The Madison is almost empty of anglers……not complaining though. It is nice to see the river with less pressure. Hopper fishing is stupid good in many stretches up and down the river. I landed a 21 in brown yesteday on the Chubby Lady and about 10 rainbows from 10 to 15 inches. I missed quite a few as well. Yes, me. It had been awhile since I was able to relax for a few hours and fish a single dry fly on the Madison. I didnt even think of taking a picture. Mentally, that fish will stick with me for life. I have stuck a similar brown in years prior in damn near the exact spot. This brown came completely out of the water behind a sunken boulder and crushed the fly. After eating it he went right back to his hole, then jumped three times in the same spot, ran once only to be trumped by 3x Maxima and my Winston. Playing a fish fast and hard will land you more trout. Of course there is a learning curve in there and you will loose a few nice trout learning how to do this, but ultimatley, landing a big fish fast will yeild results. The trout will be happier with you in the long run and it wont get so tired out. I killed a rainbow yesterday by accident. It had swallowed my hopper down in the gill rake and was puming blood when I landed it. In stead of reaching way down in the trout’s throat, I clipped the tippet and tried to revive it. Altough it swam away, I would bet the house that it died. So it goes. A fly left in a trout is worth try to keep it alive.
Hatches – We still have caddis and mayflies in certain stretches of the Madison. Caddis seem to be more prominent. There are honey ants around as well. Last week, at Windy Point, there were clouds of them in the air. The trout responded for a couple of days eating them. Spruce Moths are in the likely spots as well. A #12 Elk Hair Caddis fools them most of the time. BWO – there are lots of these emerging on cloudy days. You have to look hard, but the trout know they are there. Too many times, anglers fish the tandem fly rig. By this time of the year, I stop this tactic and just fish one fly. There is less drag on one fly and one can get their fly even closer to the bank. The banks have been very good. When fishing two flies, I have been separating them by almost 2 feet of tippet. Especially when a hopper is the lead fly.
I just ordered two new reels from Ross Reels. It’s been awhile since I have ordered a quality reel. The Gunnison above belongs to an crusty old fishing guide who lives down the street from me. The Gunnison was the bread and butter of Ross Reels for a long time. I ordered the Evolution LT and the CLA. One of these reels is for non-client use, and the other is a boat reel which will end up in the hands of clients. There are many different companies these days making quality fly reels. Hatch, Shilton and Galvin all make good stuff, but I figured that I would stick with what I know.