Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Gallatin River - USA 2015

I spent a couple of hours fishing the Gallatin River today. It's definitely one of the most scenic rivers in Montana, so pleasing on the eye that some of the scenes from 'A River Runs Through It' were filmed on it instead of the book's Blackfoot River. But with its natural beauty and a main road running along side it for almost its entire length comes a price - it's probably Montana's most pounded river.

White water rafters receiving last minute instructions before they hit the rapids

The view from my campsite

I found a quiet spot in the river's canyon section, meant to be its most productive, and with my first cast tempted a little trout of about 7 inches to take a black rubber leg stonefly nymph.

The Gallatin's trout don't grow especially large. My guidebook says mature fish hit the 12 to 14 inch mark with only a handful over 20 inches caught every year.  I caught five more rainbows in fairly swift succession and the largest was 11 inches.

The very next fish felt a little different as soon as the indicator checked. The fish immediately started stripping line and once it hit the fast current it kept going and I watched my backing start to fly through the rod guides. The Gallatin's rocks are slippery and I precariously followed as fast as I could. Somehow I managed to keep myself dry and the fish on the line, and when it tired I was able to catch up to it several hundred yards downriver from where it was hooked. The tortoise always beat the hare.

I netted the fish and left it in the water while I took a few minutes to recover my breath! I think this is a pretty decent fish for the Gallatin and with the biggest, stupidest grin on my face I packed up thinking it was unlikely to be beaten today.

A typical Montana scene

In case you ever wondered where your waders come from - Bozeman, MT

I hit the road, Yellowstone National Park my destination and a life long dream about to come true...