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Trouts Journal

Battle On The Bighorn

Ivan Orsic / Oct 29, 2014

I'm not sure what I expected to see when I awoke from 4 hours of sleep this past Saturday to kick start my October Montana fishing trip.....however a man wearing nothing but a bath robe, untied hiking boots (no socks) and carrying a shotgun was not it. "There's a bear up in the tree above my trailer, he was getting in my trash and I'm gonna shoot him" said the unidentified stranger. And so there we were, sipping coffee in the early morning light, staring at a black bear directly above us up in a tree.

Welcome to Ft. Smith, Montana.

As we headed out of Denver on Friday night, the rush hour traffic was- even though we knew it would be awaiting us- still annoying. Fishing trips are a special thing and this one had been on the books for a while. Needless to say, we were a little antsy to put some miles between us and the big city. Having multiple days to devote to nothing but keeping the cell phone off, the driftboat pointed downstream and debate the usual....green or black streamer and who's pouring the bloody mary's in the morning.....all good priorities to fill the day with.

The destination was Ft. Smith, Montana, a wonderful little fishing town on the banks of the Bighorn River. You've got to love those small Montana towns where fly-fishing is the lifeblood of the community. Everywhere you go and everyone you talk to is there for one reason. With all the 'twitter this' and 'google that' these days, it's pretty refreshing to spend time in a town where the ultimate status symbol might just be a cooler full of cold beer, gore-tex waders and a few fly rods to your name.

As can happen on trips such as these, time seems to fly by at an incomprehendable rate. This most recent venture to Bighorn was no different. During those 4 days we experienced everything from 75 degree afternoons to 25 degree mornings. Clouds, rain, sun, wind, more wind, a bunch of hungry fish.....and then some more wind. Fishing wasn't always easy (as can actually be on this river sometimes) however we stayed deteremined to crack the code. We fished hard, fished smart and were ultimately rewarded for our efforts. As I sit here reflecting on the trip this morning, I can't think of any other way to have it all go.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.....so here's 15 or so thousand words to get you through this Wednesdsay.

Oh.......and I believe that bear is still alive and doing just fine.

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