Yellowstone Adventure 2021: Day 2

Fly Fishing on the Gallatin River

Day #2 of our Yellowstone adventure had me way outside my comfort zone learning how to fly fish on the Gallatin River today 🎣 I finally got the hang of it thanks to our patient guide Jackson from @gallatinriverguides What an incredible experience. Thanks @lonelyplanet for the recommendation!

After an early morning wake up we were off to Big Sky for our Fly Fishing lesson. The drive was super smoky but still beautiful.

We arrived early enough to grab a quick coffee and breakfast to go at Cafe 191 Big Sky which we were bummed we couldn’t have a longer breakfast, everything on the menu looked so good but we were inbetween breakfast and lunch so had to settle on the last two grab and go breakfast burritos! A lesson learned for this trip was to always plug everything into the GPS before leaving when you have service and then not existing out as the GPS will still work if it was already programmed in. Luckily we also had print maps but spotty service would be a challenge throughout the trip – part of the joys of being in the wilderness.

We arrived at Gallatin River Guides with plenty of time, so we rolled down the window and took a short nap. Once our time was called we were partnered with Jackson and on our way to find a spot along the Gallatin River. Jackson was the best guide, patient, knowledgeable, and when I said I was nervous he told me one of the best quotes I have heard…

It’s called fishing not catching

Jackson, Gallatin River Guides

We spent the next couple hours learning how how to fly fish and what to look for. Jackson took his time with both me and Derek giving us personalized feedback. Something I learned was the importance of polarized sunglasses when fishing: “The first priority in selecting sunglasses for fishing is finding a pair with polarized lenses. Polarization eliminates glare while on the water and helps you see fish and other objects below the surface”

Luckily I had mine and after a couple different flies we found one that worked and I hooked by first trout!

Even though the smoke was bad around us along the river we had (big) blue skies 🙂 Another funny quote from Jackson when I asked how high the water was: “Chest high on a duck and head high on a fish” 😂

MY SECOND TROUT!!! You can really see the rainbow on this one.

After 4 hours our feet were getting cold and my ankles were aching from walking on the rocks so we called it a day and headed back to the shop to turn in our equipment and be on our way to Bozeman – Jackson gave is a bunch of recommendations and also answered our questions about the white crosses that were along the highway.

Here is more on the program from American Legion Highway Fatality Markers

“They are numerous enough to notice, enfrequent enough to startle at seeing, and they stimulate reverence, sorrow, sympathy, curiosity and caution. They affect us all to one degree or another. They are the white crosses that mark the sites of fatal traffic accidents along the highways of Montana. For over 50 years, these white crosses have reminded passing motorists of the dangers of the road, as well as the lives that have been lost on these highways.”

We safety made our way back to Bozeman – the crosses definitely encouraged us to slow down and were a constant reminder to go slow and be safe. We checked into the Western Heritage Inn Travelodge by Wyndham Bozeman which would do for the night but definitely looked nicer in the pictures online – lesson learned to not book a hotel (or motel) but the lobby pictures but by the room, I am such a sucker for a log cabin feel and I forgot that the lobby does not mean the rooms will have it. Everyone was nice and it was close enough to one of the places Jackson recommended so we could walk.

Montana Ale Works for the win! Recommended by our fly fishing guide and just so happened to be in walking distance of our hotel. The service, food and beer selection was amazing! I’m shocked this was not in any of my “must does” from my Bozeman research. They have been around for 20 years and have more than 20 beers, most local and food is “farm to fork”…they also made the Top 100 Places to Drink in America list. It was exactly what we needed after a long day.

Best of our meal: Bison Potstickers with Mango & Garlic Chili Sauce, Alabama BBQ Chicken and two beers tied the Scared of the Dark NitroWhite Stout and the Huckleberry Cream Ale 🍻😋

We walked back to our hotel and were 😴 by 10 PM 😴

Additional places that I wanted to go but we did not have time, they weren’t open or it just did not work with where we were in town are below. Excited to try them next time!

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