We have more fishable miles of blue ribbon trout water then anywhere else in the WORLD.
The public access is unlike any other state in the union – keep your feet wet, and you’re legal. There are a few exceptions like private spring creeks and rivers like the Smith, which have miles and miles of river in a canyon only accesible by boat. If you have ever visited the Madison, Gallatin or Missouri, you will foundly remember being able to walk virtually anywhere. Oh ya, I almost forgot Yellowstone National Park…2.2 million acres of rivers, streams and lake, not to mention tons of backcountry full of wildlife, vistas and beautiful wildflowers. There are countless rivers and streams that have wonderful access as well, but I am not a hotspotter and talking about other rivers that are near and dear, especially on blogs, just doesn’t appeal to me. Come to Montana and I’ll be happy to show you – as long as you keep them to yourself.
Hotels are cheap. Camping is cheaper. Sure, if you want to stay in the ultra posh, high end hotels you can do that, but it’ll cost ya! Most of the anglers who grace my boat in the summer come to fish first. Good food ranks right up there and where they lay their head is last. Nice, clean rooms are a plus, especially when bringing a ladyfriend along. When my Dad first starting to come to MT in the late 60’s, he slept at the fishing access sites on the ground or in a tent. His sole purpose for coming to Montana was fishing. After the tent got old, or maybe it was him that got old, he and his fishing brethren arrive in VW Westys. They tied flies at night, camped by the river, went to town for a shower, beer and groceries, and fished all day long for two weeks. This may not appeal to you, but small, rentable cabins are all over the state and accomodate every kind of angler in the world – pay for you want….priorties are a way of life.
Of course, nowadays, most anglers arrive by plane. They rent a car, fish a few days, take a guide trip or two and hop back on the plane. Some of my clients fly in, allow me to pick them up, fish for three or four days and then drop them back off at the hotel in order to catch their plane the following morning. No rental and more $$$ for guide trips….not a bad way of thinking. The Montana Road Trip is very popular.
Yep, guide trips are expensive. If you are accustomed to guide trips, then maybe you should show up, take a trip or two and then spend the rest of the time fishing on your own. Odds, are you will still catch trout, it just won’t be from the front of driftboat. You may even get better at tying those damn knots!
Gas is cheaper this season, but by now, almost everyone has lost about half of what they were worth, so nothing is cheap….oh well…..the fish are still eating and don’t care that the market fell to historic lows. Today, the market is up and some folks are feeling better about life….a little. Driving your rig to MT allows you to travel around in your own digs, go where you want to go – without worring about mileage – and alows you to bring almost everything you will need. No extra baggage charge, no late planes. Get a hotel once in awhile, a shower and get back to fishing. Don’t forget the cooler and remember that PB & J’s still taste good….so does PBR.
Fishing allows us to forget about life for awhile. While you can’t take money to heaven’s rivers, is does make life easier while you are on this planet. BUT, the greenback dollar will not make you happy…..really it won’t. If fishing makes you happy, then go forth and fish.
One last little note. IF you are going to come to Montana and are a “do it yourselfer”, then wait to purchase some of your gear when you get here. Go in to a flyshop, buy a few bugs, some floatant, maybe some tying materials, or hat and then ask where to go. Trust me, this will get you alot further along in these parts. Free info is there, but if you want accurate information, spend some of those greenbacks so that the guy or gal behind the counter will tell something worth knowing. I don’t own a flyshop, but this is something which I do when traveling to other areas.