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User avatar
By peetso
#629913
Lando wrote:You sound like a dick. Stop yelling at your girlfriend..........they are only stupid fish, and there will be plenty more. Something tells me that you outkicked your coverage with that one, so you should really try hard not to be a total douche to her.

Oh, and nice pictures.
This.
User avatar
By peetso
#629915
Hogleg wrote:Coleman stove is too clean. This is obviously a scam.

Thats why I had Randall Dee's wife fuck mine right up with pork chops and breakfast sausage.

So as not rouse any suspicion.
User avatar
By flybug.pa.
#630040
peetso wrote:
Lando wrote:You sound like a dick. Stop yelling at your girlfriend..........they are only stupid fish, and there will be plenty more. Something tells me that you outkicked your coverage with that one, so you should really try hard not to be a total douche to her.

Oh, and nice pictures.
This.


Dude your reportage is killing it, i am in awe of the countryside. no more bitching at YP, it fucks things up. women REMEMBER EVERYTHING.
also just as important, take it as a learning experience about what TEHFK to do next when a fish runs upstream, learn and grow, expect that dink to run upstream
User avatar
By stillsteamin
#630058
[report]




Bear was standing out front of the hotel with a shit eating grin and a carry-on bag as I pulled up early in the morning after dropping my brother and YP off at the airport. He yelled back inside for Travis who emerged with an equally shitty grin, pushing a bellhop cart. His borderline annoying giddiness for the impending week was amplified by the military grade pot he’d purchased the night before from a local shop and imbibed in with what the unfamiliar may consider reckless abandon – but what I understand is mostly harmless curiosity with a touch of indifference for theoretical consequences.



He’d endured years of Bear and I taunting him with tales of otherworldly landscapes and conquest in the great state of Montana. You can only pretend to enjoy stories that end in “you would’ve had to be there” so many times before you either end up on the news or carve out the vacation time. Now that we were passing logging trucks on a 7% grade headed east through the Idaho panhandle, shit, as they say, was getting real. Adding to the static electricity in the impossibly packed sedan was Bear’s insistence that “this was the year” “she’s finally going to spread her legs.” “She” being a generic reference to any number of rivers who had in the past refused his advances with low flows, unseasonal conditions, unexplained lapses in fish activity. We’d traded hundreds – maybe over a thousand - emails over the summer debating the latest snowpack reports, temperature and precipitation trends, wildfires, hoot owl closures, which watersheds were looking good, which ones probably wouldn’t be worth it. Some exchanges descended into arguments, then stalemates between opinions that really had no basis other than speculation, but most were clearly abstract enough to end in a flaccid “we’ll just have to see.”



Conditions actually seemed to line up pretty nicely – flows would be fine where we really wanted to fish, smoke didn’t appear to be an issue, and temperatures were favorable. After rehashing our exploits from the previous two weeks and crossing into Montana we were thoroughly convinced everything was perfect and the whole damn state was about ready to slide right off her chair with anticipation.



Our first stop was where we’d left off with my brother and YP – a stream with a bunch of trout partial to big twitchy foam.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201803_zpstm1zeyxf.jpg[/img]

Even had time for an evening fish after cutting wood and making sure the toddy mugs had made the trip safely without leaks.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201725_zpspuahnidq.jpg[/img]

Travis wasted no time breaking off a fish with shoulders - which prompted YP comparisons and a thorough round of laughter and beratement that rang down the canyon and only intensified when the pissed off rainbow started jumping in front of bear and I trying to throw the big purple chubby out of its jaw.



"Ya gotta set the hook harder next time Billy Bass!!"



Eventually he managed his first Montana trout.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/dbd69ecd-bb3a-40fe-a67f-04fc91da08f1_zpsdivylpro.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201748_zpsbw4azeuz.jpg[/img]

Back at camp, in reference to what was nearing a month of distance from anything even resembling the real world Bear looked up and said to me "you've gotta be pretty far gone out here, you can't get that kind of separation in a week or two"



I was as Jim Lahey would say - "right in the pocket, bud"



[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201783_zpszosuspxr.jpg[/img]

Travis got right down to business the next morning.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201798_zpsnshowukp.jpg[/img]

A lot of gay little bugs around again but only equally gay little idiots eating them. I did happen across one homely girl slurping a dozen or so at a time in a big, swirly, greasy tailout. I figured she was going about her business much too matter-of-factly and innocently so I taught her a lesson in situational awareness with two progressively bad attempts that sent her sliding back under a brush pile. Satisfied, I reiterated that little bugs are triple gay to anyone who was listening – no one was.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/14211981_10157320556170573_2796790688878800421_n_zpsa6qjp8eq.jpg[/img]

Photo credit to Travis on the last one.



On deck we had an overnight float planned on a stream I hadn’t fished for years for no other reason than simply that in a state full of great trout streams, some places tend to blend into the crowd.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201808_zpsmmyj2yk8.jpg[/img]

Christening.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201816_zpsfeiayqwr.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201809_zps8rsq1y8s.jpg[/img]

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Still stammering after coaxing a two-foot bow to the side of the raft without a take, Travis twitched his fly off a rock ledge and got absolutely clobbered by a bull trout. To me, bulls are as Montanan as bison and unregistered firearms. Travis had heard a lot of stories and had added catching one to his dreams for the trip. I think that made his trip right there but we weren’t even close to done. We stopped for lunch and watched Bear giggle like a school girl picking off cutthroat feeding on the last of the gay little bug hatch with his 8ft 4wt brought specifically for the task. The little rod would bend to the cork as another greedy little piggy made for the strong current.



Sip.



“Ahhhhhahahaha gahh I fuckin love this!! Look at the little bastard go!!”



Eventually it was onwards and downwards.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201831_zpst6yaoy2k.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/14232513_10157320556535573_8148729972800200919_n_zpsset3o3oq.jpg[/img]

Photo cred to Travis again.



When we made camp it was toddies and tacos ahead of a brief late summer rain squall.

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The next day expectations were high as we were floating the same stretch I’d fished with my brother and YP just days earlier. It was ok – good - not great and after an early morning surface bite turned into mostly a booze cruise. Way she goes, or whatever.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201855_zpsbiu1vavi.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201857_zps95ir3jlq.jpg[/img]

That stretch is exceptionally scenic in a subtle way, a way that is easily missed when fishing is the motive.



The next two days were planned as the piece de resistance, as it were, for Travis’ baptism in Montana trout fishing gospel. My favorite river in the world – I could bore everyone with pages in a self-destructive attempt at doing the place justice but in the interest of common sense and the fortunate understanding that my abilities as a writer fall well short of what would be required to ever paint the proper picture – I won’t. Unless of course you’ve been there and your mind can bridge the adjective shortfalls. I took Bear up there for the first time a few years ago and it hit him right where I hoped it would – he could talk your ear off as the fire burns low and the last of a thirty rack is tossed away about the emptiness, the scenery, the healthy wild cutthroat that only get bigger as the bull trout recover. It will fortunately, likely, (hopefully) never rise to a level of significance deserving of some Outside magazine [strike]advertisement[/strike] article, a yellow dog profile, or a feature in next year’s bro fishing music video tour.



[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201863_zpszlrdimoi.jpg[/img]

Things didn’t start out great – we got a late start, had thirteen miles to get to camp, the water was low, and we were in a raft loaded down with three guys and camping gear. We had to jump out at every riffle to drag it. At one point we piled back in and I heard a distinctive hissing.



“What’s that?”



“What’s what?”

“What’s what…. What’s that hissing?… you don’t hear that? Where is it coming from?”



Bear moved his foot and I could see water fizzing from an inch long tear in the self-bailer’s bottom.



Luckily I had duct tape and we had a pump. We jerry rigged together a patch that would hold for an hour or two provided we moved the heavy stuff off the floor and onto the front seat.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201892_zpsz8xhj7il.jpg[/img]

Heading off a likely spontaneous combustion on my part, Travis passed out beers. We sat, bitched, collected ourselves and as if the gods knew we needed it, Bear landed this colored-up kyped male – the biggest I’d seen from that water.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201868_zpsxl7wjhlb.jpg[/img]

We made it to camp in time to build a fire, char a few flat irons and watch the sunset light up the range to the east.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201901_zps5b0e4c5o.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201912_zpspsbrlisg.jpg[/img]

I woke up with a slight hangover but the early light set things right.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201930_zpsbegfa5q9.jpg[/img]

With the patch process figured out and feeder creeks adding the flow every mile, the next day went much smoother.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201948_zpsvez6fc1v.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201952_zpslituiieg.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201956_zpsiim524o8.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201961_zps0rgq2hmv.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/14191992_10157320558560573_2830515328379281515_n_zpsavmy0wnm.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/14238081_10157320557725573_2347017161285277500_n_zpspoxtgbtm.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/14199236_10157320557820573_916332663106675603_n_zps4ixydrl6.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/14237483_10157320557995573_660408044078391116_n_zpsww6hs5pw.jpg[/img]

The last four are courtesy of Travis.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201986_zpsvnilqg3q.jpg[/img]

Saw river otters for the first time. My aunt and uncle tell a story about how the nasty bastards killed a retriever and put a lady in the ICU a couple years ago down on the lake. They look cute till they’re halfway through your leg.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%201991_zpsqw8tueeo.jpg[/img]

Stopped by the coffee shop at the takeout for huckleberry pastry.



Back at the Rollins Marriot, my aunt had spaghetti and ricotta stuffed meatballs ready. And cherry pie.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202061_zpsx8nhta76.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202058_zpslznlgvn6.jpg[/img]

I can promise you the meatballs and pie were even better than they looked. My uncle is the first to admit he's a lucky dude.



The last couple days we had set aside for seeing the sights.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202028_zpsfakuovo7.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202017_zps65cgzrwb.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202021_zpsthgrtlro.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202056_zpstfkg14y7.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202071_zpsiom2b61i.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202074_zpsqnfwqymp.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202090_zps39stf9ez.jpg[/img]

This bear decided to stop and drop one right in the middle of what's probably the busiest tourist stop in park. Zero fucks given.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202095_zpsieizhrrl.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202105_zpshgfwzf49.jpg[/img]

By now, my family treats Bear like a nephew, and when we said our goodbyes they told Travis he could come back any time. I try to explain to my friends that they are two of the few people in the world who truly mean that. "Stop by any time" and "if you're ever in the area" get thrown around a lot without sincerity but to them its an actual hopeful promise of hospitality and cheese-stuffed meatballs at the Rollins Marriott in any weather, for any reason.



Back at the airport, again, we said our see ya's and hashed through some brief plans for fishing back home. Travis and Bear were headed back for the longest Monday of their lives, I was headed for Wyoming.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202129_zpskswwnm4u.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202128_zpsiliczl0g.jpg[/img]

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[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202157_zpsjcw8rta1.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202176_zpsrhvdbfz0.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202165_zpss078uugl.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202201_zpsbezoddcl.jpg[/img]

I passed through Cody on my way towards Bighorn country. I'm interested in getting some perspective from WY guys here - Lando probably has an opinion. I talked to Tim at the shop in Cody and he was, I'll say, "less than optimistic" about the future of trout fishing in Wyoming if the current weather patterns continue.



At the moment, the Labor day crowds were gone and I had one of the most incredible and unique pieces of trout water I'd ever seen to myself.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202245_zpsygtofvmo.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202261_zpswankyjjm.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202246_zps2fskfaqp.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202266_zpsiiuzsc2a.jpg[/img]

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202232_zpsr3dybbeg.jpg[/img]

During the hours I'd spent in the car since I dropped Bear and Travis off in Spokane I'd been wondering how I'd end this thing. Would it be as simple as climbing back into the car and just driving until I hit humidity? That didn't seem right. I needed an ending.



I pulled off to take one last picture of the shadow cast by the Bighorns over the prairie. I almost didn't go over that guard rail, but I felt like I needed to, the picture looked better from there. I almost didn't look down either, but I was curious.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202313_zpsus3hynds.jpg[/img]

She was about 200 feet below me with her cub, eating berries. No idea I was there, I don't think anyone ever steps over that guard rail. I sat on a flat rock with my feet dangling off the edge, knee free of its brace, and just watched, watched the shadow race across the grass a thousand feet below and the two bears work the scree slope.

[img]http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm187/cbraybrooks/West%20trip%202016%202331_zpszrdimcme.jpg[/img]

Monday was a son of a bitch.[/report]
User avatar
By Lando
#630076
Why did you talk to Tim? He's a lying douchebag that owes me money. You should have just sent me a pm. I'd have gotten you drunk and offered you a place to stay.
User avatar
By fatman
#630109
what's that white splooge on the tacos?

nice cunt'ry
User avatar
By SLSS
#630132
Average Joe wrote: Lando is right. You should have sent him a PM.
Yup.

Good stuff anywho. :cool
User avatar
By austrotard
#630133
giving any credit to travis is gay.

oh, and your french sucks le balls.
you type 'piece de resistance' but what you're meant to type is 'non non non non... pa-tooey!' and then you make out you spat on the floor.

dumbass.
User avatar
By Redchaser
#630177
Really nice Colten, I've been waiting for this....oh and your Aunt's balls look really tasty.
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