Rocky Mountain High

A good lifelist trip was overdue for me.  So with 2 years in the planning, I just got off an amazing trip of fishing through Idaho & Montana.  Eight days is not nearly enough but it was worth all the windshield time with my Dad.  Others have been down this road before me so any pioneer stuff is limited.  A big "THANKS" shout out to Matt Miller and Brian "Iliketofish" for sharing their cool little honey holes with me.  It was very much appreciated.  


So in eight short days, I managed to catch seven western endemics.

Thank God I had some dry flies in my tackle box because that's all the Grayling seemed interested in.

After that, onward to Lewiston, Idaho where the Clearwater dumps into the Snake River.



And then, Wow! A Sand Roller and not just one but four Sand Rollers were caught.  This one was kind of a highlight for me being a kind of pioneer species.  This one was over 4 inches long.  I never knew they got quite that big.

I was able to catch quite a few little Pikeminnows but I never thought I would get close to Gabe-sized Pikeminnows.  I was quite happy to catch this 17"er.   And for the native Pikeminnow haters, I released the beast to eat more trout and salmon eggs.

And then the Largescale Suckers were amazing. 

I left the West without a Bridgelip and Utah Sucker & Chub but it gives me all the more reason to visit that amazing part of our country again.  They will have to wait until next time.  Oh yeah, I left the Redside Shiner out of the photo mix, just not that impressive in colors to post.  Great fun though.




Species List:


SomewhereDownstream's picture

Looks like a great trip. I need to hit that area sometime.


Corey's picture

Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. Congrats on the lifers!

Eli's picture

Sweet deal!




Hengelaar's picture

Beautiful stuff, Mr. C&B!

Those are all so cool, not to mention the beautiful country.

Chiselmouth. I must catch Chiselmouth. I need Chiselmouth in my life....

Fishn sure is neat

Mike B's picture

Nice report C&B. That pikeminnow is killer.

mike b

andy's picture

Those are some fantastic catches, C&B!   Super nice pikeminnow too.

IsaacsFishingCorner's picture

Looks like an incredible trip! That is a gorgeous Pikeminnow you caught

Divemaster's picture

Awesome trip man! I'm jealous of quite a few of those species!

Dr Flathead's picture

Nice job buddy!  Glad to see you got your lifer fix on.  Some cool fish you got to catch there.  Very jealous...

Matt Miller's picture

Sorry I was traveling when you came through but glad the chiselmouth/largescale spot produced. With the high waters this year, the creek has been difficult and somewhat hard to predict but you found them.

The sand roller is a really interesting catch. From the American Fisheries Society Idaho web site: "The species probably is uncommon to rare throughout its range. Repeated attempts to collect sand rollers from the Clearwater River and lower tributaries have failed and none have been reported since the removal of the WWP dam in 1973. This species may well have disappeared from Idaho waters."

Obviously not! A very cool catch in any case.

And thank you for releasing the pikeminnow. I was just looking at an Idaho fishing forum where anglers were advocating killing them en masse. I like pursuing them and have caught some big ones from that creek you were fishing. Thanks for putting it back so I can go looking for it...

Eric Kol's picture


Carpy Diem!