I got to Missoula too late for dinner so I had to resort to eating at a Burger King!! I haven’t eaten fast food for years. Yuck, but oh well. Slept well at the downtown Doubletree hotel, a place I played music at in my past life. Plan to fly fish on Rock Creek today but I will stop in at a few places first.
First things first – a good cup of coffee! Black Coffee Roasting Company was a very cool place. the smell from outside the building was amazing. I think they roast more coffee there than they brew and it seemed that they brewed alot!
I couldn’t believe I saw this Ford Pinto parked outside the coffee shop! It still looks like a piece of junk just like it did when they first came out in 1971. At least it is a wagon and not the hatchback.
Downtown Missoula with the Clark Fork River running right through town.
This is the furthest from home I have decided to travel – I will pass the one day at Glacier National Park that I was going to do. 2273 miles to get back home. Wow! I really do miss Barbee, Natalie, Bubba, Lulu and Meemaw! Too far away…
Stopped in at my old fly shop Grizzly Hackle. It was in business when I lived here twenty years ago and is still going strong with a recent remodel of the interior.
A very comfortable layout.
Heidi the store pup! Spoke with Rick and Matt and they were glad to help out with flies, locations, etc…
Missoula is at about 3800 feet in elevation. I stopped for some ice for the cooler and saw the HO-HO’s next to the checkout. I know I just complained about Burger King but my friend Steve from Sheboygan started something years ago that seemed to work quite well – some HO-HO MOJO. We always had good luck fly fishing on the days we ate the HO-HO’s.
On I-90 headed east and saw the “M” on the side of the mountain. The “M” doesn’t stand for Missoula as one would think but for “Main Hall” at the University of Montana.
The Clark Fork river east of Missoula and my exit to Rock Creek!
A great little outfitter at the beginning of Rock Creek Road.
Some great info on the boards outside the entrance
John and Carolyn working the store. Carolyn gave me some great tips on where to fish and John made some great suggestions for flies to use.
Store Dog Bobbie – a real sweet doggie! I met Matt (loving on Bobbie) from Portland, OR. He was visiting the area with his wife and kids. He owns a helicopter tour business and offered to trade up guide trips for copter rides. Interesting as he mentioned he knows a few secret spots to fly fish closer to Portland. Any way, he asked if I would be OK with picking out a dozen flies for him to use on Rock Creek. I filled out a box for each of us with identical flies and asked to compare notes afterwards. Hope he did well!
the lower end of Rock creek
A cold day today.Had to wear a coat on the river as high temp of 69 with a brisk wind was the order of the day.
Nice to see a whitetail? deer crossing the creek in front of me.
Some pics of the location I started to fish on.
A very nice Brown Trout caught on a dry-dropper rig.
Some bugs for you all – mostly Caddis and Midges with some Mayflies as well. Water temp was about average at 63 degrees.
Check out this link of underwater Caddis Larvae activity:
Some of you had asked about the gear choices I used on this trip. I had four rods that I brought on this trip with me.
Scott G2 7’7″ 2wt with a Galvan Spoke reel and Wulff Taper fly line-My small stream dry fly rod
Scott G2 8’4″ 4wt with a Lamson Lightspeed reel and Wulff Taper fly line-my all purpose rod that I used the most, usually with a dry dropper combo.
Sage One 9′ 5 wt with a Bauer MacKenzie CFX2 reel with Scientific Anglers Textured Trout line – My heavy duty double nymph rod that scoured the depths of the deepest holes in the river.
Scott X2S 9ft 8wt with a Galvan T-8 reel and a Wulff Predator sink tip, clear tip line – Didn’t use it on this trip but I brought it along with me in case the water was high and I needed to streamer fish.
I used the 2 wt with a dry fly only on the Brookie streams in Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone National Parks. Lot’s of fun as the 9″ fish felt like whoppers every time!
I used the 4 wt on most of the creeks and caught most of my fish on it. It performed so well in windy conditions laying the dry out softly with great control and accuracy without spooking the fish. I LOVE this rod!!!!
I used the 5 wt for double nymphing in the deep holes with hopes of catching some whoppers on it. Most of the large fish I caught on this trip were caught with this rig.
A few pics of the river upstream and downstream of me.
Even though he was only 9 inches it was a beautiful Rainbow Trout on a dry fly.
A very nice Rainbow on the dropper.
More views of Rock Creek as I move up.
Another amazing Brown Trout!
Another small Rainbow but man are the beautiful or what??
A beautiful log home on the river – too bad it wasn’t for sale – then again I probably wouldn’t be able to afford it anyway.
The trail back to the van..
So there’s this feeder creek on the way back to the van that’s only 3 feet wide at best – I have to throw a dry fly in there just to see – bam! a 10″ Rainbow! Just like that.
A herd of Bighorn Sheep along the road.
Back in Missoula in time for dinner tonight! I finally got a really good meal at the Redbird. A Missoula staple for over 20 years. Yum!!
Finished the night with a dark roast coffee before bed and a pastry for the morning.
Time for bed.