montana trip

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montana trip

Postby handyandy » Tue May 01, 2018 11:47 am

So I just recently got married, been with my now wife for a little over two years already before we tied the knot recently. Skip to the second paragraph if you want to cut to the chase or read on and feel free to make comments on trip plans for the about my whole plan. She enjoys the outdoors like me, well maybe not as much as me, but enough we decided to make our honey moon a big road trip out west doing some camping, fishing, and duck hunting along the way. Our current plan is to start the last week of september drive from shitiana (indiana) to mo right after work on a friday stay with family a night leave early the next morning hammer down for the Badlands in South Dakota, stay at wall for the night in a hotel as it will have been a really long drive. Site see the badlands for most the day then head to custard state park camp there a few nights so we can see Mt Rushmore, Wind Cave NP, maybe spearfish canyon if we have time. From there drive to Yellostone stay in the park at the Yellostone Inn for four nights so we have a couple days to site see, hike, and possibly drop my boat in on the snake in the upper stretches that allow motors to make a nice ride. Not sure if I will fish around yellowstone or on the snake I'm not well versed in catching trout especially with the regs they have around there no bait, no soft plastics. Forgive me I've been a midwestern smallmouth/largemouth angler all my life. From Yellowstone my plan was to leave out via the Bear tooth scenic highway assuming it's still open I would think it would be in the first week of October looking at historical weather and when it has closed in the past for winter. We would then go to Fort Smith area where we plan on camping at the Cottonwood Camp. We were planning on getting a guide for a day on the bighorn, depending on how it goes might take a stab at fishing on our own a bit further down on big horn where I could run my boat. I figure if nothing else should make for a nice boat ride. From there driving to Devils Lake North Dakota and spending 3 days there duck hunting as I have a friend I work with that has a bunch of family that farms there and has some prime waterfowl land. After that hammering down to head back home stopping off in KC MO area to stay a night with friends then heading back Indiana. We have already made reservations for all the places to stay/camp at, but it's early enough I can change these around if it seems like it would be a better choice.

So I'm hoping maybe all the Montana guys on here might be willing to help with suggestions for a guide and or fishing the bighorn or you think a different area would be better. I mostly picked Fort Smith/Big Horn river as it was a good area to go to after Yellowstone in terms of distance from it, it starts putting us more towards home, and puts us within a days driving period to next stop Devils Lake ND. Also if anyone is well versed with the Yellowstone/Grand Tetons area boating/fishing I'm all ears. I forget the exact point but I know on the I can run the snake from a certain point on down stream with my boat. I know it's HP restricted to outboard jets of 150hp or less, which is fine for me I have a .125 thick 1654 flat bottom with an old 2s omc 60/40 jet. I know I can't go through white water, but from what I saw when I floated a short section of the snake in Grand Tetons NP a few years ago it seemed like running my boat on it would be fine and make for a scenic ride. I had a harder time finding regs on the upper part of the Yellowstone river in MT just outside Yellowstone NP is it 10hp restricted? I made a road trip out to Yellowstone in August 2015 loved it, I've loved it every time I've gone out west I would like to move to ID or MT at some point hoping maybe this trip might convince the wife on the region as well. I'm fully aware that by the end of the September beginning of October the temps can be pretty cold at night, but we are planning it then to try and avoid the summer vacationers, and the day time temps are usually pretty nice as well as sunny normally. Anyways appreciate any knowledge or advice folks might have.
Red neck engineering- If ya can't fix it with duck tape, bailing wire, zip ties, and JB weld well than it can't be fixed.

If it moves and it aint suppose to duck tape it. If doesn't move and its suppose to put WD-40 on it.
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Re: montana trip

Postby HaydenHunter » Tue May 15, 2018 10:57 am

Can't help you with fishing, but I wanted to comment on a couple of things. I drove all over MT and WY in all seasons for decades for work, until retiring last summer. My absolute favorite time to be on the highways and byways of MT is September and early Oct. With kiddies back in school, the family tourist season is over. Big Sky Country is picturesque in the early fall, with leaves on cottonwoods in the river valleys firing off with color, and the early morning fog rising as the rivers give up their warmth to the crisp early morning air. On the road it's just you and all the grayhairs...retirees who know that this is the optimal time to road trip in MT.

If you are going to come out west you absolutely have to include the Beartooth Highway in your drive (weather permitting). It is spectacular. The only problem with it is the countless turnouts you will be making to hop out and view the beautiful vistas. That slows down the drive but it is worth it. At the Montana end of the Beartooth is Red Lodge, a fun town.

If you want to be close to Yellowstone but stay outside the park, check out the Paradise Valley between Livingston and Gardner, which is the south entrance to the Park. You can camp, stay at Chico Hot Springs Resort (pretty cheap, hot pools, good food, great drinks) or find a VRBO house in the valley.

Sounds like a neat trip you have planned. Enjoy.
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Re: montana trip

Postby handyandy » Fri May 18, 2018 7:26 am

HaydenHunter wrote:Can't help you with fishing, but I wanted to comment on a couple of things. I drove all over MT and WY in all seasons for decades for work, until retiring last summer. My absolute favorite time to be on the highways and byways of MT is September and early Oct. With kiddies back in school, the family tourist season is over. Big Sky Country is picturesque in the early fall, with leaves on cottonwoods in the river valleys firing off with color, and the early morning fog rising as the rivers give up their warmth to the crisp early morning air. On the road it's just you and all the grayhairs...retirees who know that this is the optimal time to road trip in MT.

If you are going to come out west you absolutely have to include the Beartooth Highway in your drive (weather permitting). It is spectacular. The only problem with it is the countless turnouts you will be making to hop out and view the beautiful vistas. That slows down the drive but it is worth it. At the Montana end of the Beartooth is Red Lodge, a fun town.

If you want to be close to Yellowstone but stay outside the park, check out the Paradise Valley between Livingston and Gardner, which is the south entrance to the Park. You can camp, stay at Chico Hot Springs Resort (pretty cheap, hot pools, good food, great drinks) or find a VRBO house in the valley.

Sounds like a neat trip you have planned. Enjoy.


Thanks for the advice, as for the time of year that is our plan. We are starting the last week of september and going into the first week of october for the exact reasons you listed. When we leave yellowstone we are planning on taking the beartooth highway out to red lodge. When we leave we were going to leave early in the morning to give ourselves ample time to make the drive to fort smith area which isn't too far away. We are going to stay the cottonwood camp on the big horn as it's a decent midway point to get a day in fishing before heading on to north dakota to devils lake area. Which is where we will be for the last few days of the trip to get some duck hunting in. Friend I work with is from devils lake and his family farms a lot of land up there, and he can put me on some good spots up there. So I'm really hoping for a good trip should get some great site seeing, hiking, fishing, and hunting in it.
Red neck engineering- If ya can't fix it with duck tape, bailing wire, zip ties, and JB weld well than it can't be fixed.

If it moves and it aint suppose to duck tape it. If doesn't move and its suppose to put WD-40 on it.
handyandy
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Re: montana trip

Postby hatchiecoon » Mon May 28, 2018 5:51 pm

Handy, we were in Red Lodge last year exact same time last year. Stay at the Pollard Hotel. We tried that entrance to the park but road was closed for snow. It happens early there. Had to detour. Oughta take in Buffalo Bill's deal in Cody being so close. I'm no help on boating north of the park but river levels will be lower I imagine. I'm outside Missoula and watching runoff right now. Big Horn is very cool area only been once in Dec. Shot ducks and hunted the islands on pheasant. Enjoy!
Anyone who thinks shooting a duck on the water is unsportsmanlike, has never tried.
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Re: montana trip

Postby handyandy » Thu May 31, 2018 9:33 am

I'm not banking on being able to leave out the north gate and take the beartooth highway out through red lodge, but hoping weather cooperates and that it will be open. I've got a place lined out to stay at in west yellowstone on hegben lake.
Red neck engineering- If ya can't fix it with duck tape, bailing wire, zip ties, and JB weld well than it can't be fixed.

If it moves and it aint suppose to duck tape it. If doesn't move and its suppose to put WD-40 on it.
handyandy
hunter
 
Posts: 1327
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2012 12:39 am
Location: Bedford IN

Re: montana trip

Postby HaydenHunter » Fri Jun 01, 2018 7:49 am

If you leave through the East entrance because the Beartooth is passable make sure you get food and fuel in Cooke City on the East edge of the park. Not much (if anything) past that until you hit Red Lodge.
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