December in Montana. The weather is unpredictable and many have put up the fly rods and rifles for the year. It’s a risk-reward time of the year when it comes down to fishing. Just catching fish is a success and often it’s just painfully slow on the water. With the rain steadily falling we threw the waders in the truck and met up with Anthony from the False Casts and Flat Tires crew and hit the road. Not surprisingly we were the first truck at the access. We figured most would settle for a beer and some football on a cold rainy day with the mercury hovering just above 40 degrees. Our plan was to settle for a beer and some streamers on a piece of water we hadn’t visited in a good 6 months. It only took about 5 minutes before Anthony decided to get the ball rolling.
We quickly moved upstream with eats in almost every hole. I quickly was on the board when a beautiful brown hammered my fly just feet from me as I was finishing my retrieve.
It was almost silly the streamer bite was so good. Any decent water seemed to hold a fiery brown willing to mount a vicious attack on any invader of its territory. Soon Anthony had another killer fish on. He had been holding in a very small sliver of water, and a precise cast fooled him.
We kept skipping past each other as we fished upstream. Soon Travis was hollering just upriver. I looked and saw the Echo doubled over. I quickly made it to him to help net his fish. After a few minutes it was apparent this wasn’t just any fish. This was a PIG! After a couple close calls I finally slipped the net under a rainbow that could be mistaken for one straight out of Alaska.
We snapped a few hero photos of this stud rainbow and then let him slink back to his lair.
After everyone’s success it was time to crack open a cold PBR and take it all in. Laughs were had all the way around. Despite the inclement weather it had easily turned into one of the best days on the water. We had been fortunate enough to catch one of those moments where the fish are just eating and it doesn’t matter what you put in front of their face. Unfortunately this brown wasn’t so fortunate. He had seen his last Montana summer and most likely had died of old age.
Again we kept the streamer train moving. After our early success we soon began to loose a little steam. Multiple eats resulted in near misses and the hook just didn’t set. The rain had subsided and the bite seemed to cool off. I was able to trick one last brown though.
He was a solid fighter as he took to the air 3 or 4 times before finally making it to the net. It’s always fun to see the differences between every brown trout. Some are bright and others more subdued in color. The size, shape and type of jaw always seem to vary and are one of my favorite species of trout to catch. It had been a stellar couple of hours, but all good things must come to an end. As we worked back down stream we were left with nary a bite. As quickly as it had started it had shut down. We hit the golden hour that day and all left with smiles on our faces. I want to thank Anthony for bringing his camera and snapping some killer photos. I’m sure we’ll be back on the water soon. If you haven’t fished in the winter before then get out and get after it! You don’t catch fish on the couch.