Streams Outside of Yellowstone National Park
.............................Fly Fishing Yellowstone National Park


Fly Fishing Monture Creek, Montana

I'll bet many of you have never heard of this stream. Neither had we, the first time we
ran across it. We were headed to another stream in the same general area of the state.
In Montana, "General area" means anywhere within a couple of hundred miles.

I had not noticed Monture Creek on a map but as soon as I spotted the creek, I stopped
the truck. I could not pass it up without fishing it. I knew I was close enough to the road
that I would not be on private property and I could not find any posted signs (although
that isn't necessary to protect private property), so I gave it a try.

Fishing in a downstream direction, I was pleasantly surprised with a beautiful ten inch
cutthroat my second cast. I managed to catch ten of the cutthroats up to about 14
inches long in less than an hour of fishing and all of them on  a dry fly. It was an
absolutely beautiful little stream. Everything else I know about the stream I learned later.

Monture Creek is a tributary of the Blackfoot River. It flows from the huge Bob Marshall
Wilderness for about 24 miles before entering the Blackfoot River. You can reach the
stream in one area by driving 39 miles east of the town of Bonner, Montana on highway
200. According to the state, the stream has brook, brown, rainbow, and Westslope
Cutthroat trout. It also has mountain whitefish and bull trout. There are several
campgrounds in the area.

What I also didn't know was that I was fishing in a creek that had extensive work done
on it to improve the habitat of the trout. The lower Monture Creek flows through an area
that has had a lot of land clearing and  wintering livestock. That did a lot of damage to
the creek. According to this
U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service website, "From 1990 to
1998, riparian livestock management improvements have been implemented on 9.3
miles of the mainstem of Monture Creek including 6 miles of bull trout spawning and
staging areas".

Something else I was unaware of at the time, was that the upper area of Monture Creek
has grizzly bears. It would have made no difference. We have fished many other places
where the bears exist, including Yellowstone National Park. It is just that I don't like the
idea of fishing an area unaware that they are in the area.

We returned to Monture Creek only one other time. The results were the same. We
caught several nice cutthroat trout. It is a stream that we want to fish again. It is easy to
fish. The stream has the typical riffle, run and pools makeup but it is not a fast declining
stream with a lot of fast water. It flows fairly moderately and is easy to wade in the areas
we have fished it. I guess that is standard fare for Montana trout streams. Anywhere
else in the nation, a 24 mile long stream, that beautiful with native fish would be
crowded and highly publicised. In Montana, it is just another trout stream.

Copyright 2009 James Marsh
Copyright 2009 James Marsh
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