Trip Report: Montana Creek (August 27, 2017)

Rainbow trout caught in upper Montana Creek. Photo: Ben Rowell

We pulled up to Carrs at 8am to grab breakfast and a few snacks for the day. Being a member of the Facebook group Stop Valley Thieves has made me paranoid about leaving anything in the back of a pickup truck, so I threw my gear in the cab, locked the door, and went inside. When we got back to the truck, my fishing partner, Kory, had a slight look of concern on his face. Why? Because I locked the keys in his truck. Definitely not a good way to start a fishing trip. Fortunately, Kory use to steal cars (just kidding) and had us back in the truck in about ten minutes. The day was saved. 

We met up with another friend, Mike, in Wasilla and headed to Montana Creek. It was obvious that hunting season was in full swing because the popular parking area at the upper part of the creek was empty. The creek was running at about normal flower this time of year and crossing back and forth across the creek was not be not a problem.

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While fishing our first stretch of water we shared with each other what size and color bead we were using and which beads resulted in hook ups. After fishing four runs we landed four average sized rainbow trout. There was an above average size trout hanging behind a school of chums resting in slow moving water but we couldn’t get it to make a move toward our beads.

After fishing the upper stretch of the creek for a couple hours, we thought the fishing was kind of slow overall and decided to moved down river. We got one hookup that proved to be one of the bigger fish anyone in our group had seen pulled from Montana Creek in a few years. In fact, the quick grab and strength of the initial tug was so surprising that Mike thought he snagged a log. He kept pressure on the fish, guided it to shore, and eventually landed the fish about 30 yards downstream from where it was hooked.

A beautiful leopard rainbow trout that Mike pulled out from a root wad on Montana Creek. Photo: Ben Rowell

We moved back upstream and had one hookup but left without landing a fish. From what we observed, there seemed to be a lot of fresh chums moving up the creek, which may have the trout hiding in spots where our offerings (beads, flesh flies, and dolly llamas) weren’t being seen.  I hooked three trout, each on a different size and color bead so I’m guessing the trout weren’t keyed into a specific size and color egg just yet. What we all agreed on though is that with so many chums in the river now, fishing in September and early October will be really good.

On the way back to Wasilla we stopped at an easily accessed gravel bar above the highway on Willow Creek. We fished for about ten minutes and while we didn’t catch any fish, we did scare off a guy trying to poach salmon. He was pissed that we ruined his illegal fun so he stomped through the woods back to his truck where he proceed peeled out of the gravel parking area.

The action was a slower than we expected it to be but we had a good time hiking around the creek and exploring new areas. And while the bead bite was on (kind of), it will only get better from here on out. The next couple of weeks should be be really good so if you enjoy fishing for big rainbow trout now is the time to be on the water.

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