|My son wondering on his first trip to Montana, we came here in July for this?|
Okay, okay.......I know I've been remiss at posting things for quite some time. Truth of the matter, I haven't done anything very interesting lately. But that changed the end of July with a trip back to Montana.
Original plans had us going to the Bob Marshall Wilderness, a 1.5 million acre wilderness area in northwest Montana to go in 20 something miles with an outfitter by horseback and being dropped off on the South Fork of the Flathead. From there, we were going to spend a week camping and floating the South Fork down almost 40 miles to our pickup point for big Cutthroat and Bull Trout. Alone. On our own. My friend Bob and his son and Bryce and I. Grizzly Bear territory.
The sudden heat and dry spell that hit the area earlier in the summer along with the ensuing low water and fire hazard put those plans on hold for a year. So with plane and rental car reservations already made Bryce and I decided to forge on and do a little exploring on our own and spend some time with some friends I have out there. With a very loose itinerary we flew into Bozeman and headed south to Cameron Montana along the banks of the Madison River where we spent the first days of our trip.
All the heat decided to break just in time for our arrival. The very next day, unseasonably cold weather and record rainfall made it's way into the area. Clouds and fog hid the mountains, and the next morning we woke up we were treated to Christmas in July. The snow decided to stick around for the next two days of us fishing the Madison with my friends at Beartooth Fly Fishing. If you're in the area, make sure to stop in their store you'll be pleasantly surprised. Or book a float with our guide Marty Authement through Beartooth Fly fishing and ask him about big Louisiana Redfish when he isn't spending time in Montana.
My son isn't as big into fly fishing as his father, but he sure did have a good time once he caught on to the nuances of fishing from a drift boat. Immediately before this fish he had a real pig of a brown trout on which ended up breaking him off.
For a couple nights, this was where we slept! Right on the banks of the Madison.....with alot of laughs and quality time. It was actually pretty nice not having cell reception and just talking about things and hanging out during the down time.
|Getting re-rigged on day one|
The Madison is set in a beautiful valley, and you have to keep reminding yourself to look up and enjoy the scenery because it sure does live up to it's nickname of the "50-mile riffle" when it leaves Yellowstone Park down to the town of Ennis---you really move along. It's a great float and loaded with trout.
Up next: Some more Madison and then over the hill to the Ruby Valley