Unforgettable..The Blue Damsel Lodge

by Blue Damsel Manager on July 30, 2011
7 o’clock. Pitch black dark back at home in my native Alabama. As I sit here and write, the images explode in recent memory. Deep diving Gorges lined with evergreen spruce and ponderosa pine, and river banks teeming with fresh hatchlings coming off the water, precisely at this same time that I am sitting in the aforementioned pitch black dark. Don’t get me wrong , I love being at my home and I love my state, but over the past week the Blue Damsel Lodge outside of Missoula Montana provided me with some of my fondest memories and experiences to date as a Fly Fisherman and Outdoorsman.

We arrived at the Blue Damsel early on our first day, ensured by our host Keith that we would not be intruding by getting there early. After a brief tour around the lodge, which was immaculate, we got a special little lunch packed by their amazing Chef and all around renaissance man Josh and we headed out for a little self guided fishing on Rock Creek. I had done my homework leading up to our trip and thought I had seen some of the beautiful vistas that rock creek could offer, however I was amazed as we trekked through the clear waters running slightly higher than normal at the authentic beauty of the river and surrounding mountains. A few rising fish were our first sign that there was a nice hatch occurring and subsequently we tied on what we thought to be a good match. Upon further inspection we realized that there was a large number of golden stoneflies hatching and the fish seemed to be turned on to them. On went a rubber leg yellow stimulator and the fish started to fall victim to our offerings. We worked our way upstream and ended the day with several nice bows, browns, and cutts. When we returned to the lodge we were greeted by the friendly people at the lodge and we got our fill of wonderful food and glorious tales of fishing greatness to come on our float trip the next day.

Sunrise the next morning brought about an eagerness to get out on the water, but not before another wonderful meal prepared by the lodge staff. We were met at the gathering place by our guide for the next two days Adam Spenner. Immediately I knew that Adam and I had a similar mindset as it pertained to Fly Fishing. Over the course of the next two days my fiancé and I experienced some of the best fishing I have ever been privileged enough to be a part of. Adam was a terrific guide and his knowledge of fishing was more than adequate to put us on the fish. Moreover his skills as a rower on the driftboat were downright amazing. I have been on a few driftboat float trips before and Adam takes the proverbial cake for the best driftboat guide I have had. Our first day on the Blackfoot river was spectacular filled with lots of dry fly action and good solid cutts , bows, and brows all in the 12-16” range. I was so thrilled for my fiancé to be able to experience the glorious vistas offered up to us by the blackfoot as well as fast and furious fishing action. In fact as much as I hate to admit it, she outfished me on that day! Overall 40+ fish in a day, wonderful companionship, and breathtaking scenery made for an amazing day, but what was to come was even more of a thrill.

Our second day on the blackfoot began similarly to our first, a great breakfast at the lodge followed by a drive to meet up with adam to head to the river. This time we went much higher up river and started our drift surrounded by ospreys and even more spectacular scenery. Adam decided that we would target the “mack daddys” by going deep and slow, dredging some larger bugs on the bottom. That strategy immediately payed unforgettable dividends when I hooked into and landed a 17” Bull which immediately inspired me to enjoy a victory cigar. I never thought I would have the chance to catch one of these beauties and reality was setting in as I kneeled in the river, fish in hand, surrounded by the ubiquitous beauty of the Montana wilderness. The day progressed on wonderfully as we witnessed several eagles fly over head and brought fish after fish to the boat, including this beauty of a 19” brown.

After several hours on the river we made our way down to the takeout saddened to be departing from our guide and new found friend but full of gratitude and for his effort and conversation. Overall the day yielded another large number of fish and all but a few being over the 14” mark. My largest brown, cut, and cuttbow, as well as my only bull all came on this momentous day, a day not soon to be forgotten.
We returned back to the lodge for our final night and were once again amazed at the hospitality and talent of Keith and everyone else at the lodge. After our meal we said our goodbyes and thanked them for one of the greatest weeks of our lives. There are experiences in life that one will always remember for the people, places and thrills enjoyed and our stay at the Blue Damsel Lodge was undoubtedly one of them. I cannot recommend the Blue Damsel enough and I can never thank them enough for the opportunity to enjoy the beauty of Montana in with such class and care.
C. Bryan Crumpler

This entry was posted on Saturday, July 30th, 2011 at 4:38 pm and is filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.