Greetings from Montana!
The second Montana Road Trip is flying by. After departing the airport, we drove to the Upper Madison Valley, where we set up camp. After some great fishing on the upper Madison, we moved camp to the Ruby Reservoir yesterday morning. Our next move hinges on the weather and water conditions.
The trip started with a bang. By the time we had finished the hour-long drive to our camp outside of Ennis, the group felt more like the entire group has been friends for years. We all talked excitedly about the trip plan before an early bedtime to get ready for our first day on the water.
Unseasonably warm and dry weather has provided some challenges and even some river closures to protect the trout who depend on highly oxygenated cold water to survive. Luckily our camp is a short drive from all the best wade fishing on the Upper Madison. So we have been getting up early to fish the coldest part of the day, cooling off with an afternoon swim, eating early dinners, and hitting the water again from when it cools off until dark. This plan has been working great, and everyone had caught a fish within the first hour of the first morning, and the fishing only gets better in the evenings.
Yesterday we moved camp to the Ruby Resovoir, just above the tailwater section of the Ruby. The dam provides cold water which means happy fish, even with lower than normal flows. Yesterday evening provides some of the best fishing of the trip thus far. Bugs were hatching everywhere, and the fish were rising eagerly. We are all excited to fish the Ruby for two more days before we move on to our next spot.
Where we head from hear has not been set in stone yet. We will likely head into Yellowstone, where there is still plenty of cold water to be found. One option is to head to a rarely visited section of the park to fish a river full of some of the biggest rainbow trout in the park. The other option is to head toward Paradise Valley to fish the Yellowstone River, Gardner, and possibly the Lamar Valley. We will leave the final decision up to the group, but they can't really go wrong with either one.
We will post another update on the 22nd to let you know what we decided.
Pat, Yantis, Connor, and Jeff