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The Trifecta

by Kris Franqui
(Billings, MT)

It’s transition time here in Montana. The local streams are starting to turn color and will soon be rising. A few days ago I tried my hand with smallies on the Yellowstone, but today I went to the foothills of the Beartooth wilderness with my Kurenai for wild trout.

The sun was shining and the wind was calm. I had to stay away from the shady timber where the snow was too deep, but fortunately there were several options close to the road. Although I wanted to try my HM30R for the first time, I wasn’t sure what to expect in this new section of creek, so I opted for the HM45R instead...also a first. The extra length was challenging in a couple spots, but also a blessing in others since I was only wearing muck boots and wasn’t wading.

It only took a couple drifts in the first piece of pocket water before a little rainbow took my polish woven nymph. I couldn’t help admiring the bend in the Kurenai as the little 10” trout tried to get downstream. I knew immediately that the hour drive was worth it as I was giggling like a little school girl.

I only fished about 100 yds of creek over the next hour and a half, but the fish managed to keep me busy. I ended with a version of a trifecta, catching many rainbows, a handful of brookies, and a single Yellowstone cutthroat...my first in this creek. Browns can be found in this water as well, but only after the creek triples in size and winds down through the grasslands below.

When the day started, I wasn’t even sure I was going to get any fishing in, but I figured it was a good day for a drive. Being so close to the familiar trailheads makes me eager to throw on my pack and disappear for some long weekends. I’m about halfway through the 300ish fishable lakes in the Beartooths and my “to do” list is long again this year. I’m sure a few of those trips will give me more stories to tell.


Comments for The Trifecta

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Apr 26, 2020
Heartwarming!
by: Les Albjerg

Kris,

Your story warmed my heart! I went bear hunting yesterday. With unemployment and no sports and Idahoan's love of the outdoors, it looked like half of Boise was out in the woods. I munched my lunch along the road and looked longingly at the "thin blue line" of the creek I love to fish when taking a break from bear hunting. I wouldn't fish it because just 20 yards from me was a travel trailer parked in the wide spot. Just above where we normally park to hike up to our bear spot was a truck and camper. One hundred yards down the road was a 4 wheel drive with a wheeler being loaded. I learned from fishing Indian Creek (my creek on the way to work), that if people see you fishing, there will soon be fisherman hitting that spot.

Our run-off is late this year. I'm hoping to hit the Boise before they begin releasing a lot of water. Nice to hear about the Kurenai!

Apr 26, 2020
perfect outing 👌
by: Farmer

Great story! Kurenai is one of my favorite rods. Wild mountain streams one of my favorite pastimes. Trifecta is icing on the cake! Thanks.

Apr 28, 2020
Beautiful fish!
by: John Evans

Beautiful fish . . . and a good story to go with them!

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