We almost didn’t go. Smoke was thick up on the Yaak and my wife’s asthma was going to nix the trip, but the smoke blew away, as smoke does, and the trip was back on.
Instead of smoke, our week up on the Yaak River in NW Montana was accompanied mostly by clouds, a bit of rain, and cooler temps. That did put a little bit of a kabosh on the fishing, but there were still some highlights.
This corner of Montana doesn’t get written up too much and people don’t find themselves up here by accident. It isn’t really on the way to anything, or from anything, it is just up there all on its own. People have to head here on purpose.
My in-laws live on the Yaak, a pretty little free-stone with loads of trout in it. Loads and loads of tiny, little, finicky, temperamental, temperature sensitive trout. I never seem to get to look at this river when it has water in it. I’ve seen it in December, when most of the water is frozen up in the mountains. I’ve seen it in September when all that water is mostly through the drainage (no dams on Yaak). They float this river in the Spring, but you’d have trouble getting an inner-tube down it in September.
The picture above was me getting mostly worked by the Yaak. So much good water, water that hadn’t been touched in a long, long time, and had nothing in it interested in eating. It seems when the cooler temps hit the water, the fish just shut their mouths. I caught fish, but if things were going well it would have been fish after fish after fish. I’ve seen that happen here, just not this year.
I did stick some fish on the river, even got my son out in the backpack to do some fishing on one of the decent weather days.
Other stories, coming soon…
- My daughter, again, crushes 20 trout on a little creek.
- My dad and I float the Kootenai
- I get my wife out fishing (rules to follow were 1. no wet feet, 2. she didn’t have to touch the fish)