Well, Friday January 11, 2008 became a great day to start the blog; my first day out flyfishing for the new year on the Upper Madison River. I have a long tradition of winter fishing. That started in the late 1960’s for trout and steelhead. I haven’t been fishing since early November when I took my wife Nancy and my 85 year old Dad, John, steelheading. So, today was special. Montana winter fishing in December, January, and February usually means going for 2 to 4 hours during the heat of the day with temperatures between 32 and 40 degrees and hopefully the wind’s not blowing over 10 mph. Location is mainly the Upper Madison River from Hebgen Lake Dam to Ennis. I can be working at the Fly Shop where we live and by 11AM can walk out the door, check on the wind and temperature, and like today if the conditions meet the criteria of above 32 degrees and wind under 10 mph; I’m off within one hour on an afternoon flyfishing adventure. Sweet!
I rigged the fly rod with two of my Delektable™ winter nymphs: a #8 Delektable Flashback Hurless Stone Gray, up top; and a #8 Delektable Flashback Braided Stone Brown/Tan about 24″ to 30″ below the upper fly on 3X Fluorocarbon. It was cloudy today. I love the flashbacks on the dark days. I put my waders on, took one fly box, tippet, nippers, pliers, and I was out the door in a 230,000 odometer miled Blue Burb, the ultimate guide rig. While driving 8 miles up the highway to my set of fishing holes, there were 40 or more mule deer by the lodge, and over 1,000 head of elk by the river on the Wall Creek Game Range. That’s one of the reasons I’ll never leave Montana. It’s so spectacular!
Almost to my fishing spot, a 6X6 Bull Elk is across the river all by his lonesome. We have a big snow winter in Montana this year so far. Thank God! We really needed it. It did make it a little harder to get to the river from the highway but it was all downhill. Just the excitement of being able to fish took over. The associated adrenaline buzz allowed me to fish upstream through a sweet boulder field for 2 hours that resulted in over a dozen browns and rainbows hooked between 12″ and 18″. Typical winter fishing where you find one there will be more. The fish pod up in the winter.
I would like to end my conversation today with special thanks to some special people who have helped with our web site and starting this blog. To my sweet wife Nancy, none of this would have been possible without you. To our flyfishing maniac friend, Brad Harlan, who has guided and helped us through this process. Also, thank you Gregg Machel and Bill Kiene for your generous time and friendship. I am looking forward to sharing my flyfishing adventures on this site and hope it will add knowledge and enjoyment to those who visit.