Trout Bumming: Day 1

Outdoor Life begins an epic fishing adventure.

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To see Trout Bumming: Intro, click HERE. McKean studies the backcountry warnings on the trail to Island Lake. Bear spray is cheap insurance in this grizzly country.
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Alpine trout are on the feed, and McKean inspects his dry-fly box for the right pattern, a high-riding grasshopper imitiation.
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Rigging right. McKean toted a G.Loomis 4-weight, 4-piece pack rod into the Beartooth Plateau lakes.
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McKean watches his fly with eagle eyes. The water of Island Lake is gin-clear, but trout feel vulnerable in the clear water, so they tend to hold in deeper water, then rise to the surface to feed.
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Finally, a trout. This bright Island Lake rainbow hit a rubber-legged hopper pattern. McKean missed the first dozen strikes before hooking this fish.
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Water that is ice for eight months out of the year was chilly on McKean’s pasty-white legs, but wet-wading out to a shelf enabled him to extend his range.
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After he figured out their feeding pattern, McKean brought to hand a dozen Island Lake rainbows.
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Next stop, Night Lake, just up the trail from Island Lake. The Beartooth Plateau holds scores of small lakes, most of which contain some species of trout.
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A Night Lake brook trout. This scrappy fish hit a black Chernobyl Ant.
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McKean rigs up to cast to dozens of rising fish in a shallow high-country pond. The fish turned out to be hand-sized brookies.
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End of Day 1 was Cooke City’s Elkhorn Lodge, a cozy hotel that caters to summertime backpackers and winter snowmobilers.

Outdoor Life begins an epic fishing adventure.