Montana Outdoors

May 9, 2007

Opening day

Filed under: Fishin' stories, Fishing, Humor, Montana, Nature, Outdoors, Trout fishing, Writing — montucky @ 2:09 pm

I love the opening day of trout season in Montana, when I get to re-learn everything I forgot since last year! While the season doesn’t open for two more weeks yet, I can vividly remember opening day last year because I took notes:

Yesterday I Drove out to the Little Thompson River.

The fun started with the hip boots when I got cramps in both shoulders putting them on. (The fact that the temperature was only slightly lower than at the top of Mt. Everest didn’t help much.) I finally got them on my feet, stood up and then realized I didn’t have a belt. No problem, I attached them to my belt loops (BIG mistake!)

I broke the ice away from the edge of the stream and carefully waded out. Geez, these rocks are more slippery than they used to be! It was then that I noticed that the slight splash I was making was freezing to my hat. There were some deer about 100 yards away in the meadow and I felt bad about getting them so wet, but I was pretty occupied doing the “Hamsterdance”.

As it turns out there’s a very good reason why you wear a belt with hip boots: then they don’t pull your jeans down to your knees. (That in itself isn’t too bad a problem, but it also means your boots are also down to your knees.) So I slogged back to shore and emptied out the boots.

Finally got to fish for awhile.

There were two routes back to the Jeep: the route I had come, through the high grass and thorn trees, or the direct route through a slough. I didn’t want to go back the way I came because I couldn’t bear the sight of all those little pieces of skin hanging from the thorn trees. The slough looked like a better choice. I calculated the depth of the thing to be about 38 inches and stepped in. Found out the calculation was correct. Also found out the height of my boots was 34 inches.

Slogged back to shore again. This time I sat down, took out my fishing knife and cut holes in the bottoms of the boots. It made emptying them out much quicker and easier!

Next week I’m going to take the only fish I caught to the taxidermist. If he mounts it correctly, I can wear it on my pinky finger. It ought to go well with the Bass lure that’s still embedded in the ring finger. I’ll feel a little guilty, though. I didn’t exactly catch the fish: he came out one of the times when I emptied the water out of my boots.


  1. catching fish

    when I was 14, my friend and I caught a fish in our canoe….it just jumped in as we went past!


    Comment by skouba — May 9, 2007 @ 9:22 pm

  2. I’ve never had that happen! In North Carolina one day though a Cottonmouth tried to climb into my boat. I’d much rather have a fish!


    Comment by montucky — May 9, 2007 @ 9:38 pm

  3. Hey, Dan! Welcome to WordPress! Glad to see you here: it’s easier for me to track you on this site. I hope it works out well for you.

    I’ve not posted anything on the other site for some time now. It was down so often that I felt I was losing credibility when those who linked to me found broken links. This is now my new home for better or worse.

    Incidentally, your link doesn’t work. I don’t know why WordPress works the way it does with links. While the url is there, it adds to it and I’ve always had to go back and edit out the unnecessary stuff. Anyway, I got it and added you to my blogroll.


    Comment by montucky — May 10, 2007 @ 8:35 am

  4. I’m also waiting to feed the trout up here, though I don’t know how much time we’ll have for fishing. My son is begging for one of those “rocket rod” fishing poles, which is ok with me. It may save me from constantly untangling his line from my line, my wife’s line, the trees, the bushes, passing moose…


    Comment by wolf — May 10, 2007 @ 10:57 am

  5. I remember that phase with my son. I’m happy to say that now he’s a fly fisherman and unhooks his own flies from the flora and fauna. By the way, during fishing season, what’s the daily limit on moose around there?


    Comment by montucky — May 10, 2007 @ 12:24 pm

  6. I read through this last night and really laughed. At the end I could envision the avid fisherman proposing with such a ring – Lord knows we’ve caught a lot of fish that size (or perhaps offering one for mothers day?) and that just got me laughing that much harder. I decided.. maybe I’d better not have my hubby read your post – otherwise I just may have one stinky ring finger on mom’s day.

    ps. I understand the re-learning part I’ve been doing that and finding myself faltering.. (what the heck did I know after all?) thus, the last two days I’ve been hiking.


    Comment by aullori — May 10, 2007 @ 12:34 pm

  7. Well, I still have until the 19th to start my re-learning again this year and I’m really anxious. The big river is high and muddy as usual this time of year, so I’ll start out on some of the smaller creeks. They’re high, but clear. It’s also about the time for the spawning run of trout from the Clark Fork up into some of the tributaries, and when that happens there’s a lot of nice sized fish available.

    I’ve been hiking a lot too, but I really need to tie a few more flies before the season starts.


    Comment by montucky — May 10, 2007 @ 1:03 pm

  8. I noticed this year trying to relax until the time came was difficult. (I was so darn antsy!) And I found out it is just as frustrating, relaxing and wonderful as last year. :o)

    Hey, side note, I ran into this article in a little monthly magazine over here – it sounds possible that the feds may be working on a new way of managing their forests which involves the peoples comments and consideration. I’m intrested how this “test run” goes. Here is the little article – if I dig up more info I’ll let you know.

    You tie your own flies? very nice.


    Comment by aullori — May 10, 2007 @ 10:07 pm

  9. Thanks for that link. That certainly looks positive! It may be just that forest, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction!

    There was an article in the Missoula paper today too, about some cooperation among various groups on the Blackfoot River area here that also looks positive.


    Comment by montucky — May 10, 2007 @ 10:36 pm

  10. Great post, with so many half baked fishing blogs out there today it was a real joy stumbling across yours. You what blogging is about. Thanks again for the great post on your opening day adventure!

    I am working on my own trout fishing site, though I bypassed the blog part of it, I really dont have the time to make daily / weekly posts so it will be more of a content site, but anyway check it out if you wish. Trout Fishing its got a long way to go 🙂

    Again I love your blog, keep up the good work!


    Comment by Jer — May 15, 2007 @ 11:34 pm

  11. Jer,

    Thanks for the visit!

    I just paid a visit to your site and enjoyed it. It’s obvious that you know what it’s all about. I bookmarked and I’ll continue to visit you. I didn’t see any way to comment there though.


    Comment by montucky — May 16, 2007 @ 9:16 am

  12. Jer,

    I just visited your new site and enjoyed it very much. I bookmarked it and will visit you there. Couldn’t figure out a way to leave a comment though. I like what you’re doing and found that you know what you’re talking about. It’s interesting and informative. I wish you good luck with the site and hope that a lot of folks will find it!

    You’re certainly right about the equipment part too. Knowledge and developed skill are a far more important part of it than gear. I still use a 7 ft light fly rod that I bought in 1969, tie my own flies, and usually fish in blue jeans and sneakers. I laugh when I see anglers on a stream who look like they are posing for a Cabela’s page.


    Comment by montucky — May 16, 2007 @ 9:27 am

  13. Oh my,.. I’m still grinning.


    Comment by Cedar — March 7, 2010 @ 10:45 am

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: