Winter Fishing Tails

Fall has come and gone and winter has smashed in like a wrecking ball. Over the last few weeks I have had many opportunities to get out and do some fishing. I spent the majority of my time on Rock Creek, because of the proximity and the wealth of fish. Fishing in the winter is entirely different from any other time of year. Even though I have fished Rock Creek many times, after the first  snowfall it felt like a completely different area. I was also able to take a few friends fishing, and we were all lucky enough to catch some fish. This will be my last Montana post for a while since I am returning to Pennsylvania for winter break, so enjoy these last few pictures of the west. Even though I am not yet left, I already miss Montana and cannot wait to come back for spring semester. Missoula is a magical place and once you come here there is no leaving.

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Garret taking a cast on a wintry Thanksgiving eve.

Before I get into the rest of the pictures, I would like to take a few sentences to reflect on my first semester here in Missoula, Montana. When I first left home  in August, I was a little nervous about moving to an area where I did not know a single soul. In this global community that we live in today, it is rare to be in a place where there are no familiar faces. I decided that I would make this new beginning into a fresh start. During these last four months I have met many amazing people who have made Missoula feel like home, instead of  a place away from home. Everyday I wake up and look out my window at the beautiful Rocky Mountains, and I am incredibly  grateful to call this place home. Now before I get too sappy and poetic I better start showing some picture of what I have been up too.

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Fishing tails.
He was checking me out as I snapped a few pictures of this lovely canine.
I am always a sucker for the classic reel shot!
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Garret pulled in this beauty of a brown!
Elk shot
As I was driving to one of my many fishing destinations, I was surprised to look out the window and see a herd of elk bedded down alongside the road. I pulled up along side them and took a few quick pictures.
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The double nymph rig produced a nice fat bow for Garret.
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My new fishing companion (Cody) pulled this large rainbow out of the first hole of the day.
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A foggy rock creek!
my big brown
Thanks to Cody for taking this picture of my biggest brown for the day. This was also caught out of the first hole of the day. The trout measured 18.5 inches.
Polishing the day off with a couple of smokes! “I fish better with a lit cigar, some people fish better with talent” Nick Lyons

I hope you all enjoyed this post and I wish everyone a happy holiday season. Do not forget to get outdoors and enjoy this lovely winter season.


Montana In October

Fall starts early here in Montana. One night you go to bed and its a balmy 60 degrees and then you wake up and the temperature does not rise above 45 all day. Many in Montana have taken to the hills as archery season has begun, so this leaves the rivers relatively empty to the avid fishermen. Not only is it one of the most beautiful times of the year to fish, it also has some of the best mayfly hatches of the year. This paired with lowering water temps, make October a lovely month to hit the water with nothing but a box of dry flies.

What a wonderful way to start the day

Now since I am actually out here for school (I know it would not seem so) I thought I say a few things about the University of Montana. I transferred out here to study Environmental Science with an interest in Hydrology. This semester I am taking 16 credits, so its not a super heavy load, but enough to keep me busy. The 16 credit hours are split between 5 different classes. These include Environmental Science, Community and the Environment, Statistics, Linear and Probability Math, and Intro to Native American Studies.  For the most part I enjoy all of the classes except for Community and the Environment since it focuses on more of the political side rather then the science side. Besides all my work for classes I also recently picked up a job a the recycling center. This job is very basic and it includes picking up the recycling from the different buildings on campus, and then sorting out the “actual” recyclables and junking the rest.

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A 47 minute star trail taken right outside of Missoula, MT along the Blackfoot River .
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The Westslope Cutthroats have put on their gorgeous spawning colors.

On my most recent trip to the North Fork of the Blackfoot, I met a young couple from Spokane, Washington. We hit it off right away and ended up fishing together for the day. It was great to meet some more young people on the stream who shared my love for the outdoors. Hopefully we will be able to meet up again some time to fish together, as I really enjoyed spending time with them.

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My fellow fishing buddies from Spokane, WA.
travis fish
That smile about sums up the day.
A brown trout caught on Rock Creek to mix it up.

Continuing on my college life. It has not been quite as easy to make solid friends out here as I had hoped, but I have been lucky enough to meet a few kindred spirits that I enjoy spending time with. As far as campus life goes, there is always plenty to do around campus, so much so that its hard to keep track of everything. One of the great things about attending such a big school is that there are so many people and each day you can meet someone new. That is probably one of the favorite aspects about a larger school. Well that about sums up my college experience so far, hopefully the next few months go as smoothly as the first.

Fish creek at dusk, some beautiful Montana water.

I end this post with a quote and a throwback picture of my parents. “A trout is a moment of beauty known only to those who seek it” Arnold Gingrich. Don’t forget to leave a comment!

mom and dad
The first and only time that I have ever witnessed my parents on the dance floor. I would just like to thank them for supporting me in my crazy endeavors, as well as always being there for me. Thanks Mom and Dad, I love you guys.

Living West

Yes, I am still alive and well! It has been a long time since I have put a post up, and since the last one a lot has changed. My biggest news by far, is that I have transferred to the University of Montana in Missoula. It is truly amazing to be actually living in a place that was once only a dream. Over the past few weeks I have gone on many exciting adventures, exploring God’s wonderful creation.

Hidden Lake in the proposed Great Burn Wilderness.

Besides the many fishing excursions that I have found myself on, I was able to go on a weekend backpacking trip for my environmental science class. The group packed into the proposed Great Burn Wilderness, to learn and discuss the reason why it should become an official wilderness. Let’s just say that after spending a few days in the area, I could not agree more.

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Enjoying a starry night by the campfire.

Now I know everyone wants to see more pictures of myself and some fish, so do not despair, here they are. As well as a smattering of other fishing related pictures.

My prize Westslope Cutthroat, caught and released on a tributary of the Blackfoot River.
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Montana, clean air, clean water.
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Another Cutty from yet another tributary of the Blackfoot.
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A rainbow trout to change things up.
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A back country meal. A few of the fish were not so lucky as the others (they were delicious).

Montana is a wild and beautiful area and I am really looking forward to uncovering the many secrets that this land has to offer. I would also like to give an open invitation to anyone that wants to visit me and see a little of this country for themselves. The couch is always open!

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The milky way on a crystal clear night.
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“It is not the fish we remember, but the rivers where they were caught” – unknown