Montana, USA

17th July - 15th September 2019

After the hectic and harrowing time in the UK, it was a relief to set off for Montana, knowing Iwan was in good hands and on the road to recovery.

As we checked in, it was hot in the terminal and we were handed a free ice creams by our Virgin Atlantic crew. We flew from Manchester via Atlanta and Minneapolis. Airplane food just wasn't enough and during our layover in Minneapolis, we tracked down a restaurant at the airport where we could enjoy Walleye, a fish we hadn't had the chance to enjoy since our visit to Minnesota a few years earlier, when we caught our own. We arrived in Bozeman late at night.

Harvey was safe and snug in his storage unit and as happy to see us, as we were to see him.

Free Ice Cream!

Walleye Snack in Minneapolis.

Harvey the RV ready for the road.

Ready for some much needed relaxation, we stocked up and headed straight to the Madison River at Raynold's Pass, where we spent a relaxing week enjoying nature and fishing. We were even still in time to enjoy the wildflowers and it was a bumper year for dry fly hatches.

Madison River

Garter Snake on the Madison.

Fishing the Madison




The hatch is ON!

Spotted Sandpiper

Red-Necked Grebe at Georgetown Lake

Taking one look at the sky as we passed through Butte on our way to Georgetown Lake, we realised that we were in the direct path of a fierce thunderstorm. Modern technology provided proof. Not wanting to put ourselves in danger or Harvey at risk of damage by dime-sized hailstones, we sought refuge at a truck stop in Rocker, where we had the option to park Harvey between the huge trucks or shelter behind the buildings. We chose the second option and stayed safely sheltered while being deafened by the sound of massive hailstones pounding on Harvey's aluminium roof.

Storm Warning

Apocalyptic sky as the storm approaches.

At Georgetown Lake but we were a little early for the best fishing, so headed back to the Madison River valley after a couple of days to fish Quake Lake and the river.

Lodgepole Campground.

Frisky Damselflies.

Artist's Paintbrush at Quake Lake

Harvey at Quake Lake

Off to the Lake.

Baby Bald Eagle


Rainbow trout from Quake Lake.

Every summer we try to catch the wonderful Sweet Pea Festival of the Arts in Bozeman to enjoy a weekend of live music, the works of many artists and a bit of culture from the Shakespeare in the Parks theatre company.

Our next stop was on the Missouri River at Holter Dam, where the hatches were also amazing and despite the heat, we spent four days enjoying the area.

Crazy Hatch at Holter Dam

Mama introduced us to her babies

Mergansers at Holter Dam

Eastern Kingbird

Dinner from the Missouri River.

When we'd had enough of the heat, we returned to Georgetown Lake, which due to its higher altitude is usually several degrees cooler than anywhere else. We met up with Mick and Deb, fishing friends from California. After a couple of days fishing there, we visited the West Fork of the Bitterroot, hoping to find spots in our favourite campground on Rombo Creek. We were out of luck, so wild camped not far away. Our friends have a Toyota 4 x 4 pickup and we explored nearby back roads. We spent a lovely day creek fishing and exploring the backwoods on the gravel roads right over the pass into Idaho.

Fishing Georgetown Lake

Celebrating Christine's birthday with pancakes.

Wild camping on the West Fork of the Bitterroot .

Christine enjoying the result of the boys' labours beside Mick and Deb's rig - just a little bigger than Harvey!

Taking a break from the bumps at the pass.

Doing lunch in style on our road trip.

Phil having a go.

Mick fishing the Creek

Back in Bozeman we met up with Charlie and Heidi, who took us on a road trip in their fabulous vintage 1969 Pontiac Catalina convertible, nicknamed, "The Shark". They drove us through the Bridger Bowl skiing areas near Bozeman and on to Livingston, where we headed to a restaurant for cocktails and dinner. To say it was breezy in the back of The Shark was an understatement and by the time we headed back to Bozeman it was much cooler. We all huddled together for warmth on the front seat, which had ample space to accommodate us all.

Christine with The Shark, while Harvey looks on.

Off on our 'Shark' adventure with Charlie and Heidi.

Taking a break from the wind in Livingston.

Huddled together for warmth

Madison River Fisherman looking for dinner.

Madison River Waxwing.

One last week on the Madison and then we met up with Charlie and Heidi again at their house in Philipsburg for a Labor Day weekend of fun.

Measuring to see if Betty Ford, Charlie's truck is longer than Harvey.

Heidi waiting for her morning coffee.

They learn parking young in Montana!

Chilling to live music..... the local brewery.

Philipsburg's amazing sweet shop.

It wasn't a long trip from Philipsburg back to Georgetown Lake, where we spent the last few days of our trip. Before we left, we managed to catch up with Ben for some lake fishing.

Blue Jay.


One method of fishing the lake.

And another.

Baby Bald Eagle at Georgetown Lake.

An evening of fishing at Georgetown Lake with Ben and Andrew.

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