Things have been, well crazy here but, I had the opportunity to head up to Montana for the week of July 4th.  Water has been incredibly high due to massive amounts of snow and almost all the rivers in Northwestern Montana were more than blown out so…. lakes!  Went and talked to the owner of Bigfork Anglers and he pointed me to a lake not too far drive away that had been fishing well for grayling.  I have never caught a grayling before so I decided it was well over due.

I called a friend, loaded the canoe in the back of my dad’s pickup and headed out.  Along the way we passed a stream that I have often looked at but never had the chance to fish and since it was running clear gave it a quick try.  It was a small, over-grown stream that I had heard rumors held nice sized brookies.  After suiting up we walked down to the creek and talked with a couple that was just finishing up. They had about half a dozen brookies on a stick with the biggest going about 13 inches.  Certainly worth a try!  We started throwing stimis and got a few decent brookies and then switched it up to buggers and got into a few more.  Anxious to get to the lake we called it after about an hour with around 10 brookies brought to hand the biggest about 10 inches. The stream also held a surprise, a few small pike were also hanging around. Never thought I would see pike in water like that but I guess they must have slipped down from the lake above the little stream.

When we got to the lake not a lot was happening on top so we threw some nymphs at them, picking up a few here and there but nothing special.  All the grayling were big, at least to me they seemed big, the average grayling going 12-14 inches.  As the sun started to set a sedge caddis hatch started and the fish went nuts.  I bet in the hour before it completely dark we had a fish hit the fly almost every other cast.  It was super fun to see these fish repeatedly smash our large dries as we stripped them across the water with total reckless abandonment.  Often they would hit it 3 or 4 times before they were hooked.  We would have taken more pictures but when its that good its hard to put the rod down and pick up a camera.  It was one of those days you will never forget, it is the type of fishing that all fly fishermen hope for!

About The Author

Hawg Wrangler

Derek Olthuis, raised in the wilds of Montana like the Jungle Book's Mowgli. Totally obsessed with fly fishing, exploring and adventure. When not guiding he enjoys fly fishing and Squatching for Unicorns. Fishing is fun!

2 Responses

  1. Brian

    Quite the array of species there — those grayling have some awesome iridescent scales. Great report!

  2. Name

    nice variety…..i’ve caught a few grayling in utah. pretty cool looking fish.


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