Drift Spotlight #1: Montana Part 2

I awoke quite groggy with the heat of the morning setting in quickly in my Golite Trig 1 tent. As I unzipped the door, I could smell the fresh, crisp Montana air. I looked around and it seemed like most had moved on with their travels. What time was it? Had to be around 9 am.

Nope. It was closer to noon.

Wow – I thought, I’ve wasted so much time! I wanted to fish the Maddy before I hit the road. I made the decision to just pack up and get on the road and head back into the park, to really spend some time there. I was pumped once the decision was made.

The park was absolutely amazing. I had never seen anything quite like Yellowstone. Endless wilderness and a sense of extreme isolation in some parts. Almost like you were alone, but you weren’t because it felt like there could be a grizzly around every thicket. It was awesome…yet a little unnerving as I pulled over at spots to check out the water and to shoot photos.

I knew my time was limited today as my schedule for the rest of the trip was pretty set in stone. I would drive and drive and see something interesting, pull over, shoot a photo or two , and then get back on the road. Not quite the best way to experience the park, and I don’t recommend that tactic if you are thinking of going. But it was what I had to do.

I found a cool spot along the road. Nez Perce Creek would be my spot to toss a few flies today. The stream is a 14.4-mile out-and-back that crosses picturesque meadows and traces a trout-filled stream. It looked amazing. I suited up and grabbed by fly boxes.

As I walked the banks further away from the road I noticed the sky changing a bit. It had started out as a very sunny afternoon, but had a little bit of chill starting to develop as the wind picked up. Rain? Not sure but I pressed on. A father and son appeared from one of the turns and walked towards me. It started to drizzle.

I said hello and we chatted for a few seconds. They had seen a “ton” of trout and wanted to get back to their vehicle before the rain started to come down harder. Both weren’t dressed for the weather. I was pumped to hear the news, and continued along the banks – scoping for a big boy.

The sky was getting darker with each step I took toward my quarry. Plus the fact that I didn’t have bear spray, and was in a large meadow with limited visibility made me a little nervous. I tossed a few flies, had some great drifts and then lightning. Bummer. The rain picked up and the stream surface rippled with raindrops. It got cold. I got cold. The fishing got cold.

Unfortunately I headed back to the Subaru. I didn’t catch a trout on Nez Perce that day, but had fished my first Yellowstone stretch of water. My first western water. I was still pumped. And thanking Chad for showing me this wonderful, humbling opportunity. ~Drifter07