Happy 4th of July from Montana, where it is hard to imagine how the Montana Road Trip could be off to a better start. The group set up camp along a small tributary to the Madison only a couple of hundred yards from the Madison. As expected, the group is fishing hard and getting rewarded for their effort.
The creek by camp provides fast-paced action for smaller fish, but it did not take long for our group to move on to bigger challenges. Success came quick when the first 18 inch brown was caught on the first night of the trip. The excitement was evident at the airport, now it was through the roof. We continue to fish near camp during our down time, but the real advantage of our location is its proximity to some of the best walk wade fishing.
Days two and three started with a huge breakfast and packed lunches before heading to three-dollar bridge and a few other nearby access points. This famous landmark provides access to some of the most famous wade fishing in Montana. The group counted 33 cars when they pulled into the parking lot. Salmonfly season and 4th of July make for quite the crowd. That didn't slow us down one bit. Within minutes our group was pulling in fish. We didn't make it to lunch on the first full day of the trip before everyone had caught a fish. Now it is time for the big fish.
When it comes to improving your fly fishing skills there is no substitute for time on the water. Our group is putting in the time and effort, and it is already starting to show. This morning the group split into two groups. Both groups got up at 5:30 ate a quick breakfast and hit the road. Group 1 headed "between the lakes" on the upper madison. This section of walk wade only water is known for massive fish. If we catch a monster on this trip there is a good chance it will come from here, but the fish are tough. The group fished hard, and everyone had shot at fish, but the big one alluded us... for now. The other group made the drive to the Ruby River. The Ruby is a smaller spring creek with fish that look like they could come out of a much bigger river. The group ran into a PMD hatch and the rest is history. Not everyone caught a trophy, but they all had chances and they all caught fish.
We reconvened back at camp this afternoon for some stories over spike ball while some recharged with a quick nap. Tonight we are headed into West Yellowstone to watch the fireworks. We ordered some pizza for takeout and we will eat and watch from the top of a hill outside of town. Tomorrow we plan to regroup with a big breakfast and some more fishing on the Madison. Monday the group will split back up and reverse spots from today.
It has been fun watching the group grow closer and make noticeable improvements in their fishing in such a short period of time. On Tuesday we plan to move camp to the Gallatin Canyon. We will send another update then.
Pat, Oliver, Will, Stefan and Crew