Happy Friday everyone! It was a great week at the gym and I hope you are all looking forward to a great weekend! Today is functional Friday and I want to change the subject a little bit and talk more about fly fishing, another one of my favorite things to do. We are fortunate to live in one of the best fly-fishing places in the WORLD. Within a 3 hour drive of Bozeman there are quite literally thousands of world class places to fish. The great thing about fly fishing is the connection with nature that it allows and the opportunity to integrate it with exercise. In my opinion it is the best activity to combine what a lot of us love and care about: exercise, conservation, connection, with nature, and FUN! If you have never fly-fished I promise you that the second you feel a brown or rainbow trout grab onto your like you will be hooked, pun intended. As they say “the tug is the drug”!
Many people tend to instantly recoil at the suggestion to begin fly-fishing because of the expense that they associate with it. While it can be an insanely expensive activity, I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t need to be that way. For less than $500 you can get started fly-fishing and be successful. If you don’t have any equipment I would recommend beginning fly-fishing by buying a low-mid grade 9’ 6 weight rod and a halfway decent reel which in most places will come with line. Pick up some flies and fly box (I’d be happy to give some suggestions), some leader, a pair of cheap nail clippers for cutting line, and a net. If you know someone who already is into fly-fishing they can probably help you out with the rest of the miscellaneous equipment you may need. With the items I mentioned you will at least have enough to fish independently. The last thing you may be thinking about is waders. If you wait to start fishing until late June you will be able to do what we called “wet wading”. You could get away with this by wearing an old pair of hiking boots in the water and they will do just fine in the short term. If you want to fish earlier in the year when the water is cold you can just stay on the bank. Now that we have busted the myth about fly-fishing costing extraneous amounts to get into let’s talk about some places to fish and how we can combine it with getting some exercise.
Like any fisherman I will not give up any secret spots (or those of my friends) but most spots out here aren’t that secret anyways. Most of the popular and easy-access places to fish are pretty obvious and well traveled in the area. The bigger rivers such as the Madison, Gallatin, Yellowstone, and Missouri are great places with easy access. The Madison is best to fish in the early spring since it is dam controlled and the runoff isn’t ruining the fishing. Once the Gallatin clears up it’s really fun to fish and extremely easy to access. Just drive through the canyon on the way to Big Sky, pull over, and pick a place to fish! The Yellowstone and Missouri are best fished with a drift boat so I would recommend finding someone that owns one of those if you can!
What I would really like to talk about is fishing the alpine lakes in the area. When the weather is as warm as it has been this summer these lakes are some of the most responsible places to fish as the water is still cold and the fish can handle the pressure of fishing better. At the same time, you get the chance to get in a great hike at the same time! The beauty of fly-fishing gear is that it’s very light and easy to carry in a backpack. Getting to most of the alpine lakes in the area is a little bit more difficult than fishing some of the big-name rivers and they receive much less traffic. Go check one out, take a hike, catch a few fish, and just enjoy being outside, it doesn’t get much better than that.
If you have never tried fly-fishing before I hope that this articled generated a little interest in trying it! If you have any questions I would be happy to help you out and try to answer them (disclaimer, I’m NOT an expert by any means). We are also fortunate to have Coach Leslie and James who are both extremely knowledgeable and great resources to ask some questions. Check out this article to see some cool ideas for alpine lakes in the area to check out! Have a great weekend everyone!
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