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  • Wild Game Gourmet

Gone Fishing

I love summer in Montana! There is so much to do in the great outdoors, and fishing is my

favorite. I get excited in spring when snow melts and the ice breaks up along the banks of our pristine lakes and rivers. Feeling my anticipation of the season this year, my boyfriend Greg bought me a new fishing rod for Mother’s day. I couldn’t wait to try it out!

We had a bit of a slow start. Our first five outings were a total bust, but perseverance prevailed! Finally in July, during my annual camping/fishing birthday weekend, we got into the fish! Happy birthday to me….big ole Rainbow and Brown trout :-)

Believe it or not I don’t have to catch fish to enjoy the experience. I simply love being on the water. Early dawn sunrise, (my favorite) or kayaking under midday sun; the experience always warms and feeds my soul. It’s certainly more fun when catching fish, but sometimes a simple sunrise on the water fills my stringer.

This year we fished some new locations including Harrison Lake, Hyalite Reservoir, Hebgen Lake, and many of our Southwest Montana rivers. We were also fortunate enough to draw a Smith River permit this year. Five days floating, fishing, and camping our way along the 60 mile float.

My favorite place to fish hands down though is Hebgen Lake. Whoa, the size of the trout we pull out of there will blow your mind! They average between 17-20 inches!

I mainly spin cast, but slowly working on my fly fishing skills. My favorite and most successful casting lure is a silver spoon. For fly fishing, a wooly bugger. For the little ones, a bobber with a sinking nymph (my seven year old caught a 19 inch rainbow trout on Hebgen Lake with one of those this summer!). What are your favorites? I would love to know.

Fishing is such a rewarding, relaxing experience. Bringing home fresh fish to experiment in the kitchen is so exciting for me. I have tried some fun new recipes this summer and of course we smoked quite a few as well. Smoked fish is more versatile than you think.

If you have never gone fishing, I highly recommend it. Even if you catch and release. There is hardly a more enjoyable experience on a lovely summer day.

Check out some of my fish recipes on the Fins page.

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