Breaking Through Borders

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  • By Shandy Hart Danford
Breaking Through Borders

Shandy and the gals from PDX Women on the Fly go road trip'n and Shandy still can't get enough!

This week’s fishing report is brought to you by Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon… all of the State lines that I have crossed in the past 7 days in pursuit of getting out of the house and into some type of fly fishing adventure. I’m keeping it short… the small town of Craig, MT and The Missouri River are amazing, United Women on the Fly is WORKING, Montana is RAD and her sky is REALLY big, invasive species boat checks are real and you should definitely pull over for them, 3 oars on your boat are a MUST “just in case,” a guided float is the way to go if you want to be successful at being put on a fish or a plethora of them, if you are on the oars you don’t get to fish (unless you pull to shore hoping that your anchor sets and RUN to the spot that you’ve been eyeing from upriver that initially caught your eye).

The Missouri wasn’t the numbers game for me that I envisioned in my wild dreams of 4000 Rainbow Trout per mile as marketed but it definitely ticked a pretty cool box. This box now contains the memories of my 22” + drop dead gorgeous Brown Trout. This was one of those times that I almost lost the boat to get to the spot that I spied. The quintessential fish stuck between a rock and a hard place. Fast water flowing between a small boulder and the bank with some bubbly depth called for my Czech Nymph set up that the Fly Czar had given to me to rig up on my 3 weight Echo Baseline. 2nd cast and it was game on!!! I couldn’t believe it!!! I was half expecting another White Fish (and I would have gladly taken that as well) and then I saw its glorious spots. LOVE at first sight. 

Back at home, last Sunday produced an entertaining day below Bonnieville with Mr. Skittles, the Small D.O.G., and I chasing some Shad via his 14’ Cataraft on the Columbia. I’m sure our little R&D float tripped out more than one person on land and water as you generally don’t see rafts being used to fish from… but hey it’s us, what do you expect? Fishing was tough, but we found a real sweet spot after traversing some pretty damn fast moving water from the Washington shoreline to the rocky beach and deeper waters of the Oregon shore and back. I caught a few beautiful hens along with Mr. Skittles getting into few as well. Definitely an adventure full of guidance, tips, and tricks. #shadnado is a thing…and I’m already looking forward to next year!

Get out there, if even to a pond and get your line wet!