Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Fourth

I've got to give the Yellowstone two thumbs up for my first day guiding on it. The Madison however...

Jet Ellis, one of my favorite clients, came out with his girlfriend, Loren and her family to Big Sky over the 4th of July. I hooked them up with Pat Straub and Gallatin River Guides to handle their outfitting.

They fished for four days and I got to guide them on three of those days. The first day I did their trip was on the 4th and they had decided they wanted to go to the Upper Madison. Wow! If you think the Missouri gets busy you ain't seen nothing. At one point I had a local guide from down there yelling at me for pulling up anchor in front of him as if I was suppose to wait until he drifted by. He was about 100 yards upstream when we pulled anchor so by his logic, I would have been waiting for hours for every boat on the river to go by until we got going again. Idiot. I can honestly say that trip has completely turned me off from the Madison.

My second day with them we went to the Yellowstone and fished through Livingston. We started at Carter's Bridge down to the Highway 89 bridge. We were with another guide from the area who suggested that since he felt there were going to be tons of boats on the upper stretches. It paid off as we didn't see a ton of boats and the fishing was crazy good. We even got Loren to catch a bunch on big ugly dries. It definitely made up for the day before and was glad we could get them into fish and have fun not playing bumper boats.

Day three I took Jet on a walk/wade trip around the Gallatin River. We were able to get off the beaten path and find some really cool water that hadn't been pounded. The fish weren't big but they were ferocious. It turned out to be a cool short day of fishing.

We got back to the shop in Big Sky and noticed Jet's rod case was missing. It could have potentially turned the day from good to bad quick as the case had is Sage rod and Hatch real in it; about seven bills. We went back to the parking area, which happens to be a trail head and started asking around if any of the dozens of people hiking saw anything. Nothin...

I tried to reassure Jet that someone would turn it into one of the shops but even I didn't totally buy that. About two hours after saying goodbye however, I got a text from Jet saying someone did turn the case in. There are good people out there after all.

Keep 'em where they live.

P.S. I was back on the Mo today. The water flows are at 2700 cfs, which is definitely the lowest I've seen it. From everything I've heard and thought would happen, I've been completely off as far as the flow goes. It just seems so weird because Bozeman and the Park have been getting pounded with precipitation. In fact, yesterday the Yellowstone was blown out and the Gallatin was chocolate milk as well. It's a little scary to think what August might bring but the fishing right now is still really good...or at least it was for us. We put on early, caught a bunch of fish on dries and then I got to come home and take a nap...perfect.

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