• Welcome to Pretentious Snobby Bastard Fly Fishing!. Please login or sign up.
October 19, 2021, 11:14:04 AM

News:

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


Craig, MT Trip Report

Started by flatlander, July 28, 2015, 12:42:24 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

flatlander

Back from Craig after a 20 year hiatus from what used to be an annual trip during the nineties.  I hauled the boat out this time and spent 10 days on the river.  It is not the same river I fished in the nineties, but a great trip nonetheless.  I am still looking for a river that fished like the Mo twenty years ago.  Not sure I'll ever find it.

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

The town has grown a little since I was last here.  They got a new bridge, traded a gas station for a restaurant, and added a few fly shops. "North" Craig with the Troutshop Lodge and Joe's Bar in the background:

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

"South" Craig with Izzak's restaurant and Head Hunter's Fly Shop in the foreground.  Izzak's was formerly a gas station and Head Hunter's is where the old Parrot Head Fly Shop was.  There are a couple of other fly shops on the street and that is pretty much it:

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Except for the law office sandwiched between the Troutshop Lodge and Joe's.  The real estate office is next door and looks worse if you can believe it:

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

More local flavor:

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

John flew in to Bozeman and met me on the river for the first half of the trip:

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Tricos were the order of the day with a decent Pale Evening Dun hatch and scattered caddis activity:

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

John and I had a go at the Trico fishing during the early part of the trip, but opted to run up the body count and watch a bobber most of the time:

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Nymphing on the Mo was pretty much a no-brainer, unlike the dry fly fishing.  When I asked the owner of Head Hunter's and long-time Mo guide, Mark Raisler, what the answer was for the PED's, he replied, "There is no answer."

We caught loads of these:

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

The average rainbow ran about 17" - 18".  The Mo is an unbelievable bug factory and the fish have crazy growth rates.  They're hard fighters, too.  You are pretty much guaranteed to see your backing multiple times.

When your average fish size is running 18" and the rest of the state is under hoot owl restrictions, you have to expect crowds.  This shot doesn't do justice to the number of rigs in the parking lot...maybe showing a 1/4 of the Craig Ramp lot.  The shuttle drivers were stuffing trucks all over Craig trying to accommodate everybody:

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

But despite the crowds, everyone got along and there was plenty of fishing for everyone.  Beetle caught more than a few:

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Occasionally, he would actually let me fish:

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

...but mostly I did a lot of this:

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

After John left, I focused on the tricos and dry fly fishing.  I got up early and tried to be the first boat on the river.  Wolf Creek Bridge at 5:45 am:

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

I would stake out a good spot and wait for the spinner falls:

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Finally got back in the swing of things and started catching fish on top...like you're supposed to:

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

...but that didn't keep me from reverting back to the dark side after the spinner fall was done.  Don't know how Woolly does such a good job taking pictures of fish.  This one is out of focus, but it was pretty decent brown...sort of a rarity on the Mo which I'm told is about 90% rainbows:

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Fishing out of the boat by yourself can turn into something of a sightseeing trip.  Lot of wildlife and things to see along the banks:

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login

Looking forward to returning to Craig:

Guests are not allowed to view images in posts, please Register or Login


Big J

Dang Flats.  bd;0

That eagle shot is neat too. Eating something dead on the tracks?


Dougfish

Damnation. I thought the teaser pics were hard to stomach.  bd;0

Good stuff, Flats. When I grow up I want to stowaway with you.


Michael Toris

Trout suck, but that didnt. Kick ass flats


flatlander

J,
I never saw what he was eating...probably a fish he stole from an osprey or a fisherman.  We hired a guide for the first full day we were there.  When we got down to the area that guy (or gal) has a nest, the guide told us to watch out for an eagle that had been stealing fish off anglers' lines.  Next thing I know, John hooked a fish and had it close to the boat.   I looked up in the sky, and sure as shit, here comes the eagle, talons out, diving right at us.  I can't remember if the fish came unbuttoned or the guide netted him, but the eagle thought better of it and flew off.

Doug,
You can stow away next time if you'll do half the driving. 


bmadd

That's a heck of a trip. That's awesome man.


benben reincarnated

Damn Malcolm, that's awesome.


sanjuanwormhatch

looks awesome.

solo float cuts into fishing time but is a different kind of enjoyable.


Transylwader

Do you pronounce the word Craig "KREG" or like it's supposed to be, "CRAIG"?


Aka

 'c;  Looks like a great trip, Malcolm.


NCsporksman

 'c;  Thats a fat assed brown...whats the story on the grave markers? #morbid


flatlander

Don't know about the graves Spork.  Kinda surprised they had never washed away being that close to the river


Woolly Bugger


Quote from: Flatlander on July 28, 2015, 12:42:24 PM

Fishing out of the boat by yourself can turn into something of a sightseeing trip.
I like to row... My phone still works...
ex - I'm not going to live with you through one more fishing season!

me -There's a season?

Pastor explains icons to my son: you know like the fish symbol on the back of cars.

My son: My dad has two fish on his car and they're both trout!

jwgnc

Sweet - what's with the Loch Ness Monster pic between the grave markers and the eagle

Stalk softly and carry a green stick.

Rhody

i row and drive!

great shots, thanks for letting me ride along and drool

next time, next time......

My picture weighs more than your picture.
J.M.


#CommissionsEarned