Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

Fly fishing anybody?

Any other fly fishermen/women out there? I always see the fly fishing sign in the backdrop of Ben’s videos :smiley:

Post pics of your trophies!!

Here are some of my best…

Trout pics: … p?f=2&t=65

NIce fish, Devin! Looks like you were fishing below Holter Dam. Some big fish there. I spent a decade or so obsessed with trout fishing. My wife and I lived in West Yellowstone for a big chunk of the 90’s and I spent every spare minute hiking and fishing. Rock Creek was the first Montana river I ever fished, and even though I could catch more and bigger trout elsewhere, I’ve always loved it. Such a pretty creek.

Even after we moved back to Florida we spent a bunch of summers chasing trout all over the country, but I have to say I’ve never fished the Guadelupe. Looks like I’m missing out.

Almost all my pictures are on film. I need to dig some out and scan them into the computer

Found a couple of pics I already had scanned into the hard drive.

Good old Rock Creek. Probably somewhere around Harry’s Flat.

The Madison River at Reynold’s Pass. This was the home river for us when we lived there. One of hundreds of Madison River rainbows I’ve had the pleasure of fighting.

I love the rhythm of fly casting almost as much as the rhythm of music.

Larry -

Nice pictures! I’m jealous you lived in West Yellowstone. Your picture of Rock Creek looks amazing. I still haven’t had a chance to fish it, but we drove up and down the river to check it out and the whole area was really nice.

We were fishing below Holter Dam. There are a ton of monster rainbows there! I couldn’t believe it. The flows were dangerously high, but we managed to pull in a few here and there without losing them to the current.

I agree the rhythm of fly casting is just as addicting as music. I haven’t been on the river in a while and I’m starting to go through withdrawals, but fishing season is almost here!

I’m trying to plan our next trip to Montana…Rock Creek is an option on our list, but you seem to know the area pretty well. What places would you recommend?


I love Rock Creek because it is so intimate, but I wouldn’t consider it a destination river for a big trip. More and bigger trout can be had elsewhere, plus the hoards out of Missoula can really mess it up mid-summer. Better to plan a side trip for a day to the Rock.

I’ve fished nearly all the public blue ribbon water in Montana, Wyoming and Idaho (though it’s been a few years), so I might be of some assistance in your trip planning. I was primarily a wade fisherman, though, so I’m not too knowledgeable about float trips. I have some favorite spots, but as you found with Rock Creek, timing is everything. When would you be going?

Plus, there are about a million other variables to consider. Are you looking to be guided? Is your goal lots of medium sized fish or fewer, bigger fish? Do you prefer sight fishing or nymphing? Do you prefer solitude and a few fish or other anglers and more fish? Are you looking to spend time mainly on small water, big water, lakes? (Obviously, you aren’t intimidated by big water if you fished the Missouri.)

If you decide to fish around West Yellowstone (especially the Madison) I can even turn you on to some local patterns that you won’t find in the fly shops (assuming I can find my vise).

You’ve got me more fired up about trout fishing than I’ve been in years. I better go let my OCD settle down.

I’m mainly a wade fisherman also. We would probably be heading out there mid to late July. Does that timing work or would you recommend a different time of summer?

We probably would go without a guide…last time we fended for ourselves and it turned out to be a great trip and inexpensive. Personally, I like catching fewer but bigger fish and I like nymphing a lot because that’s what I’m used to, but it’s always cool to catch them on dries. Probably in the middle as far as solitude with a few fish and anglers with more fish. Also probably bigger water…I like all sizes of water, but I enjoy fishing the big water because I don’t get to do it too often.

I’d be open to trying out the Madison – especially if we can learn about some local patterns :slight_smile: Yeah, I love fly fishing! I’ve been hooked for years (no pun intended). I was really big into tying a few years ago also. That’s a whole other hobby in itself and a great thing to do in the off season to get ready. All this talk about fishing, I might have to make a trip to Beavers Bend in Oklahoma this weekend just to scratch the itch. It’s been way too long!


Heck, we need to fish together! Sounds like we enjoy the same style of fishing. Mid to late July is a smart time for your trip if you don’t have time to sit around waiting for the rivers to clear. Runoff will be over most everywhere, but there will still be some good hatches going off. Like I said before, it’s been a while since I fished out there, and conditions change, so take my recommendations for what they’re worth, but here’s what I might like to do if I were out there this July.

Those Missouri fish you caught were pretty darn impressive and if I were you I’d be tempted to go back for some more of that action. Only problem is that wading just isn’t the best way to get at those fish. You really need a boat to take full advantage of that big water. I’ve only fished there a handful of times and it looks like you had more success than me, anyway, so I’m probably not the best person to give advice about it.

The Bighorn, way over in southeast Montana is probably the next closest thing to the Missouri - big water and big tailwater fish, but there are a lot more side channels in the Bighorn. It’s primarily nymphing, but you can always find a few risers in the eddies if that’s your thing. The river channel around Cottonwood Camp (Three Mile access) is really cut up and is great for wading. It’s just high plains out there, lots of horses and hay. It’s pretty but not like western Montana.

I’m really partial to the upper Madison just because I know it so well. The stretch of river below Quake Lake usually clears around the first of the month and is ridiculously predictable by mid-July. It offers some of the most consistent nymphing for 15 to 20 inch browns and 'bows I’ve ever found. The upper Madison Valley is pretty, but it’s not particularly remote by Montana standards. There are homes built on some stretches of the river and it sometimes feels like you are in somebody’s back yard, but who cares when you’re catching lots of big fish! If you want some variety, and you have a float tube, you can chase big sipping rainbows up on Quake Lake in the evenings, too.

If you’re looking for more solitude and you’re not adverse to some physical exertion, you might consider the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone in the park. It’s a bit of a hike, but once you leave the trail, you probably won’t see another person the rest of the day. Just you and big Yellowstone cutthroat that rarely get fished over. The goal is to catch the Salmonfly hatch, so if you hike in make sure you got some big orange Stimulators or Madame-X’s in your box since the fish will key on them for quite a while after the hatch is over and nothing is finer than big wild trout on 2 inch dry flies. The scenery is stunning, but equally dangerous. It’s the middle of grizzly country, the canyon walls can be treacherous, and if you fall in the river, it’ll be your last fishing day on this earth …but it’s totally worth it!

If you think you might want to head in any of these directions I can give you a lot more detailed information (like the easiest way to access Black Canyon, fly patterns, nymphing techniques and the like).

Here are some shots of the wife fishing Black Canyon.
[attachment=1]Black Canyon.jpg[/attachment]
[attachment=0]Black Canyon Cutt.jpg[/attachment]

I’m not a fly fisher . But , you make me want to go back to Fish Lkae ,UT . Some of the best trout fishijng I have ever done.

I’ve roamed around Utah a bit, Jim, but I’ve never been to Fishlake. I Googled it and it looks like there are some monster lake trout in there. I can understand why you like it. Was that a trip destination for you, or did you live out there?

I love to fly fish! We have some fairly decent fishing here, and even better in the Smokies. The best place that I have been fishing is in northern Colorado in the Rocky Mountain National Park. We were there in September and it was great. We had thought about fishing up around Yellowstone and Montana, but, the thought of the grizzlies helped us decide to wait until we got back to Colorado.

Here are a few pictures of what we caught. The first one is a Brook Trout I caught and took a picture with my buddy in the background.[attachment=2]0917111154a[1].jpg[/attachment]

The next two are some Colorado Greenback Cutthroat[attachment=1]tn[1] (640 x 480).jpg[/attachment]

Nice pics, Doug. Those Greenback Cutts are pretty. I always wanted to catch one of them but their range is so limited, I never got around to it. I’ve fished the upper Colorado River between Kemmering and Granby, but I don’t believe there are any Greenbacks in there.

I’ve fished a bit around your neck of the woods, too. I’ve fished the Chattooga a few times and Duke’s Creek over near Helen. Duke’s is pretty neat because you have to sign up for a “beat” ahead of time like they do in England, then you have the entire stretch of river to yourself for your allotted time slot. It is a tiny creek that is tightly managed and has freakishly large trout in it.

I’ve always wanted to hike into the Tallulah Gorge to see what fish are down there, too. Have you ever tried it?

Fishlake was a family reunion kinda thing. My oldest brother found it and told me about it . I said he was full of bulls#@t. But, he was right. Had to make staeks that first night too.If you go you will not regreat it. You will get you limit every day. The lake is 1 mile wide by 3 miles long if I remeber correct. Don’t forget to bring a oxygen bottle for your way up

— Begin quote from "ldpayton"

I’ve fished a bit around your neck of the woods, too. I’ve fished the Chattooga a few times and Duke’s Creek over near Helen.

I’ve always wanted to hike into the Tallulah Gorge to see what fish are down there, too. Have you ever tried it?

— End quote

I have done a lot of fishing on the Chattooga. I have caught a lot of trout there, but I mainly fish it for redeye bass. I grew up about 1 1/2 from Chattooga (as the crow flies) and spent a lot of time there. Now I live maybe three miles from it and still fish it every chance I get. Here is a picture of a good redeye I caught there.[attachment=0]Three Forks and Chatooga River 021.jpg[/attachment]

I have never been down in the gorge. I don’t know of anybody here that does go down there to fish.

Nice fish, Doug! Can’t say I’ve ever caught one of those redeye bass, on a fly or a Rapala. Sounds like I need to look you up next time I decide to fish the Chatooga 'cause I haven’t had a lot of success I keep trying because my wife’s family likes having family reunions in Dillard.

Jim, I noticed that the Utah state record Lake Trout was caught in Fishlake. Wasn’t you was it? :slight_smile:

No was not me. We fish for the eating size Rainbow and splake. The splake if in spelling it right is the best eating trout I have ever ate. We would rent a bout for the day and troll for them.

Larry, let me know when you want to go. I do several free guided tripss every year.

I’ll definitely keep that in mind, Doug. Her family is getting together down here in Florida this year, so it probably won’t be this summer, but a little pickin’ and fishin’ sounds fun. Guess I’ll have to work out Duelin’ Banjos if we’re fishing the Chattooga.

Ha ha , that might not be a bad idea. We have got a reputation to uphold. :smiley:

I love to flyfish! Only type of fishing I do, even for bass, etc.
Lived in Montana for a while, also. Fished the Boulder, and the Missouri, and streams mainly. I lived just a couple of hundred yards from the upper Missouri, at one point. One place with some monster rainbows a lot of people don’t know about is in east Montana, the first couple of miles below the spillway at Ft. Peck, before the Milk River dumps into it.

I have a friend who owns a cabin on the West Boulder. That is one of the prettiest places I have ever fished, plus there are some really nice browns that migrate up out of the Yellowstone River in the fall.

Ft Peck dam is one of the few places in Montana I haven’t trout fished. It is just so far from everything, I’ve never made it up there. Guess I’ll add it to my bucket list.