Mayfly SpinnerMale Rhithrogena  Mayfly Spinner View 14 Pictures
Collected July 8, 2019 from the Ruby River in Montana
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on July 18, 2019
Trichoptera (Caddisflies) Caddisfly AdultTrichoptera (Caddisflies) Insect Adult View 8 Pictures
Collected July 8, 2019 from the Ruby River in Montana
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on July 18, 2019

Evening on the upper Ruby

By Troutnut on July 7th, 2019
After camping atop the Gravelly Range and mostly dodging thunderstorms throughout the day, we set up to camp in the evening at Cottonwood Campground along the upper Ruby and drove to fish a nearby reach that looked good on Google Earth. There wasn't much visible bug activity and I didn't see a single fish, but I did manage to find five small to medium rainbows on nymphs and soft-hackles.

Photos by Troutnut from the Ruby River in Montana

Closeup insects by Troutnut from the Ruby River in Montana

Male Drunella (Blue-Winged Olives) Mayfly DunMale Drunella (Blue-Winged Olives) Mayfly Dun View 3 Pictures
Collected July 7, 2019 from the Ruby River in Montana
Added to Troutnut.com by Troutnut on July 18, 2019

An evening drive down the Madison and a fun flyshop

By Troutnut on July 5th, 2019
After spending the morning and early afternoon at Norris Hot Springs, Lena and I drove down through the Madison River valley to get in some evening fishing. Mid-afternoon we stopped at Beartooth Flyfishing, which is one of my favorite fly shops because I like the flies designed by the owner, Dan Delekta, and wanted to buy some more to use as models for tying my own. I like his sense of how to mix in flashy synthetics without detracting from the buggy appearance of the fly overall. His SureStrike nymph pattern became one of my favorite attractor (Attractor: Flies not designed to imitate any particular insect, but to incorporate characteristics attractive to trout. When trout aren't feeding selectively, attractors often outperform careful imitations as searching patterns because they are easier to see and incorporate more strike-triggering characteristics. They include legends like the Adams, Bivisible, and Royal Wulff.) nymphs last year and has worked well for me in Montana and Washington. This time I picked up a box full of other nymphs and dries to try, primarily as attractors (Attractor: Flies not designed to imitate any particular insect, but to incorporate characteristics attractive to trout. When trout aren't feeding selectively, attractors often outperform careful imitations as searching patterns because they are easier to see and incorporate more strike-triggering characteristics. They include legends like the Adams, Bivisible, and Royal Wulff.), buying two of each pattern to fish and one to save as a tying model.

After the shop, we hit a couple spots along the Madison in the evening, and I finally broke my short but painful streak of skunkings or near-skunkings on this famous river with a decent 14" brown and a couple smaller ones. There wasn't much bug activity compared to a week earlier, and I only saw a couple rises, but attractors (Attractor: Flies not designed to imitate any particular insect, but to incorporate characteristics attractive to trout. When trout aren't feeding selectively, attractors often outperform careful imitations as searching patterns because they are easier to see and incorporate more strike-triggering characteristics. They include legends like the Adams, Bivisible, and Royal Wulff.) and soft-hackles were able to get some attention right at dusk.

Photos by Troutnut from the Madison River in Montana

Lazy sightseeing around Bozeman on July 4th

By Troutnut on July 4th, 2019
On July 4th, my wife Lena had just flown in to join me the previous night and we were taking it easy around Bozeman. We didn't do any fishing at all, just drove around to see more of the area, including the Yellowstone River's Paradise Valley and the state park where the Madison, Jefferson and Gallatin come together to form the Missouri. In the evening we drove from Three Forks in to Bozeman to see the fireworks display, but the main show in town was a footnote compared to watching personal fireworks go off all over the valley for most of the 20-mile drive.

Photos by Troutnut from the Yellowstone River and the Missouri River in Montana

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