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Johnvan61June 20th, 2014, 2:47 pm

Posts: 9
I have fly fished for almost 30 years , seems like a nice informative site. Most of my fishing was done in western Massachusetts and northwestern Connecticutt. I have been itching to go to Montana for years now. If I do where would a "tenderfoot" like me go for a first time self guided trip? Thanks---John
"my mind is like oatmeal"
MartinlfJune 22nd, 2014, 11:52 pm
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3233
John, welcome to the site. One of our members more informed about the West than I will probably respond soon.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell
GusJune 23rd, 2014, 3:57 pm

Posts: 59
Welcome John!
I haven't fished there myself but a buddy of mine fishes the Thompson outside of Kalispell every year and has had great success.
When were you thinking of headed down there?
"How do you help that son of a bitch?"

"By taking him fishing"

-A River Runs Through It
EntomanJune 23rd, 2014, 9:16 pm
Northern CA & ID

Posts: 2604
Hi John,

Welcome to the forum.

It's a big state - do you have a region in mind? If you are going self-guided without access to a driftboat, it's hard to beat the Park for your first visit. Trying to reserve a day or two on one of the Paradise Valley spring creeks would be good as well.
"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
Johnvan61June 24th, 2014, 8:00 am

Posts: 9
Thanks for the welcome. I am thinking if I am able to do it this year I will try in the fall, Maybe September or October.---John
"my mind is like oatmeal"
WbranchJune 24th, 2014, 7:58 pm
York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2733
I've fished Montana over forty times. Back when I was a younger fellow I would spend June, July, and August trying my luck on many rivers in SW Montana. I've only used a guide twice in all the hundreds of days I've fished out there. Admittedly there are some big rivers where a good guide is necessary but there are dozens and dozens of smaller rivers and streams where you can wade fish without a guide.

As Kurt mentioned it would be hard to beat fishing in YNP for your first western experience. You can fish the Madison, Gibbon, Firehole, Lewis River, Lamar & Soda Butte rivers and dozens of lesser known waters.

Another option to fishing in YNP would be to base in Ennis, MT as the Madison flows right through town. The better water would be south of Ennis about 30+ miles. You could start around the Three Dollar Bridge and keep moving back to Ennis as the day progresses. While still in Ennis you could take a day trip over to Dillon to fish the Beaverhead or go to the Melrose area and try the Big Hole. Both the Beaverhead and especially the Big Hole can be severely dewatered in the summer time due to the demands of irrigation so you would want to keep your eyes on the USGS site for Montana as well as calling Frontier Anglers in Dillon for stream reports.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.

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