During the summer I was asked if I could drive to Hamilton for a work errand. It took me a nano-second to say sure as I knew I would be able to spend a bit of time on the Bitterroot. On that day, I drive the hour south from Missoula gear loaded in the company van. When the errand was finished, I made my way south trying to decide where to stop. I didn't know the waters at all so kept driving until it just felt right. I found myself south of Darby at the Hannon Memorial put-in.
As I was beginning to wrap up my day, was fishing near the put in when a guide and his clients came along preparing to take out. At that moment I got a fish on and we started chatting a bit. Once we were out of the water we discovered we had Casting for Recovery in common. I, of course, have worked with them for many years and he was going to be working with some local CfR staff on Tenkara. I couldn't go with them the day there were to go out, so we decided on another time. Last Saturday, was that day..kinda of.
Jim Mitchell of Montana Hunting & Fishing Adventures is the man I met over the summer and we decided that October 11 we were going to float and I was going to try my hand at Tenkara. Jim, his wife Bonnie and I hit the river with a myriad of rods on board. I had two rods (one for streamers, of course), Bonnie had a rod and Jim had a streamer rod and two Tenkara rods. We..were ready for anything.
The upper Bitterroot was the choice for the day. This was an area I had never fished, but this is Jim's home waters; a river he guides on and knows like the back of his hand. The moment we put in at Angler's Roost south of Hamilton, Jim ordered 'rods out!' It's wasn't a barn burner of a day, but we all caught fish. The big Brown in the picture at the top was not just my best of the day or my best since moving to Montana, but may be the biggest Brown I have ever caught. Hot fly was the Red Copper John under a Jimmy Legs. With that said, did have a couple come after that leggy bugger!
Even though our initial intent was to get my hands on the Tenkara rod, I only had it my hands for about 15 minutes. This, by no means, was any fault of Jim's. I was perfectly content sitting in the boat with my favorite set up..my 5wt St. Croix Legend Elite and my Ross Evolution. There did come a point, though, he put it my hands and sent me off. The casting takes some getting used and Jim and I have already discussed getting out next month in which I will dedicate my time to learning Tenkara. Ironically, he took a customer out and the woman stated that she can't understand why everyone doesn't fish Tenkara! Of course, that just made me eager to find out all about it.
All-in-all it was a great day with great people on an amazing rivers in the middle of paradise. Yeah..it rained..but we got fish!!
Next up..this weekend..The Yellowstone outside of Big Timber, Montana. Stay tuned!!!
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Hi....I'm Mollie. Born in Aurora, Illinois and raised on a farm 20 miles west of there in Hinckley, I was an outside girl from the get-go. Horses were my passion, but occasionally would find myself next to my brothers fishing in our pond. Many years later, fly fishing caught my attention and I haven't looked back. After living in South Florida and Baltimore, I have made my dream of moving to Montana a reality. Hope you'll let me know if you're in the Bozeman area. Perhaps we can wet a line or our whistles!