You’ve got to be kidding me!!! Our second day of fishing the Madison was epic! My friend John and I, the two rookie fly fishermen in the trip, got paired up with Dan, who I quickly renamed “The Godfather.” He has been fishing the Madison River for 42 years. Fifteen years ago he had a dream to build the only fly fishing shop in the valley (Bear Tooth that I mentioned yesterday). He and a couple of buddies built the place from the ground up, and now his shop is the primary outfitter for all guided trips in the famous section of the river.
We arrived to the area where all the guides were meeting us and John and I heard our names called, “John and Shawn you’re with me. You drew the party boat today boys. Get in the rig, you’re with me.” When we got the the boat launch I asked Dan if I could help him get the boat off the trailer or with anything else. His response, “No son, I’ve got this down, if you try to help me you will likely mess something up and we might miss out on some fishing. Sit back and relax, we are almost ready to roll.” When we got into the boat our rod were rigged up and ready to cast. Just before we pulled away from the the shore the Godfather caught something out of the corner of his eye. He grabbed a fly that was buzzing around in the bush next to the boat, showed it to us and said, “Boys, were are changing it up, the _____________ just hatched.”
When I got my first “fish on” 5 minutes into our float I couldn’t believe it! Dan talked me through bringing it in and I got it into the next. A beautiful 17 inch rainbow trout! After that the fish just starting hitting. One after another either John or I had a fish on for the next 6 hours. Rainbows, brown trout and few mountain whitefish. All day the Godfather entertained us with stories, maneuvering skills of avoiding rock and bridges, and quick fingers rigging up new flies. At one point The Godfather jumped out of the boat midstream in order to save a fly that John got stuck on a branch floating in the middle of the river. Later in the day he netted a fish for John seconds before he paddled hard to avoid wrapping our boat around a bridge pole. Unbelievable!