From my perspective life is pretty rosy over here on the Big Hole. We spent the last two days fishing and finding all sorts of new friends in & around Melrose. Come to think of it, I always seem to meet good people in this town!
We’ve been kickstarting our days at the Sunrise Flyshop in Melrose where our new buddy Joel talked us through our float plans, gave us some intel about bugs, and helped us out with the shuttles.
Day One we actually hooked quite a few fish. Although we never landed anything gargantuan, we had a great float with plenty of action, sunshine and laughs.
In all the gluttony I even managed to hook up with a whitefish. Oh well. It was such a fun day and I was in such high spirits that I kinda liked this greasy little whitefish with the gumption to eat my dry fly on the swing when I was busy talking over my shoulder. Hey, he even hookset himself. What more can you ask for?
We celebrated with some ginormous burgers at the Melrose Bar. At first we had drinks at the bar where we engaged in an across-the-bar eyeball contest with some other fisherman. They thought they knew us and we thought we knew them. The Professor was convinced they were the guys from the Chi Wulff blog. I’m not sure why he thought that, but he almost had me convinced to boogie over and ask them. But we were distracted by the arrival of our food and so the mystery would have to wait another day.
Instead we struck up conversation with great guys with whom we were leapfrogging down the river all day. This is Scott, owner of Montana Topwater Outfitters from Missoula. Scott and his clients were super cool, on the road around Montana hitting one river after the next, just following the fishing.
Day Two on the Big Hole was a lot tougher from a fishing standpoint. The highlight was this brown that rose along the bank and buried my dry fly in the blink of a trout’s eye.
Cruising along the river we saw the guys from the Melrose Bar the night before. Apparently it’s a small world on the Big Hole. Because after our long float, we popped into the Glen Bar and there they were again.
Turns out the guy was not of Chi Wulff fame, but he is Kendall van Dyk of Montana stream access fame. He works for TU and is the Montana state legislator who marshalled the recent stream access law into reality!
We had a nice time chatting with these guys, swapping stories about a very entertaining day on the water. And then topped of a great day with a gorgeous drive home. Life is good on The Big Hole.