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Bighole Quad-fecta! #14156041 09/26/19
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VarmintGuy Online Content OP
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My friend from Arizona was staying with me last week and we fly fished all over SW Montana.
Had a great time fishing lakes, rivers and streams.
The last day we fished we did the upper Bighole about 7 miles north of Wisdom, Montana.
The day was just glorious and we were treated to catching four kinds of fish.
Brook Trout, Brown Trout, Grayling and Whitefish (galore and up to 19"!)
If we had had more time I would have headed further north (downstream) and tried for a fifth type of fish down where the Rainbows are sometimes found.
I used Grasshoppers mostly but later switched to a small bead head Pheasant Tail nymph under the new screw on top strike indicator (bobber!).
An absolutely beautiful day with much wildlife and bird life constantly in view - everything from Mink to Elk and Curlews to Golden Eagles.
Perhaps the highlight of my fishing during the week was catching what I think was an East Slope Cutthroat about 18" long on a Grasshopper.
The lake he was in was at 8,350' elevation and to say he was "perky" (strong!) was an understatement!
Hold into the wind
VarmintGuy

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Re: Bighole Quad-fecta! [Re: VarmintGuy] #14172546 10/02/19
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Slope77 Offline
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I knew there was a reason I’ve wanted to move to MT for the last 30+ years.

Re: Bighole Quad-fecta! [Re: VarmintGuy] #14172605 10/02/19
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Pugs Offline
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Very nice - I've not gotten the graying yet but they're on the hit list. grin


To be really happy and really safe, one ought to have at least two or three hobbies, and they must all be real.”― Winston S. Churchill
Re: Bighole Quad-fecta! [Re: VarmintGuy] #14173032 10/02/19
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WyoCoyoteHunter Offline
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Excellent!!!!! Montana is awesome.. The Big Hole a slice of Heaven...


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Re: Bighole Quad-fecta! [Re: WyoCoyoteHunter] #14184629 10/07/19
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VarmintGuy Online Content OP
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Slope77, Pugs & WyoCoyoteHunter: I have to add this follow up to my original post.
My friend from Arizona left and in came a friend from Seattle.
He was hot to get up to the Bighole River and get in on the fine fishing that I had enjoyed just 8 days before!
Problem was (turned out to be!) a massive and very cold snow storm had hit SW Montana during that time and the water temperature had plummeted!
In that upper stretch of the Bighole I am sure the water temperature had dropped near 20 degrees!
At high noon the air temperature was still only 29 degrees.
Alas we fished all day and had only 4 strikes and I caught the LONE fish of the day, a 14" Grayling that hit a bead headed Pheasant Tail nymph fished 18" under a strike indicator (small bobber!).
We had a blast though, visiting and munching on sandwiches and cashews and had a couple beers apiece.
Did see two bunches of Elk.
Headed downriver late in the day and more folks were fishing down between Dewey and Divide.
I took a terrible tumble into a batch of brambles and lit upon them and a bed of coffee can size rocks - thank goodness I did not break my flyrod!
Still picking slivers out of my forearms, hands and fingers!
First fall on my artificial knee and it was a doozy!
It seems to be working fairly well after the impact though.
Anyway my point is "conditions" sure changed quick - not ONE grasshopper seen all day.
Hold into the wind
VarmintGuy

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Re: Bighole Quad-fecta! [Re: VarmintGuy] #14184809 10/07/19
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WyoCoyoteHunter Offline
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Thanks for the update... Glad you survived ok!!! Any more I seldom make just a fishing trip... I try to have other things to do and if the fishing is good fine, if not I have other plans... Too many things can screw up a fishing trip completely.. Best of luck.. I only caught one brown this year and it was a nice one.. May work in a bit of fishing between hunts.. My step daughter is coming for a week and she loves to fish.. We will see...


Molon Labe
Re: Bighole Quad-fecta! [Re: VarmintGuy] #14189007 10/09/19
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I am fortunate to fish Montana yearly, this year being the Beaverhead mostly as the fish were just slamming anything I threw within 2 inches of shore. Plus, just the opposite happened to us on Big Hole....too warm in August so fish in am to about noon...shut down. I am also fortunate to have a good friend who has a house in Twin Bridges. Having lived in Alaska for years and now Nevada, Montana is the best of both worlds. The people are the best and treat you like we have known each other all our life! By the way, having caught and ate enough fish in my lifetime to satisfy anyone, I am a pretty dedicated catch and release advocate! I know a lot are in Montana which keeps these great fisheries so bountiful! Enjoy...fish on!

Re: Bighole Quad-fecta! [Re: VarmintGuy] #14192165 10/10/19
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ismith Offline
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East Slope Cutthroat?

Re: Bighole Quad-fecta! [Re: VarmintGuy] #14648926 03/10/20
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VarmintGuy Online Content OP
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Ismith: Pardon me for not noticing your posting (query) sooner.
It may seem to some that I miss-spoke or miss-identified the "West Slope Cutthroat" - it is the custom hereabouts to refer to the West Slope Cutthroats caught "east" of the Continental Divide as "East Slope Cutthroat".
It is probably incorrect or an inaccuracy but it is what it is and is what many of us do.

Link: https://www.fws.gov/fisheries/freshwater-fish-of-america/westslope_cutthroat_trout.html

Whether they are east of the "slope" or west of it they are fun to catch and a beautiful trout indeed.
By the way the lake where I caught "said fish" was just a few hundred feet east of the Continental Divide (Idaho/Montana border).
I hope that "trout" survived the winter up there and gives me a chance at him again this summer! I'll bet he will be pushing 20" maybe 21".
Hold into the wind
VarmintGuy

Re: Bighole Quad-fecta! [Re: VarmintGuy] #14655552 03/12/20
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1minute Offline
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Lots of great angling in that Wy/Mt region. Very envious.

Here's a shot of a Snake River Cut. Seem to be a sucker for a downstream gold ribbed hares ear in the fall.
[Linked Image from i.postimg.cc]


1Minute
IC-B

Re: Bighole Quad-fecta! [Re: 1minute] #14677107 03/18/20
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VarmintGuy Online Content OP
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1minute: Beautiful trout and a beautiful picture - thanks for sharing.
I have written down that "gold ribbed hares ear" suggestion for next fall!
Thanks for that.
I have crossed the Snake River, literally, a thousand times and yet I have never fished it!
I was with my step-grandfather on the Snake when I was a youngster when he caught a giant Sturgeon.
Keep up the good work.
Hold into the wind
VarmintGuy

Re: Bighole Quad-fecta! [Re: VarmintGuy] #14678879 03/18/20
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VarmintGuy: That fish was actually taken from a Snake River tributary. Grays River where it hits the Snake in Alpine, Wyoming. I think any nymph on a downstream swing will nail them in Oct/Nov. Dead drifting does not seem to generate much interest.


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