As our trip to see Joel and Deb Thompson of Montana Troutaholic Outfitters was winding down this past October, we spent our last day on the water on a stretch of the Clark Fork River that we thought should give up some trout eating BWO's (they really didn't) and streamer chases (which they kind of did). Guide Rick Marcum from the Grizzly Hackle jumped in on the trip and we had a great time in the drift boat together. It had been a few years since I last saw Rick and it was really good to catch up.
The morning started out cool with thick fog that took a few hours to fully burn off. Getting the boats into the river and loaded up was a fun challenge since Joel and Deb had brought all three of their pups for the trip and Riley, the yellow lab, was especially excited. Once underway, everyone settled down and the pups couldn't have been more fun to have on this day on the river.
If you're new here, the Montana trip started with a series of shop visits and fly fishing around Bozeman that can be seen HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE. I still have an interesting story to tell with Bozeman Reel Company that I'll share soon and Joel is going to tell the story of his vintage Chevrolet Suburban. If there is a cooler "Guide Rig", I don't know what it is. Also, if you missed the last two posts from this Montana series, you can find them HERE and HERE. Tough to beat a week in early October in the 406, even if fishing was tougher than it should have been.
This day on the Clark Fork River was a lot of crashing the banks with small streamers trying to move a big fish. I caught a few, missed a few, and moved a few. More than anything, I just took in the view which changed moment by moment as we moved down the river and as sun and blue skies replaced low hanging fog. I stayed in the backseat and snapped a few images. We had a late afternoon lunch finishing off the last of our hard meats, cheeses, crackers, cold brews, and a few sips of whiskey.
Certainly not a bad way to end a week in Montana. Slow scroll for the photographs...
Joel, Deb, and Rick, thanks for a really fun day on the river. Your hospitality through the week was greatly appreciated.
If you ever find yourself in the Missoula area and are looking for a guide to spend the day with, look up Montana Troutaholic Outfitters. There are a lot of fly shops in the Missoula area but maybe none finer than the Grizzly Hackle. It's worth stopping by and plan to hang out a bit.