Nilan Reservoir is a jewel of Montana that we discovered for the first time over Memorial Day weekend.
Just outside the quaint, friendly town of Augusta, this small body of water is surrounded by miles and miles of pastoral hillsides. To the West, the great Rocky Mountain Front juts raggedly skyward in gray granite splendor. All in all, the Nilan Reservoir area is a powerful juxtaposition of Nature and Her many faces here in Montana.
Our campsite for three nights consisted of these magnificent views, in addition to our own boat ramp and porta-john.
Most of the weekend there were only a couple of boats on the water, though we did count six on Sunday, the busiest day!
Saturday we fished for a total of about nine hours – mostly drift fishing with a small “ice cream cone” fly imitating a chironomid pupa. We had plenty of time to kick back and listen to the different sounds of wind and rain and water, birds and crickets and frogs.
About once an hour, one of our strike indicators would get bumped, and we’d land a feisty 12-16” rainbow trout. Pound for pound, these were as fine a fightin’ fish as we’ve ever caught!
It was a weekend filled with admiration and gratitude and just enough excitement to keep us coming back for more. We plan to visit Nilan Reservoir again later this summer or in the fall.