FIRST SHOT

Field and Stream - - CONTENTS - —DONNA L. NG

Catch­ing the drift from a log sus­pended above a river.

­Mon­tana’s re­mote Bob Marshall Wilder­ness is one of the few places in the world where you can tar­get the threat­ened bull trout, and this float was on pho­tog­ra­pher Tim Romano’s bucket list for sev­eral years be­fore it came to­gether in July 2016 (the sea­son opens in late May). His party of four took horses over the Con­ti­nen­tal Di­vide to make a nine-day, 43-mile float on the South Fork of the Flathead River. Af­ter “glut­tonous” fish­ing for cut­throats on a trib­u­tary, Romano says, they hit the main stem and caught and re­leased 26 bull trout in to­tal. There were gru­el­ing portages around mas­sive log­jams, but the big-shoul­dered bulls up to 37 inches made it worth­while. “We’d caught so many big fish by this point that we were just tak­ing it all in,” he says. “It was hot, and my buddy jumped into the river off this log to cool down. I saw it was a good van­tage. We’d been hop­scotch­ing all day, so I crawled out and waited for the other boat to drift past to get this shot. It was nerve-rack­ing to be 30 feet above the wa­ter with my gear, but I was more worried about los­ing my cam­era than hurt­ing my­self if I fell.”

PHO­TOG­RA­PHER: TIM ROMANO

LO­CA­TION: SOUTH FORK OF THE FLATHEAD

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