In the next two posts I will be highlighting some of my favorite trips that took place between mid May and the end of the crazy year of 2020. During this timeframe I worked a little, fished a lot, spent time in 10 different states, evaded covid, and even landed a few musky. All in all, 2020 wasn’t so bad for a trout bum.
Here are some of my favorite highlights that took place in the rest of 2020 (in no particular order):
1. Floating Montana/Schoolyard Bully 2’er
Montana, Idaho, Wyoming -> August 4-18
Part 1: Floating across Montucky
After the peak season of guiding I hit the road and headed north to spent the next 2 weeks fishing across the states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming. To start the trip I met up with my friends Micah, Abigail, Conner, Cannon, and Hailey in SW Montana to spend 5 days floating some of the most famous rivers of the west.
Days 1 and 2: We camped on the shore, caught lots of whitefish, a few trout, and had some incredible views.
Days 3 and 4: Found some challenging fishing and wind. Crazy wind!
Day 5: Dailed. We put a lot of fish in the net on this day and it was a great way to cap off our time floating through Montana
At the end of day 5, Conner and I ended our time together on one of the hallowed Montana walk/wade sections of river. It was a beautiful evening with some cooperative fish.
Part 2: The tour begins
Before the beginning of the real tour I had half a day to myself to explore some new water. It was a sweet day.
That afternoon I picked up my buddy Jack from the airport and we headed north for a couple days of camping and exploring some awesome cutthroat water.
After a couple of days in the wilderness we came back to civilization and met up with my buddy Colin who worked as a rafting/fishing guide in the area. We joined him for a crazy night float down a whitewater section of the middle fork of the flathead and then instead of camping out, Jack and I spent the night in the guide van.
I’d like to say that we got up bright and early the next morning to hit the road but in all reality we were beat after two days of putting on miles on the river and then taking a 4 hour whitewater float that ended close to midnight. So around 11 we finally rolled out of West Glacier and made our way into Idaho. We drove for hours until we finally got into the area that we wanted to explore. Bully country. We made a few pit stops and fished our way down to where we camped for the night. Found a lot more waterfalls than bull trout but that was fine with us. The areas were explored were incredible.
The next couple of days we hit it hard and covered a lot of water. We eventually did run into a bull trout. Little guy but such a special fish to find finally! We also ran into two lake trout and a massive westslope cutthroat that was probably the fish of the trip. Jack came up to a pool where he could see the fish high in the water column sipping dry flies. Without hesitation he whipped what he had on at it (a white buttmonkey) and promptly had that fish on. What an awesome specimen that thing was.
The last leg of the schoolyard bully tour was spent traveling back from the panhandle of Idaho to Colorado (about an 18 hour straight drive). We broke it up by spending a night camping near the Tetons and then spending a half-day of fishing. We found some really sweet fish on hoppers in our short time fishing.
2. So-Co 2’er
Southern Colorado -> June 13-16
Last summer (2019) I made a couple of trips to southern Colorado and I really came to appreciate the beauty and fishing. I put it on the summer check list for 2020 that I had to make it down there again and after some talk, Sam, Nate and I made a plan and headed down there for a few days of awesome fishing and views. We hit the salmon fly hatch decently and would see them around but their numbers paled in comparison to the number of smaller stoneflies and drakes. Absolute clouds of drakes. We threw chubby rubby rigs and cleaned up. It was an absolute blast with some great pals.
Wisconsin -> October 18-19, Pennsylvania -> December 17-19
This fall I made it out for two trips of steelheading, once in the northwoods of Wisconsin with my Sasquatch coworker Issac and my buddy Colin, and another trip way out to the Great Lakes tribs in Pennsylvania with my other Sasquatch coworkers Sam, Nate, Jess and Ben. Great company, great fishing, and the views weren’t too bad either.
4. Wild Spaces
South Dakota, Wyoming, Colorado -> May 13-19
On my way out to Colorado this summer I made a few pit stops in some wild spaces of South Dakota and Wyoming. I found some beautiful scenes and awesome fishing in the high runoff waters.
Wyoming -> Summer 2020
In 2020 I picked up my first yearly license for Wyoming and put it to use fishing 15 days in the state. There are a number of places that I hold near and dear to my heart, a lot of them are in Wyoming.
I will conclude the last 5 of my top 10 trips of 2020 in the next post.