View Full Version : Chasing Rainbows and Gold

Big Skyz
09-08-2015, 09:55 AM
With a 7 mile round trip of hiking in mostly steep country, I did question my sanity a time or two as to whether I really needed to be chasing rainbows and gold colored spawning West Slope Cutthroat trout. However the fishing was so good, I quickly decided that yes indeed I was sane and the effort was worth it.

Here is one of the few level spots on the trail.

One the way in I ran across this fresh track that reminded me I was not alone.

On my very first cast this beautifully marked chunky little rainbow hit.

He was followed by countless West Slope cutthroat like this one. I honestly lost count of how many of these feisty little fish I caught.

The creek was tiny and crystal clear. It was hard to not spook fish. I only caught two rainbow trout, but this second one was pretty darn decent considering the tiny skinny water I was fishing. He measured right at 15.25".

I knew when I saw this hole that it would produce.

It took my a couple of cast to get my presentation just right, but once I did, it produced one of the prettiest cutthroats I've ever seen.

Eventually I knew I had to leave and make the long steep ascent back out. I decided to catch one more fish and then go. This pretty little cutthroat obliged me.

I huffed and I puffed, I berated myself for not losing that 30 lbs I'd promised myself I would. My legs and lungs burned, but finally I reached the top of the summit and new I was going to be okay because the remainder of the hike would be down hill. About 250 yards from the truck I turned around and took one last photo of the trail that led me to great fishing I had just experienced.

As I turned back around I heard a rustle in the tree near me and saw this little fellow bidding me a farewell. All I can say is, WHAT A GREAT TRIP!

09-08-2015, 10:05 AM
Best trip report of the year! Good photos and great story, Troy! Looks like one of those days when you get home and plop down to rest you still have those images flashng in your head for hours. What a satisfying feeling!


09-08-2015, 10:10 AM
Has anybody ever told you that you live in Heaven? ;)

09-08-2015, 12:28 PM
Nicely done. Thanks for that, seriously!

Big Muddy
09-08-2015, 02:19 PM
Great report, Sky....I can identify with your feeling of solitude and success....I do a lot of springtime wade-fishing for spawning crappie, in places so remote that I know nobody else would even attempt the trek thru the button willows and moccasins to try it....haha, don't know if I could handle a bear, however. ;)

Sandy woulda been all over that squirrel. ;)

It's a great feeling!!!....keep it up, buddy!!!

Big Skyz
09-08-2015, 02:51 PM
Big Muddy, I'll take a bear over a snake any day. One of the things I like best about fishing in this high mountain creeks is that I don't have to deal with snakes. I'm at more risk of falling and getting hurt while wading the creek, than I am at risk of getting attacked by a bear or mountain lion. While both animals exist where I'm fishing, both are very reclusive and encounters are few and far between. Bear season opens on the 15th of this month. I kind'a wish I would run into to one once the season opens.

Big Muddy
09-08-2015, 05:45 PM
Sky, surely you carry some sorta firearm, when you trek into those places alone, don't you???

09-08-2015, 06:54 PM
A bear over a snake???? Seriously???


A bear is carnivorous. He is one of the fastest land mammals in North America. He can climb trees, fast. He can swim. He can run, fast. He can rare up on two legs, or run on four. He travels in packs sometimes. He makes awful noises, and has extremely nasty breath.

I don't want near any bears! (However, we have a PLETHORA of bears at deer camp, first time in history......their range has never been that area........but they are all over the county. The light pole in front yard of camp is torn up!)

Snakes??? Boom, snake gone. No problem. Bears? Not so easy.

Big Muddy
09-08-2015, 07:13 PM
Haha, Bucky, somebody's prolly pulling your leg with those bear clawings on the light pole....in college, there was a guy in my dorm who would follow me around to all my good hunting spots on Noxubee Refuge, just outside Starkville....finally, I got tired of him, and took my skinning knife, and scratched up the bark on all the saplings on a long ridge line, that began 50 feet from busy hiway #12....then, I made numerous buck scrapes with my boots....the whole area looked like a big buck was really working that ridge line....he hung a climber stand within feet of the hiway, and hunted it the entire season. ;)

09-08-2015, 07:17 PM
Nope. Camera shots. Eyewitness sightings.

This is from last year during the youth hunt. This is not 800 yards from the front yard of camp. Three camps around us, guys have pics of about 9 bears (most is 9, some are 3 or 4) at a corn feeder. Those are not but a few miles from us.

http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk131/Buck7088/Hunting%20Album/Bear2014a_zpsb487a63b.jpg (http://s279.photobucket.com/user/Buck7088/media/Hunting%20Album/Bear2014a_zpsb487a63b.jpg.html)

Big Muddy
09-08-2015, 07:22 PM
Heck, that's nothing but a little chupacabra. ;)

09-08-2015, 07:25 PM
http://i279.photobucket.com/albums/kk131/Buck7088/Hunting%20Album/Bear2014b_zpsb71b9a09.jpg (http://s279.photobucket.com/user/Buck7088/media/Hunting%20Album/Bear2014b_zpsb71b9a09.jpg.html)

09-08-2015, 07:26 PM
You say we ain't got bears, and we're covered stinking up.

Cappy says we ain't got Mt. Lions, and we got at least two.

That's fine..........me an my .45 will be there this weekend! :)

Big Muddy
09-08-2015, 07:30 PM
Tongue-in-cheek, bro. ;)

09-08-2015, 09:12 PM


Big Skyz
09-08-2015, 09:59 PM
No I don't carry a firearm most of the time when I'm fishing. I've spent my whole life in black bear and mountain lion country. Nearly every bear or cat runs away once they know you are there. In fact I highly suspect the bear that made the track I photographed stepped out on the trail. Realized I was headed his way, and boogied out of there. I wish rattle snakes would sense my presence from a couple hundred yards away and leave. Truth is I am a snake magnet. Ask any of my closest hunting partners they will verify it. I hate snakes but they sure like to hang around me. I really mean it when I say I'd rather deal with a black bear than a snake. I've been around a lot of bears and snakes, bears are a lot more pleasant to deal with.

Chicken Dinner
09-08-2015, 10:10 PM
I've been around black bears enough to not be overly afraid of them. (I see a fair amount of them during deer season and respect them.) Keep a clean camp and you mostly won't see them if they know you're around. I did some hiking out in Grizzly country a couple of years ago and that definitely takes some getting used to.

Big Skyz
09-08-2015, 11:24 PM
Grizzly Bears are a whole different issue for me. Those suckers flat out scare me!

09-09-2015, 11:33 AM
They all eat humans.

I didn't mean to steal your thread. VERY neat pics. I'd love to be you about 4 months a year! I'd love to be Bubba about 2 months a year. I'd love to be Cappy about.........well, on certain days, that I pick, as often as I want..........and I'd like to be Ed every once in a while. I'd never like to be Posthole.

Big Skyz
09-09-2015, 12:24 PM
Believe it or not the only month I don't really care for in Montana is July. Its usually too freak'n hot, the bugs are bad, and the snakes are out in force. The rest of the year isn't too bad, but I'd love to spend my July's in New Zealand where it's winter time for them.

Chicken Dinner
09-09-2015, 12:31 PM
You must have reached native status then. When I was there a couple of years ago it was the most beautiful weather you could imagine - 78 - 80 and no humidity. All the locals did was complain about the heat...

Big Skyz
09-09-2015, 12:34 PM
This year it was upper 90"s and lower 100's, and it sucked big time!!!

Chicken Dinner
09-09-2015, 12:58 PM
Okay, that sucks anywhere regardless of the humidity. We had something like 50 days over 90 so far this summer which makes it the 15th hottest on record. In fact, it's up over 90 again today and I'm damn tired of it. Luckily, it's supposed to break tomorrow.

09-09-2015, 02:00 PM
Wussies! :)