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trip to montana

trip to montana

Postby handyandy » Tue May 01, 2018 11:52 am

So I just recently got married, been with my now wife for a little over two years already before we tied the knot recently. Skip to the second paragraph if you want to cut to the chase or read on and feel free to make comments on trip plans for the about my whole plan. She enjoys the outdoors like me, well maybe not as much as me, but enough we decided to make our honey moon a big road trip out west doing some camping, fishing, and duck hunting along the way. Our current plan is to start the last week of september drive from shitiana (indiana) to mo right after work on a friday stay with family a night leave early the next morning hammer down for the Badlands in South Dakota, stay at wall for the night in a hotel as it will have been a really long drive. Site see the badlands for most the day then head to custard state park camp there a few nights so we can see Mt Rushmore, Wind Cave NP, maybe spearfish canyon if we have time. From there drive to Yellostone stay in the park at the Yellostone Inn for four nights so we have a couple days to site see, hike, and possibly drop my boat in on the snake in the upper stretches that allow motors to make a nice ride. Not sure if I will fish around yellowstone or on the snake I'm not well versed in catching trout especially with the regs they have around there no bait, no soft plastics. Forgive me I've been a midwestern smallmouth/largemouth angler all my life. From Yellowstone my plan was to leave out via the Bear tooth scenic highway assuming it's still open I would think it would be in the first week of October looking at historical weather and when it has closed in the past for winter. We would then go to Fort Smith area where we plan on camping at the Cottonwood Camp. We were planning on getting a guide for a day on the bighorn, depending on how it goes might take a stab at fishing on our own a bit further down on big horn where I could run my boat. I figure if nothing else should make for a nice boat ride. From there driving to Devils Lake North Dakota and spending 3 days there duck hunting as I have a friend I work with that has a bunch of family that farms there and has some prime waterfowl land. After that hammering down to head back home stopping off in KC MO area to stay a night with friends then heading back Indiana. We have already made reservations for all the places to stay/camp at, but it's early enough I can change these around if it seems like it would be a better choice.

So I'm hoping maybe all the Montana guys on here might be willing to help with suggestions for a guide and or fishing the bighorn or you think a different area would be better. I mostly picked Fort Smith/Big Horn river as it was a good area to go to after Yellowstone in terms of distance from it, it starts putting us more towards home, and puts us within a days driving period to next stop Devils Lake ND. Also if anyone is well versed with the Yellowstone/Grand Tetons area boating/fishing I'm all ears. I forget the exact point but I know on the I can run the snake from a certain point on down stream with my boat. I know it's HP restricted to outboard jets of 150hp or less, which is fine for me I have a .125 thick 1654 flat bottom with an old 2s omc 60/40 jet. I know I can't go through white water, but from what I saw when I floated a short section of the snake in Grand Tetons NP a few years ago it seemed like running my boat on it would be fine and make for a scenic ride. I had a harder time finding regs on the upper part of the Yellowstone river in MT just outside Yellowstone NP is it 10hp restricted? I made a road trip out to Yellowstone in August 2015 loved it, I've loved it every time I've gone out west I would like to move to ID or MT at some point hoping maybe this trip might convince the wife on the region as well. I'm fully aware that by the end of the September beginning of October the temps can be pretty cold at night, but we are planning it then to try and avoid the summer vacationers, and the day time temps are usually pretty nice as well as sunny normally. Anyways appreciate any knowledge or advice folks might have.
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Re: trip to montana

Postby Redfish1 » Tue May 01, 2018 7:50 pm

Sounds like a great trip
I keep a second home 5 miles from west entrance to yellowstone park on Hebgen Lake that I rent out
I’d drive west for a Float trip on the Big Hole River for a trout fishing experience.... if interested I can hook you up
For your boat Hebgen is great fishing
Let me know if there is anything I can help with
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Re: trip to montana

Postby handyandy » Wed May 02, 2018 9:21 am

Redfish1 wrote:Sounds like a great trip
I keep a second home 5 miles from west entrance to yellowstone park on Hebgen Lake that I rent out
I’d drive west for a Float trip on the Big Hole River for a trout fishing experience.... if interested I can hook you up
For your boat Hebgen is great fishing
Let me know if there is anything I can help with


Thanks for the reply sent you a message
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Re: trip to montana

Postby Redfish1 » Wed May 02, 2018 12:20 pm

Replied to your Pm
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Re: trip to montana

Postby Bobcat93 » Thu May 03, 2018 12:18 pm

Here's a link for most of the boating restrictions in MT. Not sure why it is no listed but the Yellowstone is closed to motorized boats from the park to the Highway 89 bridge east of Livingston (correct me if I'm wrong). The Bighorn is closed for a few miles. Also note that the Big Horn has been running higher than normal due to anticipation of a lot of runoff into Yellowtail/Big Horn reservoir

http://fwp.mt.gov/recreation/regulation ... ody.html#w
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Re: trip to montana

Postby handyandy » Thu May 03, 2018 1:36 pm

Big horn I was aware of it's closed to motor boats upstream from the bighorn FAS. Yellowstone I had a harder time finding that info and wasn't sure. My hope is that generally late september/early october when we will make the trip the rivers should be lower and clear. I know temps will be cooling, but from usually snow isn't a big issue yet that time of year. I know yellowstone historically the lows the last week of september were usually the upper 20's range highs in the 50's. Our hope is to see some good fall colors, past the time of summer vacationers, but should be before winter weather starts to set in.
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Re: trip to montana

Postby Bobcat93 » Thu May 03, 2018 2:06 pm

The Big Horn tends to get mossy mid summer but the fishing is better in the fall when the algae goes away.
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Re: trip to montana

Postby Crawdad Johnny » Fri May 04, 2018 7:19 am

If, for any reason, you find yourself in the Helena, MT area. Launch at The Gates of the Mountains (about 15 miles north of Helena). Head north (downstream) and boat through the Gates of the Mountains on the Missouri River. Spectacular scenery and a great chance to see deer, elk, antelope, and big horn sheep. There used to be a lot of mountain goats in that area but there was a major die off so they are scarce these days. The scenery alone is worth the trip and the fishing can be great.
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Re: trip to montana

Postby handyandy » Fri May 04, 2018 8:28 am

Crawdad Johnny wrote:If, for any reason, you find yourself in the Helena, MT area. Launch at The Gates of the Mountains (about 15 miles north of Helena). Head north (downstream) and boat through the Gates of the Mountains on the Missouri River. Spectacular scenery and a great chance to see deer, elk, antelope, and big horn sheep. There used to be a lot of mountain goats in that area but there was a major die off so they are scarce these days. The scenery alone is worth the trip and the fishing can be great.


Appreciate the advice, I hadn't planned on going that way, some day I'd like to see that area, go to Glacier, and Fort Peck lake. My boat isn't a white water boat being a small flat bottom obj rig, but can run really shallow rivers and riffles just fine.
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Re: trip to montana

Postby handyandy » Fri May 04, 2018 8:32 am

https://www.nps.gov/bica/planyourvisit/ ... ations.htm

outside of these fishing regs, and the no motor boats upstream of Bighorn FSA is there anything else I need to be aware of on big horn?
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Re: trip to montana

Postby frstjet » Sun May 06, 2018 10:44 am

Depending on which section of the big horn you are wanting to be on. There are three diversion dams. 1st is Between the mallards access and arapooish access. Next is way down stream below the general custer access. The last is almost ti the mouth. Above the manuel lisa access.
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Re: trip to montana

Postby handyandy » Mon May 07, 2018 11:16 am

Dang between these regs

http://fwp.mt.gov/recreation/regulation ... ody.html#w

and these ones

http://fwp.mt.gov/recreation/regulation ... ounty.html

They sure cut out what would be a lot of great jet boating areas.
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Re: trip to montana

Postby handyandy » Thu Aug 09, 2018 12:22 pm

Big thanks to redfish1 renting his house for our stay in yellowstone area. With that said, what is the nearest river to west yellowstone that one can run a obj boat be it in Montana, Idaho, or Wyoming. Wyoming I believe it's around 2.5hrs away just down stream Jackson I would be legal being under 115hp to run my boat on the snake, Idaho I've been having a hard time finding regs on what waterways aren't open to power boats. Henry's Fork looks like it would have some good water for a smaller obj boat like mine. Montana I think about the closest is Yellowstone River outside of the park down stream from where the 10hp restriction ends which is a decent haul as well from west yellowstone. I'm tempted to not bother with the boat, but would like to have it for Hebgen Lake which we will be staying right on, and to run on Big Horn river when we're in that area. If I didn't take the boat at the very least I'd be bringing the kayaks I have. I'm really wanting to bring the boat and would like to get some river time in the area. I like floating rivers in kayaks but then I gotta figure out a shuttle. Will be getting some river time in on the Big Horn have a guide booked for one day, doing that as it's a good stopping point as we work our way over to North Dakota which is the last leg of our trip.
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Re: trip to montana

Postby whee » Thu Aug 09, 2018 4:03 pm

For Idaho: All moving water in Fremont county would be closed to your OBJ. The section of the Henry's Fork open for running is basically from Menan to a little north of Rexburg. This time of year it is runnable but you can't be afraid of pumping rocks or polishing your bottom with gravel. But it is really fun, no rapids. I launch at Warm Slough and run up as far as I dare.

About 1.5hrs south of West Yellowstone is the South Fork of the Snake. There are several sections to boat, no rapids of significance, and decent fishing. Lots of ramps available ($3/day) but the further upstream you go towards Palisades the more drift boaters you'll encounter.
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Re: trip to montana

Postby handyandy » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:21 am

Thanks for the advice, I've been searching to no avail trying to find regs for idaho as to what waters are closed to motors or have restrictions. I'm not afraid of banging my pump some and scraping gravel. Bottom of my boat is far from perfect, what your describing is what I was after I appreciate it. Have to give a thanks to redfish for hooking me up with his house to rent while we're there.
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