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 Post subject: The Madison
PostPosted: August 5th, 2018, 7:12 pm 
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Joined: December 2nd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 3362
Location: Vassalboro, Maine
Madison 2018

Ahhh...the Madison. I once had a friend that refused to fish the Madison as all he could see was big water and white waves. He knew the current was strong, and that the river in most places was too much for him.

He was wrong.

The Madison is the perfect river...it works for the dry fly people, the numbers people, the away from the crowds people, the explorer people, and the lake/gulper people. You just have to try it your way. Yes, you can have days-many- where the crowds are too much, the river is high, the hatch is off, the weather isn’t right for your choice of fishing….but for every day one form doesn’t work- the others DO.

Gussa and I picked up Bill 45 minutes after seeing Coach and the Mad Vet grow wings...and with a short stop for victuals and libations, we were on the road to Cameron Mt. . Now, the accomidations in this part of our trip were NOT what they were in the first part...in fact- about the opposite. The cost per night was $100- for up to 6 people. A nice price for a double wide in a gravel pit...with add on bedrooms. But it was clean, cheap, and 2 mies form $3 bridge---oh, and a BAR was about 150 yards from the front door.

We fished hard each day, but not always on the Madison---we went on July 16 to the yellowstone in the park, which is the day AFTER it opens. It was-as all rivers were- very high. We saw one person land a fish above LeHardy rapids...and we found a few fish on our own...but as expected, it was slow. I landed 2 and Gussa one- and all were huge---but clearly it was going to be slow...so we booked it for Soda Butte. We did decently on the Butte and were happy a nasty T-storm missed our valley! But 2 hours later, we were fishing in mud, as the storm crushed Cooke City, and Soda Butte was chocolate for 3 days. We went home.

We fished the park one more time and hit atrico hatch which is incredibly entertaining...I was STUNNED to land 4, and all did better than we have in the past. It was a good morning until the wind came up.

Gussa did well on Quake, and Bill stone owned them at $3 bridge. I had a blast at Raynolds and could fish there for 7 days w/o ever being bored. If you have ever fished Raynolds, the little ranch on the other side is now for RENT...and we are going to look into that- how great to just walk out front into that water.

Nymphing was as good as I have seen it for a few years, and dry fly action was decent if inconsistant. Bill showed me new water...and it was good- but Gussa KILLED them one night to the point a guy on the other side yelled over “WHat in Hell are you using?”...Gussa landed 21 that night- which was high for the trip.

I found spinners were the key--- #16 tan. We all finished on a fish on our last night...which was good.

For the record, we did not go to Montana to eat and drink...alone. But we did do some of that. 7 30 packs of Coors, 6 ½ gals of SVEDKA, and some Mike’s lemonaid...steaks and Brauts, pork loins and salads...we enjoyed fruit and bar b ques...just as comfortable as I can describe. Gussa is a great cook, and Bill is as calm as tranquil water.

The flight back sucked ass and I will NEVER go through Atlanta again. A Kia van was in far excess of my expectations- it really was a fine ride. No gear broke-and all of us were happy w/ our stuff. I liked my Korker boots because of the sole changes...comfortable.

Great trip- great people both with us and around us….I did not meet a jerk all trip. I love Montana.


Time to tie- Best wishes.

 Post subject: Re: The Madison
PostPosted: August 6th, 2018, 7:43 am 

Joined: May 29th, 2016, 6:46 am
Posts: 69
Location: Sebago ME, Errol NH
Hutch, thank you taking the time to write this TR. It was greatly appreciated as I await my time in the west. It's encouraging to know the DIY trips are doable and successful.

 Post subject: Re: The Madison
PostPosted: August 6th, 2018, 10:01 am 

Joined: July 23rd, 2012, 12:11 pm
Posts: 181
Location: New Hampshire
I was recently on the Madison with my son. We did a float from Windy Point and then did wade fishing at 3 dollar bridge and between Quake & Hebgen Lakes. Being a dry fly snob I only used flies I could float. The float was great and many fish were taken, but not especially large fish. We caught the end of the Salmon Fly hatch and also used Golden Stones. Not a ton of fish on those flies, but when the fish hit it was a big time take. The Chubby Chernoble provided by the guide was also very productive. A large flying ant was also a good choice during the float. For the on our own wade trips, a tan caddis about 14/16 was the only fly needed as it was simply catching many fish. I really love the Madison. Great hatches and many dumb fish

The only "interesting" thing that happened was when my son went into the brush at 3 dollar bridge to take a leak. He scared up a rattle snake which we could hear, but by backing out there was no problem.

 Post subject: Re: The Madison
PostPosted: August 18th, 2018, 10:29 pm 
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Joined: December 3rd, 2001, 1:00 am
Posts: 2238
Location: N44.88305* W68.67206*
Another great TR Hutch - I'm going back and reading everyone else's TRs in preps for my own (I leave in 5.5 hrs) and I just had a great thought for a winter project - I'd like to go back into the archives and retrieve all of your and Dave M's Montana trip reports and compile them into one package - then I'd have one very entertaining, informative collection of thoughts about fishing out west...it's on my list - tight lines!

The best things in life...aren't things.

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