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Category
Trouts Journal

A Year on the Fly with Tanner Smith | May...June

Tanner Smith / Jun 11, 2021

​This might be a few weeks late, so I apologize for not having a mediocre fishing article for you all to read in May. I was fishing though. So, can you really blame me? Montana was on my mind so I took a quick trip up to Bozeman to visit my good buddy Zeb. My only goal of the trip was to drink a few beers, see some new water and talk a little smack. It’s safe to say that mission was accomplished.

I got into Montana late Friday night so for the first day we decided to do something fairly close to town. We settled on a longer float on the lower Madison in hopes of seeing some fish chasing streamers and staying ahead of runoff. It didn’t take long to find some success. It didn’t really seem to matter much on the color of the streamer so I decided on yellow for the visuals. After a few hours of smacking fish, we decided we should pull over and kill some time so we could be on the water late into the evening. Looking back this probably wasn’t the greatest idea. As we sat around eating some lunch not paying much attention, the river was on the climb. When we pulled back into the main channel we both said, “The clarity has gone to shit, huh?”

We laughed at our situation while we cruised along the last few hours of the float. Checking flows when we got back into town the river had jumped from 1100 CFS to 2200 CFS throughout the day. There were still a few willing streamer eaters on the back half of the float, but it’s safe to say more beers were consumed than fish caught during that time. This is one of the rare times I’ll tell you that fishing really isn’t all about fishing; after all, I was still in Montucky floating down a river with a good buddy.

Day two was a whole new game. We talked about going and checking out a few stillwaters a good ways away from Bozeman. I liked that idea, so it didn’t take much convincing to get me on board. Road trips are always a good time so off we went. Of course, as we arrived I realized I had left my camera back at Zeb’s house. So when we get to the photos don’t judge. As we arrived at the boat launch we saw a few nice rainbows cruising and sipping just about anything in their path. Hell yes, I thought. Once again, we paddled around, talked some smack, caught some fish, and had a good time. There isn’t really much else I have to say about the rest of Day 2 so I’ll leave it at that.

My go-to rod for this trip was the G-Loomis NRX+ 690. The versatility of this stick was perfect for the trip. From tossing streamers, to big dry dropper rigs and shooting casts at cruising trout it can handle it all. I match the rod with SA Amplitude MPX on my setup. Now let's get to those photos.

The Setting
The Goods
The Beer
The Fish
Dog 1 - Kodak
Dog 2 - Yampa
More Fish
Again, More Fish
Bye Now

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