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I hosted a group of friends and clients on my annual destination fly fishing trip to southwest Montana this past week. Due to the current situation with the pandemic, it was a smaller group this year but the fishing was good as usual!

Rusty Chinnis, from Longboat Key, and I traveled from Sarasota to Bozeman on Sunday, August 2, and made the 2-1/2 hour drive to Medicine Lodge, on a 100,000 acre working ranch near the Beaverhead River, near Dillon, MT. We met up there with Mike Perez and Dennis Kinley, from IN, who drove out to met us at the lodge.

I hosted a group of friends and clients on my annual destination fly fishing trip to southwest Montana this past week. Due to the current situation with the pandemic, it was a smaller group this year but the fishing was good as usual!

Rusty Chinnis, from Longboat Key, and I traveled from Sarasota to Bozeman on Sunday, August 2, and made the 2-1/2 hour drive to Medicine Lodge, on a 100,000 acre working ranch near the Beaverhead River, near Dillon, MT. We met up there with Mike Perez and Dennis Kinley, from IN, who drove out to met us at the lodge.

We fished the Beaverhead and Big Hole Rivers and a spring creek with guide Dave King, owner of King Outfitters (406) 596-0209 in Dillon, and guide Dan Allen. I’ve fished with these guides for almost 20-years when I started fishing Montana. They work hard, do a great job and know their fishery well. We had great action on 5 and 6-weight fly tackle with brown and rainbow trout to more than 20” on streamers, dry flies, dry/dropper and nymph rigs. The dry fly action was with a variety of grasshopper patterns, sometimes with a nymph dropper, or with a smaller dry fly and a few other bugs. Like fishing everywhere, there were good days and slower days but overall it was great!

Equipped with an industrial size kitchen and a large dining room with ranch style seating, it is a great place for our group. Chef Annie Kubicka spoiled us with hearty Montana meals and desserts! The weather and scenery were outstanding with temperatures ranging from a very comfortable mid 40’s in the morning to the mid 80’s in the afternoon with only 15% to 20% humidity, a welcome relief from southwest Florida’s heat and humidity in August! In addition to beautiful valleys surrounded by rugged mountains, the wildlife is amazing! We saw whitetail and mule deer, moose, pronghorn antelope, wild turkeys, hawks, eagles, ducks, geese and sand hill cranes.

Back in Sarasota catch and release snook fishing around dock lights and bridges and trout, jacks, blues and more on deep grass flats should be good options. There should be tarpon in areas of upper Charlotte Harbor and Tampa Bay. Juvenile tarpon in canals and creeks may also be a good option. You might also find them in a few places mixed with snook in dock lights.

Our natural resources are under constant pressure from red tides fueled by industrial, agricultural and residential runoff, freezes, increasing fishing pressure and habitat loss and degradation, please limit your kill, don’t kill your limit!

Capt. Rick GrassettCapt. Capt. Rick Grassett

Rick is the owner of Snook Fin-Addict Guide Service, Inc. He's a full time fishing guide and outdoor writer based in Sarasota, FL. He’s been guiding since 1990 and is an Orvis-Endorsed fly fishing guide here at CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, the 2011 Orvis Out­fit­ter of the Year.