Trip of a lifetime is a bit cliche'. However, these opportunities do exist---even for those of us residing in Montana. This past trip for field staffer Dan Peterson was one of his best fly fishing trips to date.
Dan hooked up with Glacier Anglers, a company based out of West Glacier, on a four-day float on the upper Middle Fork of the Flathead River in the Great Bear Wilderness Area. Glacier Anglers (and parent company Glacier Outdoor Center) is the only entity with commercial permits on this stretch of the river.
Before you start planning your own freelanced adventure, keep in mind this was no weekend trip that started after work Friday evening. In fact, while the gear was transported by mules six miles into the bush, the fortunate participants hiked ahead of the pack train, not knowing quite what to expect once they reached the Flathead.
Once arriving at the holy grail, the rafts were present, thanks to two young strapping lads who hauled them in on their backs the night before. Between the six mules, the 1,200 pounds of gear (dutch ovens included) were loaded into the three rafts and the trip was on. Miles from civilization, the likelihood of seeing a bear (black or grizzly) was more likely than another angler.
And the fishing. In a nutshell, Westslope Cutthroat, over 20", all on large, dry flies. 100-fish-days were the norm. The fish were healthy, abundant and aggressive.
Fishing was only part of the adventure. Great meals, well-versed, experienced guides and top-notch gear made the trip enjoyable and trouble-free. Finally, the final day of the trip was exciting whitewater rafting, which was an added bonus during the heat of the day. This was the trip of a lifetime for any angler who enjoys the combination of stellar fly fishing in a truly wilderness setting.
Look for a complete article in the fall issue of Montana Sporting Journal.