Up in smoke? Hopefully not.


Not that kind of smoke.

In July the Rangers visited a favorite trout stream in Idaho’s panhandle, and amidst one of the driest years on record we got rained out (I posted about it here). In addition to getting drenched, the river went up and put the fish down. We could have stayed another day or two waiting for the fishing to warm back up, but the weather stayed cool and damp—not exactly enticing weather in which to sit around camp—so we cut our trip short.

Now, almost exactly 2 months since then, we’re headed east again, though this time to NW Montana, with the ultimate goal of reaching Columbia Falls. Me and Jimmy are taking the Man Van and an extra day to explore some smaller waters before arriving at our destination. Once there we plan to fish for a couple days with the rest of the Firehole Ranger detachment.


And not this kind of van.

Since July, wildfires have ravaged the entire west, and continue to burn. However, the weather has cooled down so the fires may have subsided a bit. We hope to dodge the smoke that was real bad just a week or so ago, but despite recent reports that the smoke has subsided for now, that could change with the wind. Let’s hope it doesn’t. Wind is bad. Smoke is bad. At least the forecast doesn’t call for thunderstorms so we should stay dry. Then again, we’re not staying in tents so whatever comes our way, so be it.

Oh, and we may be fishing with a celebrity in the fly fishing world, but it wouldn’t be prudent of me to talk about that just yet.

I’ll probably write something about the trip upon our return.


  1. Howard Levett

    Kirk, you know I can’t pass up a challenge. I going to guess that the celebrity is that guy that never met an idiot on the water. I’ll let you furnish the punchline.

    • Kirk Werner

      Despite that you are very seldom, if ever, wrong, you would be this time, Howard. Stay tuned.

  2. The Fading Angler

    We fished in some of the Montana smoke last month in Craig. Mark at HeadHunters called it “false overcast,” which actually sounds like my typical flailing about with a rod and line. Despite the smoke, my wife and kids had a blast all day on the Mo’, as seen here, if you’re interested:


    Good luck. I hope the smoke doesn’t harsh your mellow groove affect the fishing!

    • Kirk Werner

      False overcast. I like that. Wish I’d thought of it so I could use it over and over. Alas, I’m not that clever. Looks like you had a great trip on the Mo: those fish are amazing in my limited experience (having fished the Mo only once thus far). Keep up the good work passing it on to your kids, and as a native of Western WA (and a Sage whore) I salute you for supporting Sage and our local economy! My very best to you, sir: squeeze everything you can into the time with your kids and let’s hope that there’s a cure for Parkinson’s soon. Thanks for stopping by the UA.

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