It was another typical fall day at the fly shop. A slow stream of customers, mostly the die-hard fisherman, or a few groups of visitors dropping in to get flies and licenses for their much anticipated trip to trout haven of Montana. A group stopped in that afternoon and the typical greeting ensued. I proceeded with where are you headed? They replied they were from out of town and looked at me confidently and said “Trail Creek.” Trail Creek is a small creek rarely more than 5 feet wide along a dirt road that is a short cut from Bozeman to the Paradise Valley section. My honest response was, awesome guys, haven’t fished there but have driven by it many times. The group looked at me with their jaws hung low. I proceeded to get information to print their fishing licenses when someone from the group interrupted and said, “So if you don’t fish what are you doing working in a fly shop.” Tempted to go along with the situation with a smart remark like, fishing is inhumane and I just need the bills to pay the expenses for my 6 children at home, I replied with a more reasonable remark of who ever said I don’t fly fish. I was actually quite humbled by the question, realizing they must think I have fished every section of every river in Southwest Montana in order to work in a fly shop. The great thing about this part of Montana is that I don’t think there is a person in this part of Montana that has fished every small creek or every section of river in Southwest Montana. I could spend a lifetime without touching every honey hole of water out here.
On a lighter note, I sure hope they didn’t read the only fishing report online for fishing Trail Creek. A company called Hook and Bullet, who I believe is based out of Florida has a “great” report on the fishery. Feel free to read the quick report for yourself. http://www.hookandbullet.com/fishing-trail-creek-bozeman-mt/ My only advice is to make sure you get some local information and stop into the fly shops to get the best advice on local waters. Else wise you could listen to some online report and have fun trolling for “Montana” Coho salmon, Chinook salmon, steelhead, lake trout, and brown trout in a creek no wider than your smart car.