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The Gunwale Bar…coming soon to town near you.

After 11 weeks of constant guiding, fishing and relatives most fishing guides will sit back, take a drink or two, and fish Hebgen…..or float the Madison and actually stand in the front of the boat. After all it is August, but not the August most of us are used to. It was 35 degrees this morning and two days ago there was a fresh skiff of snow in the Madison and Centennial Ranges after a hail storm, putting every drifter on the bank. So much for summer…..by the first of July it felt like we were a month behind, now it feels like we are a month ahead. There is warm weather on its way and the highs for tomorrow in the Madison Valley are in the high 80’s.

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Please let me swim through the risers……..please?

Hebgen has had moments of greatness this past week, with only one day of rising fish till 4……pm. Yep, all day gulpers on the lake. Three mornings ago we were fishing a spot called the Gunwale Bar. For about 40 minutes the fishing was unreal…PacMan comes to mind. But of course the wind came up and ruined everything. Yesterday, was Coach Campbell’s last day. We arrived early at the Gunwale Bar, 8:00am, to find the wind blowing….again. We thought that it would glass off, so we launched the Deville off the trailer. After pushing around and looking for a cruiser, we anchored out to bob the noid…..hanging midges under a bobber suspended about two feet off the bottom. Super deadly and considered cheating by some. We didn’t care, the wind was blowing and the swell was about 12-18 inches. F*@$ing Wind. Hebgen trout remind me of Missouri River trout. Their hot, jump often and average about 17 inches……if thats not fun I don’t know what is.

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Coach Campbell bending it on Hebgen

Our trout are healthy, but a tad bit tricky. They will rise, but they might refuse your flies only to flash them again three feet downstream and then finally hammer it……maybe that was different more uneducated trout…probably not. Ants are working, hoppers too. We still have a few mayflies and caddis around, but the mass quantities of Spruce Moths have yet to arrive. I personally think that its too wet and cool, they’ll hatch, but we need a bit more time.

Really though, the fishing has been pretty darn good.