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Summer Montana Road Trip

Contributed By

Brian O’Keefe

From a photographer’s point of view, mid-summer in Montana can be a challenge. Harsh, bright mid-day light sucks the color out of landscapes and some places have powerful afternoon thunderstorms that can turn a sunny, summer day into a severe wind, rain, hail, thunder and lightning meteorological event. Rafts and drift boats are pushed into the bank or sail upriver leaving a wake in the process. Add smoke from forest fires and plans of great scenic shots in the Big Sky State fade into the hazy sunset. In times like these, I shoot more fish close ups (in the shade), tackle, wildlife, food and faces. I make sure to get the big, wide angle scenic shots when the sky is clear. We floated the Beaverhead, the Madison and the Missouri. Our fly selection ranged from #20 tricos, to hoppers, to small nymphs, to streamers. On this road trip, I would like to thank these people and companies: fishing buddies Jeff Rose and Brian Jarvis, Five Rivers Lodge and Frontier Anglers in Dillon (Beaverhead River), Madison Valley Ranch and guide Alice Owsley in Ennis (Madison River) and the crew at Headhunters Fly Shop in Craig (Missouri River).


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