Our season here on the Madison continues to roll on as the days pass by like they are on fast forward. I sometimes can’t comprehend where the time goes. It seems like one minute it’s June and I am on the Missouri guiding and drinking beer on Headhunter’s porch and then flash…….I find myself in September with winter looming. Summer is just too damn short in this part of the world. Fall is even shorter. Elk are talking and I notice familar vehicles parked along the highway as I make my way to the river each morning. Three nights ago I had two different bull elk at 50 yards – one of them ripped a bugle and lit up the woods. The other was a smaller rag horn, 3 X 4, with a tight but tall rack. Nothing makes me feel more alive than standing in the woods with a chance of launching an arrow at a bull elk displaying his moxy.
The Madison float stretch has been good the last several days. The flows at Kirby are 1180 cfs – not too bad for this time of the year. I floated Lyons to Mac today, put on at 9 and hit the ramp just after 5pm. Depending on where you’re at and when, the techniques are different. Nymping, casting dry flies and streamer fishing out of the boat are all productive. The browns are on the bite, atleast in my boat. Talked to another guide and he got primarily rainbows. I have been on the bobber, bunny and a bead head game as of late, atleast until lunch, then rolling with dry flies to test the interest of the trout and the patience of my anglers. The trout will eat the dry fly, but one must believe…..stick with it….wait….drift again…it’s hard to not watch the mountains drift by……keeping one eye on the fly….at all times….
Somewhere, around these parts, there are creeks which look like the one above……right now. It is wise to let them be. I watched and photographed these trout for over an hour. We threw in live grass hoppers just to see what would happen…….once the hopper sunk below the surface it would get eaten. You could see the trout munching on the bug and then swallow it. Cool shit.