Another gorgeous day here in Paradise! After a big plate of french toast and ham, we set off towards the Upper Gardiner.
Home of thousands of painted up Brookies. We were planning to walk in a bit to a meadow section and try to educate some fish.
The fish were very eager for class and popped dry flies with abandonment.
If we were to slow on our hook sets we had to quickly recast before hooking the tall grass behind us.
This, in turn, caused multiple hits on consecutive casts. Brookies are notorious for striking flies extremely quickly.
Timing has to be just right or else they will flip right off our barbless hooks.
The fish in this stretch are not known for their size but the numbers that can be landed. That being said, numerous fish in the 8-10″ range felt our hook, a few were even landed.
Catching was constant all morning, heavy at times. Charlie got into a run of fish and began to pull them in like a vacuum. One after another, they fell to the Magic Nymph!
Dick was steadily getting strikes and landed a total of 8 out of 2 runs.
Spencer had to join up with us a little late because of the need to visit the Mammoth Clinic. On the float trip the previous day he had jammed his pinky finger on his non-casting hand. After being reassured it was not broken he was on the creek with us and sticking fish.
The day was warm and being in the open field was starting to wear on our energy levels, so we decided to hit the Sheepeater Cliff picnic area.
We were greeted by some very large, well-fed chipmunks. They almost ran up Charlie’s leg.
After lunch we headed down the hill to the Lower Gardiner for a chance at some larger fish and possibly the Slam.
We jumped into a previous spot we had fished hoping it would be as generous.
It was not gang-busters like we had hoped, but many solid fish were landed. Mainly Rainbows, but several Browns and a Brookie were caught.
To add to the excitement Nate saw another Bull snake, this one being about 4′ long.
Other than that, it was a very comfortable evening where the hatch just never took off, but a great evening of fishing none the less.
Walking out we spotted an enormous Mormon Cricket laying eggs in the trail.
We decided to head back toward the cabin around 7:30. The sun was just beginning to dip behind the mountains when we pulled out of the parking area.
On the scenic drive home we were lucky enough to see the one animal Jeff wanted to see, The Big Horn Sheep.
Although, after pointing those out, he requested that I bring them in closer for a better picture. Unfortunately, I was unable to oblige. On the last leg of the trip we were treated to one of Montana’s beautiful sunsets.
Just in case you were wondering, Dick was unable to pass off his beer fish net. Not because he didn’t try, others just had butter fingers…hee hee hee. Tomorrow we will be hitting our favorites from the week and enjoying our last day together as a group.