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(19 April 2014)  My name is Tim Bondy and the owner of this website.  As of Jan 1st, 2014 we moved to a different domain.  Please head over to the Bondy Blogs Website at  Different address, different system but same type of great articles, photos, stories and information. 

You are here: Mtn Home Outdoor Not so local Outdoor News Melrose Montana Area Fishing and Rock Hounding

Melrose Montana Area Fishing and Rock Hounding

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This is our trip report from day one of our vacation in the Melrose, Montana and Pioneer Mountain area during July 2010.

Sportsman Motel in Melrose Montana

Getting Into The Sportsman Motel in Melrose, Montana
Arrived in Melrose, MT on Monday July 19th, 2010 for a 5 day/4 night vacation exploring the Pioneer Mountains, Big Hole River and the Wise River area. The biggest bolt from the blue of the day was the hotel we booked. The Sportsman Motel located in Melrose is one of those places you don't expect a lot out least until you check-in and see your room.

We booked a room with a kitchenette for a reasonable rate and I really couldn't ask for anything better. Yeah the room is a little old but everything works, is super clean and very comfortable. The kitchen has pretty much everything you can want as far as pots/pans, utensils and appliances. The two beds in Room 3 are comfortable with plenty of pillows, unlike lots of hotels out there. There is a small comfortable pull-out sofa-bed that does exactly what it's advertised to do and nothing more. Just a good place to relax after an exciting day exploring Montana's backcountry. There is a TV and this does what it is advertised to do also...bore you silly. The bathroom is large and clean while the shower in our room put out a good strong stream of water, unlike a most hotels. In short, if you plan on visiting southwestern Montana, the Sportsman Motel would be a great place to stay.

Short Evening Rock Hound Trip into the Pioneer Mountains
After dinner, we decided to take a trip up Trapper Creek Canyon located just west of Melrose. This dirt road heads into the Pioneer Mountains and we decided to use our ATV instead of driving our Nissan Titan. Current law allows you to drive on city streets and that made it easy for us. Within 5 minute of unloading the ATV and leaving the motel we were heading into the mountains on the trusty old Arctic Cat. This dirt road is quite scenic but in places rougher than a cob.

Moonrise over the Pioneer Mountains of Montana

As we continued into the mountains, the scenery got better and better but the bugs and mosquitoes started swarming and they were hungry. As this is mining country we were hoping to find some cool rocks but everything was in the "leave-a-right" variety. I'm sure if we had more time and got further into these mountains, we would have found better rocks. Even with the bugs and lack of cool rocks, today was a great start to our rock hounding, fishing and exploring vacation adventure. To us, this is truly "Living the Dream".

Where is Trapper Creek?  Click here to see a map!

Fish and Montana's Big Hole River Information
Trapper Creek Road just outside Melrose crosses the Big Hole River a couple times within the first ½ mile. If you didn't know, the Big Hole is one of the most popular fly fishing destinations in Southwest Montana. Even during mid-week you'd be hard pressed to find a section of this blue ribbon trout stream without a fisher or a drift boat close by. I talked to a number of fly fishers during our trip and they seemed to all be catching good sized trout. I'd be going after some of those Big Hole trout later in the week so read more of other stories in this section to see how I did.

Link to a few other photos from Day 1:

Thanks for visiting and commenting on this Montana outdoor article

Tim Bondy
The Bondyweb.Com author

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