It’s finally time to wrap up the wrap up of our trip to Montana and Yellowstone National Park. After we left the Park, we headed out the North Entrance, through Gardiner and on toward Emigrant, Montana in Paradise Valley. When we left off, we had happy hour’ed on the Yellowstone River, ate a gluttonous, delicious dinner at Chico Hot Springs Resort, and retired to our room at the Paradise Gateway B&B.
We woke up the next morning bright and early for a guided full-day fly fishing trip on the Yellowstone River. Wheat booked this trip ahead of time through Montana Angler, a service recommended to him by his uncle. We can’t recommend them enough!
We met our guide at a fly fishing shop in Emigrant, purchased fishing licenses and a few supplies, and followed him to a nearby boat landing. As I mentioned before, as luck would have it, our guide, Doug Casey (definitely ask for him if you ever go!), was our age and from Snellville, Georgia, so we got along just fine.
We began with some parking lot lessons in casting with a fly rod, which I had never done before. After a few tries and Doug getting the boat ready, we were off. No motors are allowed on the rivers in the area, so the boats seat two, plus the guide, who paddles and navigates the (occasionally treacherous) waters. I told Doug that the rednecks back home would have none of that nonsense – we would have trolling motors on those boats quicker than you could say, “catfish.”
We had an absolute blast all day, catching a ton of fish and getting the hang of fly fishing. We both caught a ton of whitefish, and Wheat caught a cutthroat trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout! I ended up catching everything but a cutthroat trout. It was SO MUCH FUN, and so different from the fishing I’m used to doing.
I (like everyone else I’ve told about our trip, apparently) wanted to know what a whitefish was, exactly. Doug explained that the gray and white fish is a relative of trout, but it isn’t as tasty. Smoked, however, it’s really good. He found it funny that I promptly dubbed it the “Mullet of Montana.”
In addition to the fishing being fun, the scenery down the 14 miles of river through Paradise Valley was unbelievable. This is the area where A River Runs Through It with a very young Brad Pitt was filmed. It’s gorgeous.
This stitched quote from A River Runs Through It was hanging in our B&B, so it seems appropriate to end on this note. This was my absolute favorite part of our vacation, I think. I can’t wait to get better at fly fishing and go back!