MT fishing Aug 2016

Mike, Harold and Randy .... Three Amigos

Mike, Harold and Randy … Tres Amigos

From August 23rd to August 30th I traveled to Helena, Montana to visit my good friend Randy Rake and his beautiful family.

He, and his family, moved their in the summer of 2014 so Sarah could take on a new role at the primary hospital.

His daughters, Meghan and Alyson have really grown which is an indicator that time waits for no one and you better get out there and enjoy each day like it is you last !

Sarah is busting chops at the hospital yet I was able to spend more time visiting with her than all the other years I’ve known her combined.

Her devotion to the hours required by the Hospital reminded me of my seriously 80+ hour work weeks at Intel for a decade.  We have to thank God for devoted heart surgeons like Sarah who are committed to helping those who have heart issues and there is no shortage.

Randy and I started on Wednesday on a section of the Missouri about 45 minutes north on 15 below the Holter dam.  We called it Randy’s Island and it held an incredible amount of fish.  I mean a LOT and they were huge !  Probably the smallest fish we caught was 15 inches.

Harold Becks joined us on Thursday and Friday as he, and his wife Virginia, traveled the 310 miles east from Spokane, WA to Helena, MT on I-90.  They flew into Spokane to visit a cousin they hadn’t seen for some time.

The fishing in the MO was awesome, but it wasn’t like they were jumping on the hook.  You had to work hard for each fish and I probably lost 4 for everyone I caught.  We were pretty much using size 20 and 22 PT and PMD nymphs and tricos in the morning.  I did catch a few, or at least hooked up, with the ‘disco’ nymph on a 18.  Big fish on small flies.  Amazing concept.

I caught my first fish on a Trico, after about 50 casts.  It was very technical, but the good news is that I improved my casting and technique to make it happen.  It isn’t easy to catch a fish on a Trico given their are a bazillion of them floating on the surface and you pretty much have to sneak up on the fish from behind, cast upstream and put the bug 3 feet in front of them so it floats right over their nose.  Rainbows are lazy and expend as little energy as possible when feeding.

On Saturday, Randy and I switched it up and fished the Little Black Foot Creek.  It is an incredible stream up in the mountains of the Big Belt Range.  Again, it was very technical fishing, but Randy felt confident enough in my ability to graduate to the next level of fly fishing.  We used beetles.  We his coaching over the last 4 years, I’ve regained my knowledge of fly fishing I had in my teens and then some.  I cannot thank Randy enough for his patience and edification over those years.  I think he’d probably say I’m somewhere around a 6 or 7 on the fly fishing scale which is a long way from a 2.  THANK YOU RANDY !

Please check out the Gallery of Photos to fully appreciate the trip.


Beautiful Montana Missouri River
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