This small stream in southwestern Montana is the West Fork of the Madison River. The Madison ( a blue ribbon trout stream) is
one of the triad of rivers which form the Missouri at the famous junction in Three Forks, Montana. Some decades ago I got an invitation to join my white tail deerbow hunting brother as he went on a scouting expedition for elk in Montana’s Gravely Range. Being employed as a teacher, fall elk
hunting was not an option but a July
trip offered me the opportunity to try some flyfishing in Big Sky Country. I've had some success over the years fishing the Gallatan, Madison, Missouri, Big Hole, Jefferson, Rock Creek, Lamar, Bitterroot
and Boulder Rivers. They were all large or medium sized waters but by my small spring creek limestone southeast Minnesota standards they were too big to ever feel totally comfortable. It was the smaller headwaters and tributary streams that I liked best. And the West Fork of the Madison was the
It was in this very spot with our tent pitched along side the tree behind me that I fished in Montana for the first time. My brother
and I caught rainbow, brown and cutthroat trout. They were hooked and so was I. It was in the late 70s and for the next 20 some years (later with my sons) that traveling to Montana was an annual summer rite. I suspect the fishing isn't quite as good as it was in those day. Much of thst is due to the depredation of the deadly "whirling desease" that infected these water. The brown trout were less impacted that the rainbows and cuts. Still the browns grow big and fat and the rainbows are slowly rebouding... Here our friends Gary and Rosie appear to be checking out a bend where I had regalled them with stories of giant rainbows leaping out of the water on the end of my line.
Those were the days my friends...