Milesnick's spring creek access

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Sal Fontinalis
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Milesnick's spring creek access

#1

Post by Sal Fontinalis »

I got a letter from the Milesnicks indicating access to their spring creeks was ending January 1st. I've only been there twice but was really bummed about the change. The letter indicated other, out of state family members were taking over the fishing access with barely a sliver of hope that it may open back up. Does anyone have more promising news? A sad day.

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nativetrout
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Re: Milesnick's spring creek access

#2

Post by nativetrout »

http://joshuabergan.blogspot.com/2011/1 ... gnite.html

When stuff like this happens, I would think even the kindest of ranchers would be prone to reconsider allowing strangers on their property. I doubt this is the reason for the closure if and when one does come, however, a very good read. Guys like me complain constantly about these wealthy land owners that hoard all the water for themselves and their cattle. Coming across this made me remember how disgusting people can be, anything for a buck. Guy is permitted to fish private land but too dumb to avoid an electric fence. Reading this made me think, if I had that kind of land/wealth with the risk that someone would sue me because they were a god d@&*^* idiot, well, I would close shop to the public for sure. We should thank our lucky stars for the good people that do let us fish their waters.

"their waters"....water rights.....whole nother topic

bvandeuson
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Re: Milesnick's spring creek access

#3

Post by bvandeuson »

I can't speak to the incident in question, but unfortunately there are folks out there who feel they are entitled to go through life unhindered by even their own misdeeds, and that someone else is always responsible.

BB

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flyfishingpastor
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Re: Milesnick's spring creek access

#4

Post by flyfishingpastor »

Sometimes I wonder why anyone allows access to the public. For years I have taken a small grocery sack with me and carry out trash and I know several of you do the same thing but in some places (mostly the public accesses I fish) the trash is getting so bad that our fly fishing clubs are having to regularly do special clean-ups.

It has always been this way, the majority end up paying for the few and it's a shame but I don't see it getting any better in MOST places. There are a few places, on private land or hard-to-access streams or stretches of water where a few people just seem to regularly take care of the trash. I don't know about you, but I get tired of hauling out other peoples beer cans and candy bar wrappers, but I don't know what else to do?

I certainly feel for the land owners in these situations. They put up with it for as long as they can and then, in frustration, close access and see themselves vilified in the local press. It's tough to know what to do except for us to keep trying to make a difference.

Pat

bvandeuson
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Re: Milesnick's spring creek access

#5

Post by bvandeuson »

Personal responsibility has pretty much gone out the window with the maturing of the "ME" generation. There have always been those who feel the world is their trashcan, but I believe it has reached epidemic proportions.

I have seen private sections of well-known salmon, steelhead and trout waters in the Northeast closed to fishing because of this very issue. The most disturbing part was the fact that river boat guides would park there for lunch or a bit of rest, and leave their trash behind. When the closing was announced by the landowner, it was the guides who got all upset about it. "We reap what we sow," and then have the nerve to complain about the poor crop.

BB

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BGreer
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Re: Milesnick's spring creek access

#6

Post by BGreer »

I'm curious as to how the angler got his rod into a powerline.

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Hellmtflies
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Re: Milesnick's spring creek access

#7

Post by Hellmtflies »

Sal,
Note that the Spring Creeks may be closing but the access to the East Gallatin through the MZ property is still open via Montana's High Water Mark ruling. That said, if you can manage to make your way down the East Gallatin to the confluence of either of the two spring creeks on the property then you can make your way up said spring creeks. But be sure no one is ahead of you. You MUST stay under the High Water Mark.
Now that said I would contact the MZ Ranch via their web site and confirm the change in access. Note too that this is the second ranch in recent history that has gone down. The McCoy Spring creek in Dillon went down three years ago due to ownership changes. Baker's Spring Creek outside of Bozeman went years ago. Will Depuy's or Armstrong's or Nelson's be next? Who knows. There have been rumors of wealthy groups offering huge dollars to these ranches to purchase them outright and go to a private club setting. We'll see.
All I can say is that Poaching can add an element of excitement to your fishing. Just be sure to duck when the shots ring out. :)
Mark

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nativetrout
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Re: Milesnick's spring creek access

#8

Post by nativetrout »

Theres a famous piece of water here in CO on the Blue that is owed by a very wealthy oil tycoon from what we are told(Texan of course). This is where I had my first run in with how the public behaves. Here in CO, we do not have a high water law. If the land owner has both sides of the bank, NO access, UNLESS you float through. Of course, no anchors or backing into eddys. Now, he does not want people floating through his property as he owns several miles of the river and has spent millions making this section an insane fishery for grotesque genetic triploid fish.Not my cup of tea, but there are fish in here pushing 30 lbs for the trophy hunters. Now, as you float by this mans property, it is obvious he is from Texas (no offense my Texan friends). He has a virtual water park on the side of the river, slides and pools and other stuff right at the waters bank. This is for his guests and family obviously and so be it if you have the money and it floats your boat. Now, one day some friends and I put our boat in way up river and floated through this section. Not many people float this section but on a busy day, you may see 5-10 boats. As we were going through this beautiful property there were beer cans floating in an eddy. I was sick as we dont see that as much here in CO as other places might. As we floated up to his property which is absolutely huge mind you, there was a group of boaters(5 guys, two rafts), that had parked on his bank and were going down the slide and jumping in his pool. They did it quickly and laughing and chugging their cans of beer, jumped back in their boats and proceeded down stream. They were proud, toasting beers and swearing the landowner. When we got to the take out, there were two police cars asking questions of everyone and we knew they were looking for these guys. The guys swore to the police it wast them and blah blah blah. I noticed the plates on the car and these fellas didnt even live here in CO. Nobody was arrested or fined, but the point is, these were grown adults. I finally understood why this landowner did not want strangers using his property. People have NO respect for what is not theirs. NONE. This fella has been a thorn in the publics side spending money to push laws so you cant even float through properties along with others. I now know why. Just float the Colorado on a summer day. On many trips we have seen people camping out on private property on the rivers edge, making fire pits, leaving beer bottles, cans ect ect. It really is a shame for the rest of us who treat land like it was ours and with respect. I sure hope you guys dont lose your spring creeks and I pray the water laws dont change in MT as I am coming to Missoula for good in two years. However, with this type of crap going on, I think the battle for water is all but won.

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Marty
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Re: Milesnick's spring creek access

#9

Post by Marty »

the fact is that so many people lack basic manners or consideration nowadays.... sad very sad.... there are a small number of real cretins that ruin it for everyone.... but its always the landowner that's villified as plutocratic and greedy....
Marty's Rules of Fishing #7. Fishing only with store bought flies is like trying to talk to a pretty girl through an interpreter it works sort of …it will work far better if you learn the language and tie your own flies…more satisfying and more effective.

16pmd
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Re: Milesnick's spring creek access

#10

Post by 16pmd »

Though the story about the guy who touched his rod to the wire is true, it has nothing to do with the likely closing of access to the Milesnick ranch. The real reason is that the ranch was owned by siblings. The ones who didn't live in Montana bought out Tom & Mary Kay Milesnick, who did live on the ranch and operated it after Tom's father, Stan, retired. A very sad story because Tom lived and worked on the ranch his entire life and was a model steward of his land and the streams. We can only hope that the new owners will be nearly as responsible and welcoming.

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gmflyfish
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Re: Milesnick's spring creek access

#11

Post by gmflyfish »

I met Stan and Jenny over 40 years ago on my first visit to Montana. I stayed in touch with them over the years and Stan allowed fishing if you asked before you entered the property. Tom kept the property open allowing limited acccess then charging a small fee to fish the property. Times They Are A-Changin. Life goes on and there will always be water to fish.

Gregg

16pmd
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Re: Milesnick's spring creek access

#12

Post by 16pmd »

I've fished the MZ Ranch when Stan & Joyce ran it too and think it's a real shame that it's changing hands. The non-ranching side of the family now owns it and Tom & Mary Kay are out of their businesses - ranching and recreation.

They have been model stewards of their land and streams, winning many awards

http://www.bozemandailychronicle.com/ne ... f887a.html

They also made ranching and fly fishing coexist harmoniously and made a living from both. Though they instituted fee fishing they also kept part of their streams open to free fishing so as not to exclude anyone.

The MZ Bar Ranch has been a calm and beautiful oasis amidst the rapid spread of Bozeman and Belgrade subdivisions into the Gallatin Valley ranchland. The big threat is that the non-ranching owners may find it more attractive to sell out to developers than do the harder and less financially rewarding work of running a ranch. Tom & Mary Kay held out against that temptation, but now they won't be the guardians of the ranch and its great streams. Another possible threat is that the ranch will be sold to wealthy owners who will close it for their exclusive use.

Though there are of course other places to fish and some hope that the ranch and access to it will be somehow maintained I think it's a genuine shame that model ranchers, and fly-fisher-friendly ones at that, will no longer run the MZ Bar.

bvandeuson
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Re: Milesnick's spring creek access

#13

Post by bvandeuson »

Hmm, "non-ranching side owns it." Whoever owns it will have to make it pay in some fashion. If not by ranching, then what? Push the fishing hard, or put up a closed development which seems to me is becoming a trend in the west.

BB

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Hellmtflies
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Re: Milesnick's spring creek access

#14

Post by Hellmtflies »

bvandeuson wrote:Hmm, "non-ranching side owns it." Whoever owns it will have to make it pay in some fashion. If not by ranching, then what? Push the fishing hard, or put up a closed development which seems to me is becoming a trend in the west.

BB
Welcome to "Bozeangeles". The recently released projection by Gallatin County Officials states that our current county population is in and around 75,000. They expect that number to double by the year 2025. Much to my chagrin. But, those folks are going to have to live somewhere. The second Montana land rush is on! Insiders say look to Three Forks, Mt. for the next best investment wave.
Mark

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Re: Milesnick's spring creek access

#15

Post by Cork & Cane »

I fished there only once, and not sure if it was Benheart or Thompson's. The year was '88, the year of the fires in Yellowstone. As we approached the river carefully, slowly, almost a crawl, the mental picture of fish swimming upstream and away is still with me. For the next couple of hours or so we explored and never got within casting distance of fleeing fish. Towards the end of our time there, we went back to the bend where we started and spooked the fish again. So sitting on the bank with my feet in the creek for 20-30 minutes in contemplation, I noticed that some of the fish had returned.... So while sitting and ruminating, I started casting and fishing. I raised a couple..... can't remember if I caught one or not............. but had a wonderful time. We spoke with Mr Milesnick who was turning wrenches on a piece of combine harvester, thanked him again for his generosity in letting us fish.... and we where on our way.

I never made it back there, but I expect that the memories have lasted this long, they'll be good for a little while longer. That days fishing may be just the toughest fishing I have done, just a wonderful day.

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