Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Montana, day 3. The Madison

I stopped by some fly shops in the area, and there was word that the Salmonflies were hatching on the Madison near Three Dollar Bridge, so my next destination was clear. I was up at 5 and gone by 6 to make the two hour drive to the bridge, as everyone warned me there would be crowds. I'd rather be early and not catch anything than be late and not find a spot. On the way in I stopped at a little bakery just outside of Virginia City and had the most amazing pastry filled with cream cheese and honey, and a fresh biscuit with butter for breakfast, along with a coffee refill. The drive along the Madison was beautiful, and the time flew by, I pulled into the three dollar bridge parking lot alongside two other cars. After a bit of friendly chit-chat with the guys suiting up next to me and a three dollar donation into the box, I rigged my Helios 2 with a Wulff and a dropper again, leaving the salmonflies I purchased in the fly box until later, when I saw some more indications of the hatch. On my second cast into a riffle, the Wulff was hammered from below by a fat rainbow, which took to the air and threw the hook immediately. The second fish held on a little longer, but popped off quickly as well. Damn! 

Finally, I landed a nice brown, and started noticing more salmonflies in the air, in the bushes, and on the back of my neck. A short while later, with no further strikes on the Wulff, I figured now was the time. I tied on a big fluffy salmonfly, and started working the water. In no time, a nice 15 inch brown viciously attacked the fly and was on. Like every fish I've caught here so far, it was stronger than it's size would suggest, and I struggled to follow it downstream. When they say that the Madison is a tricky river to wade, they weren't kidding. After a few stumbles and curses the  less-than-graceful chase was over and the brown was in the net. A quick photo and he was back where he belongs. I took a break hoping to find someplace to eat lunch, had no luck finding anyplace open nearby, and ended up eating a half a bag of tortilla chips and a clif bar. I really need to put a little more effort into proper nutrition this trip. I fished another section with less luck, and headed home to get some sleep, because on Monday I begin my week-long mini-internship at Sweetgrass rods.

1 comment:

  1. I am quaking with envy. 10 more days and I'm all yours, Montana