streamer icon


nymph icon

My Reports

jumper icon


overhead cast icon


trout2 icon

Friday, 14 October 2016 12:12

Madison River Montana Trip Report August 2016

Written by Dustin Rocksvold

Cindy and I took a trip to Montana the first week of August. We spent four nights with Kelly Galloup at the Slide Inn and had two float trips during our stay there. Then we went to Ennis and had a two night stay and one day of guided fishing at the Rainbow Valley Lodge.

The trip up there was an adventure for sure. We had decided to break up the drive into two days so we stopped in Elko Nevada and spent the night. The next morning I got up and showered. When I went to get dressed, I found that I had not packed any underwear. DOH! Off to WalMart we went. Three hours later, and several stops later, we got on the road to Montana. We were chased across Idaho by a thunderstorm and pummeled by rain at times. We pulled into the Slide Inn Late on Saturday evening. The thunderstorm let up not long after we arrived so we were able to unload without getting drenched. It made for a beautiful sunset.

The bed was a little small for the two of us, so I ended up letting her have the bed and I put two sleeping bags and some spare blankets down on the floor for me to sleep on. Well, either there is a ghost, or the door wasn't completely latched, but about 4:30 in the morning the front door of the cabin blew open really fast. Normally I am a sound sleeper, but I woke when that happened. I think I crapped myself so hard I levitated off of the floor about four inches!  Nobody there, must have been a draft...  Scared the heck out of the two of us though.

Gary and I decided to try our luck on the North Fork of the Mokelumne on the afternoon of Friday Augst 7th.  We drove up Highway 88 and then down a freshly chip-sealed Ellis Road.  I guess some of the fine PG&E paid regarding the Power Fire is being put to good use.  We found a spot to park and then started making our way down stream.

We worked downstream for an hour or so without so much as spooking a fish.  The flows were around 19 CFS.  Gary checked the water temperature and found it to be 66F.  We decided to head back to the truck and move further upstream to find cooler water.

After moving upstream to a spot that I have had good luck at in the past, we finally managed to find some fish.  We actually landed a few as well.  Gary was fishing a tan size 12 Adams and I was using a tan size 14 EC Caddis.  Gary landed more fish than I on this trip, with a final count of 7 to 4.

This was a good reminder to check the water temperatures and fish where the temperatures are more ideal.  At the second location the temps were running around 60F and there were actually fish present.

The fish were a mixture of Rainbow Trout and Brown Trout, with the largest fish being about 8".


My friend Gary and I fished Indian Creek Reservoir on 7/31/15.  We fished from just before 10 AM until 4:30 Gary landed 7 fish, I landed 9.  All of our fish were caught in the deeper end of the lake near the dam.  

The hot flies were a pheasant tail and a hare's ear, both around size 14-16.  Both of us caught a few cutthroat trout in the mix with the rainbows.  The weather was very unpredictable with the wind changing directions over and over.  There was a little rain, though not heavy.  Air temps were in the 80's, a nice break from the 100's we were seeing ont he other side of the hill.


The Amador Flyfishers and the Calaveras Fly Fishers held a joint outing to Heenan Lake on Saturday October 11th.  

There were quite a few members and guests present.  There was a large crowd there when I arrived at about 9:30.  Looking towards the dam when I was heading out I saw 17 people between myself and the dam.

I down the west side of the lake back to the area that I had done well at the trip before.  

I fished Heenan Lake with my friend Gary on Sunday 9-14-14.  We got on the water around 3:00 PM hoping to catch the evening bite.

There were two other anglers fishing near the boat ramp.  One of them tied into a fish right as we got onto the water.  I thought that was a good sign and was hopeful that since we pretty much ahd the lake to ourselves we would have a good evening of fishing.

Gary once again dragged me away from my retaining wall project (kicking and screaming) to spend another day traipsing around the high Sierras in search of wild trout.  This time I convinced Cindy to bring Katy the wonder dog along for the adventure.  We parked at the lot just east of the Kirkwood Inn and made our way over the hill and through the woods to meadow below.  The flows were running at 50 CFS, apparently in the effort to draw down Caples Lake to make room for the spring runoff, assuming we actually get a winter that is.  We had some luck fairly quickly, with Brook Trout that were eager to take our flies.  

My friend Gary and I took a trip up Highway 88 on Friday 8/15 in search of some fishable water.  We had heard that the flow in Blue Creek was around 8 CFS, shich sounded a little skinny to us.  We decided to stop and take a look at Red Lake Creek in the meadow by the red corral.  What we found was water that was very off-color with algae, apparently coming from Red Lake itself.  We tried our usual suspect flies and did not have that much luck.  We did not have a rise until just before 10:00.  

Saturday May 31 found several members of the Amador Flyfishers on the West Carson in Hope Valley teaching the on the water portion of our introduction to fly fishing class.  After lunch the group broke up and headed off to fish separate areas.  Ron Calvert and I headed over to Red Lake Creek to check it ot.  At our last meeting we had heard reports of beaver dams all over the creek and we wanted to check them out.

We found lots of beaver dams, no disappointment there.  The creek had changed quite a bit since the last time I fished it, a lot of that change coming from the beaver dams.  The fish seemed to be spookier than I remember, but after a few lessons learned by spooking a whole pool of fish we figured out how to be more stealthy.  Once that lesson was learned, we started to hook into some of the feisty brook trout that were inhabiting the beaver ponds.  They did not seem to have a preference for mayflies or caddis flies as they attacked both with abandon.  We both managed to hook up with over twenty fish in about 3 hours of fishing.

After completing the Mokelumne River Cleanup with Sac-Sierra Trout Unlimited and Amador Flyfishers on Saturday May 3rd, Reese Orlander decided to take me up on my invitation to fish one of the tributaries to the North Fork of the Mokelumne River.  We headed by my house to drop off the cleanup supplies and then ventured farther up the hill in search of a little excitement.  We got on the water a little after 3:00 and found quite a bit of insect activity for the small body of water we were fishing.  There were stoneflies, caddis flies and mayflies in abundance.  

I took Katy the Wonder Dog out for her first fishing adventure today.  I decided that I would take her to one of my favorite local spots, the NF Mokelumne below Tiger Creek Afterbay.    I got in some casting practice to help knock off the cobwebs on my bad casting.

Katy had a blast running around throught he bushes exploring.  Why did I call her Katy the Wonder Dog?  Every time I turned around I was wondering where she had taken off to.  Luckily for me the dam halts upstream progress and it was easier to figure out where she was.

I managed to hook one little rainbow on an EC Caddis, had it on briefly before losing it, before the fishing cooled off.  I was concentrating so hard on where my casts were falling and how the fly was drifting that I did not notice that Katy the Wonder Dog had come out to see what I was doing.  I guess I should call her the Wonder Dog because I was wondering why I wasn't having any luck.  I turned and looked upstream and this is what I found...

She was intently watching me fish the run and pacing back ad forth on top of this rock.