Troutnut.com Fly Fishing for Trout Home
User Password
or register.
Scientific name search:

> > Montana Spring Creeks

Wbranch has attached these 9 pictures. The message is below.
Shown Full Size
Back in the day when I met my idol on Armstrong Spring Creek circa 1969
Back in the day when I met my idol on Armstrong Spring Creek circa 1969
Shown Full Size
This was taken right where the water wells up out of the ground on Armstrong Spring Creek.
This was taken right where the water wells up out of the ground on Armstrong Spring Creek.
Shown Full Size
This is one of my biggest Montana spring creek fish - of course on top!
This is one of my biggest Montana spring creek fish - of course on top!
View Full SizeView Full Size (1.1X larger)
A wonderful SW Montana spring creek.
A wonderful SW Montana spring creek.
View Full SizeView Full Size (2.5X larger)
Another view of the same bridge stretch twenty-five years later
Another view of the same bridge stretch twenty-five years later
Shown Full Size
Shown Full Size
View Full SizeView Full Size (2.5X larger)
The name says it all
The name says it all
View Full SizeView Full Size (2.1X larger)
Upstream from the bridge pool
Upstream from the bridge pool
WbranchApril 28th, 2014, 10:04 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2583
Thought I'd showcase some of my many Montana spring creek pictures. Many are scanned print film hence the lesser quality while others are pure digital. Enjoy and questions are welcomed.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
EntomanApril 28th, 2014, 10:41 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Thanks, Matt. I especially enjoyed the Spring - Fall photos of the same location. That water looks somewhat familiar (hehe). Btw - he's one of my heroes too. True gentleman and a class act.

Oh... Look at all that hair! :)
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
WbranchApril 28th, 2014, 11:04 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2583
Talking about hair ---

< />

< />
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
OldredbarnApril 28th, 2014, 11:17 pm
Novi, MI

Posts: 2599
Good stuff Matt! Are we supposed to guess at the mystery "idol" or do you want to keep it a secret? You ran in lofty circles back in those days. :)

When did you first become aware of the spring creeks? After all you were a boy from the east. How did you get interested in such an intense way in fly fishing?

Those early days of our youth were incredible, no?! We didn't seem so concerned about things as a kid. Rambling around with good friends...I look back at some of the things I did and shake my head. Risk wasn't even part of our vocabulary. One of my favorite lines of Dylan's was, "I was so much older then, I'm younger than that now."

Thanks for sharing, Matt!

Spence
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
WbranchApril 28th, 2014, 11:37 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2583
Hi Spence,

How the heck are you? I just PM'ed Kurt to mention I'd not seen any posts from you lately and was wondering if everything was okay.

You wrote;

You ran in lofty circles back in those days. :)

When did you first become aware of the spring creeks? After all you were a boy from the east. How did you get interested in such an intense way in fly fishing?


Yep, back in them olden days I saw many of them and met a few too. Kurt & I are wondering just how many of the whippersnappers on this forum are going to know the name of the gentleman on the right in the photo. If you are less than fifty you probably don't have a clue.

My interest in spring creeks came about quite by accident. The first year I went to Montana was in 1968. I was working as a toolmaker in an aerospace company in NJ. I had just two weeks vacation but management liked me so much they gave me another two weeks off without pay. I'd actually tendered my resignation so I could go to MT and my Dad thought I was nuts.

So I took my 1967 Pontiac GTO and loaded it up with fishing rods (back then it was two Leonard Baby Catskills 7' #4, an Orvis Battenkill 7 1/2' #5, and a Fenwick 8 1/2' #6) some clothes, and whatever flies a had at the time (not very many and no little stuff)

When I got to Livingston I went straight to Dan Bailey's. Of course he was still alive and active in the store. His son John was quite a few years younger than me. I asked him where I could find some dry fly fishing and he told me about Armstrong and how to get there. He showed me the only flies they had in the shop to imitate the PMD's. To this day I can remember they were basically just #16 Light Cahills and were very heavily hackled. They sucked at catching fish and I was clipping the hackle on the bottom and thinning the hackle within the first few days.

I've mentioned this before but back them Armstrong was not a pay to fish operation. It had five or six sponsors. One being 3M - I can't remember if they were called Scientic Anglers yet. Also Lucky Seven beer and a few others I can't remember. There was no limit on how many people could fish per day. It was not crowded that first year but the second year it was no longer a secret (but I can't help wondering how it fished for all the decasdes and decades before fly fishing became so popular)
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
OldredbarnApril 29th, 2014, 12:09 am
Novi, MI

Posts: 2599
I took my 1967 Pontiac GTO


Now that's one classy fishing wagon! Growing up here in Detroit that car of yours was dreamed about. We had one guy in my school in high school with one and we all envied him! Nice!

I was up in Grayling this past weekend for the opening day hoopla. There was little fishing with the rivers swollen and it still being so damn cold. We had a record winter here for snowfall and the deer up north look horrible...Ribs hanging out etc.

A good friend of mine just bought a cabin on the Holy Water in a primo spot. The cabin was built in the 30's and he had it blasted somehow with corn cobs? It looks wonderful. I'd love to show you this area sometime...There is a ton of tradition and some of it is pretty cool.

For example: There is a little unnamed feeder stream that crosses his yard and dumps into the river at the end of his property. It isn't very wide, and there is a little wooden bridge over it. In the middle of the bridge is a trap door. Inside the trap door is a bottomless drum and for many years the home owner kept cans of beer in there.

When guides would slide by they would grab a beer once and a while and replace them a few days later. My friend has decided to continue the tradition and I helped him load it up this weekend.

I have viewed this all from the river over the years...Don't pay too much attention to the cabins. This stretch has some nice fish and a rather famous large Brown that lives along the break wall...Unfortunately, this has gotten out, and its a hoot watching these guys stopping and trying their luck here...The current seams are tough and most of them leave sheepishly and move on downstream after awhile.

The trout has a name, but I'll leave it at that. :)

This stretch was part of my very first wade on the Au Sable, when my buddy then took me there for the first time. Nearly every pool here has a name. Storied water.

We stayed at a lodge that was rather dumpy for many years. A doctor bought it and brought everything up to code. We were living large...Everything new. I stayed in the main lodge and we also had a few small cabins there reserved for our club. Had a remote controlled gas fireplace and a sliding door that went out on a dock that looked straight upstream. This particular spot is a ways down from where I normally fish...It is better to fish from a boat, and I made jokes that I've been by here many times, but in the dark, in the middle of the night...It's Hex water.

On open day morning we have a memorial breakfast upstairs at the "board room" at Gates' Lodge. We have pastry, bloody Mary's, mimosa, etc, and remember our friends who have passed away over the preceding year.

I took up a couple pictures of a friend of mine that was originally from Canada. When he was 19 or so he married a local girl. He decided after a couple weeks it wasn't going to work out so he took her home to her parents. He was out fishing in the river when her father walked up to the rivers edge and shouted, "Are you sure there's no way we couldn't work this out?" He said no, it was done, and that was it. :) Not even sure if it was legally annulled.

Spence

Josh who runs the Lodge now gave me a lunch menu to show me they have included some vego options for this vegetarian...One is called "The Dirty Hippie"...

Back when Rusty was alive, his wife Julie ran the kitchen and I hassled her for years to add something to the dinner menu for me...She would tell me to leave her alone, "and why should I add something for you when you and I know you are never off the river at dinner time!" :)
"Even when my best efforts fail it's a satisfying challenge, and that, after all, is the essence of fly fishing." -Chauncy Lively

"Envy not the man who lives beside the river, but the man the river flows through." Joseph T Heywood
WbranchApril 29th, 2014, 12:58 am
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2583
Mack,

Wow Matt I can't believe the difference at the bridge between then and now thanks for sharing.


The reason there is so much aquatic weed growth in the 1st pic compared to the 2nd pic is because #1 was taken in mid to late August when it was very hot and the weeds were really prolific. Picture two was taken the 3rd week in June in 2008 and the weed growth had just not really started to grow yet. The fishing in 2008 was as good as it was when I first fished it in 1969 and again in 1987. The difference in 2008 was we did not catch one single rainbow which was disappointing.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
CrepuscularApril 29th, 2014, 11:45 am
Boiling Springs, PA

Posts: 919
Matt, thanks for posting. Wonderful stuff. One day I will get there...
PaulRobertsApril 29th, 2014, 7:54 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Very fun to see. Thanks for those Matt. Strange how familiar and at the same time, dated, those images are.
GutcutterApril 29th, 2014, 10:57 pm
Pennsylvania

Posts: 470


Yep, back in them olden days I saw many of them and met a few too. Kurt & I are wondering just how many of the whippersnappers on this forum are going to know the name of the gentleman on the right in the photo. If you are less than fifty you probably don't have a clue.

Matt
I don't know if you consider me a whipper snapper, or not, but did your idol happen to fish with a blonde?
All men who fish may in turn be divided into two parts: those who fish for trout and those who don't. Trout fishermen are a race apart: they are a dedicated crew- indolent, improvident, and quietly mad.

-Robert Traver, Trout Madness
PaulRobertsApril 29th, 2014, 11:02 pm
Colorado

Posts: 1776
That's Dan Bailey. At least that's his hat. Yes? Or did someone steal his hat??!
EntomanApril 30th, 2014, 1:23 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Close, Paul. They were very good friends...:) Tony is right - he did enjoy fishing with blondes.
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
PaulRobertsApril 30th, 2014, 2:11 am
Colorado

Posts: 1776
Joe Brooks!
EntomanApril 30th, 2014, 2:50 am
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
HeHe. You're no whippersnapper! :)
"It's not that I find fishing so important, it's just that I find all other endeavors of Man equally unimportant... And not nearly as much fun!" Robert Traver, Anatomy of a Fisherman
BrookymanApril 30th, 2014, 1:51 pm
Banned
Posts: 797
I know at almost 48 I am a whippersnapper but I love this history.
Banned for threatening another user and then trying to circumvent a kinder "soft" ban with fake accounts
WbranchApril 30th, 2014, 2:04 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2583
Compared to me most guys on this forum are considerably younger than me. I'm actually selling a couple of rods, Wheatley fly boxes, Perrine fly boxes, and other stuff at www.paflyfish.com. PM me for a list of stuff I'm selling.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

Quick Reply

You have to be logged in to post on the forum. It's this easy:
Username:          Email:

Password:    Confirm Password:

I am at least 13 years old and agree to the rules.

Related Discussions

TitleRepliesLast Reply
Re: Whew!
In General Discussion by Taxon
8May 22, 2010
by Martinlf
Re: BodyColor?
In Capniidae Stonefly Adult by DarkDun
12Jan 11, 2007
by Softhackle
Re: Delaware River System
In Fishing Reports by Wbranch
3May 13, 2015
by Catskilljon
Re: Wisconsin Early Season
In the Photography Board by West
1Mar 26, 2009
by West
Re: Flies getting smaller
In General Discussion by GoofusBug
7Jan 3, 2009
by Martinlf
West Yellowstone Area in August
In Fly Tying by Oldredbarn
0
Re: looking to spring
In General Discussion by Bowmandjk
2Dec 28, 2008
by Aaron7_8
Re: Great Summer Job on the Madison River, by West Yellowstone!
In General Discussion by Wiflyfisher
6May 28, 2008
by Mtskibum
Re: Opening Day 2011 Grayling MI
In Fishing Reports by Oldredbarn
1May 12, 2011
by Flyman85
Re: Gumaga sp.
(1 more)

In the Identify This! Board by Millcreek
4Feb 17, 2015
by Creno
Most Recent Posts
Re: Bitterroot river April mayfly nymph ?
In the Identify This! Board by Leskorcala (Millcreek replied)
Re: PA Trout Season
In General Discussion by Wbranch
Montana Western March Brown Dun
In the Photography Board by Leskorcala
Re: Selecting a reel
In Beginner Help by AllanM83 (Gene_PA replied)
Re: Shelter in Place
In General Discussion by Wbranch
Re: The Coppler Creek canyon - some nice pics from last fall to help you survive the Apocalypse
In the Photography Board by Jmd123 (Wbranch replied)
Re: My wild & crazy Flordia trip part 3: hotel room and other fun stuff
In the Photography Board by Jmd123
Re: I hope all of you doing well!
In General Discussion by Partsman (Jmd123 replied)
Re: Hyrnia operation
In General Discussion by Hunter1
Re: Thunder Creek flies
In Fly Tying by Dbinmt (Wbranch replied)