The groundswell of emotional good will ended this morning around 11 on the lower Madison. The morning started off well enough as I had a little bit of extra skip in the step as I realized that today is the last day of guiding in 2014. It's actually not the last, but the last for awhile and the last of the "in a row"days that have been with me more or less for the last few months. Got on the water with a little stiffy west wind at the ramp. We dealt with it, found some fish, life was fine. Around noon or so, the west stiffy turned to a north stiffy of about 30-40. Slow going downstream at that point…Cherry Creek to be exact. The goal was Greycliff. Found the shuttle folks and ended up at Black's Ford around 1:00 and called it a day. I was not looking forward to the miles of pushing into the wind to fish a few buckets and make it a day.
So, here I sit with a little extra perk in the fingers as I type, knowing that tomorrow will not find me at the seat of my badass and tough looking RO Deville Nomad Series drift boat. Instead, I will be looking at sales reports, organizing tax stuff, and hopefully talking fishing to a few folks in the shop. Databases and taxes never sounded so good! I will be slaving away while some of my help makes their way to Belize for a week of fishing at tflats.com with the best Permit guide I've yet to come across…Dubs.
As I strolled around the banks of the LM today at Black's Ford while waiting for my rig, I had some thoughts. Mostly the thoughts were in regard to the lack of substantive meaning to my thoughts as I tried to savor a few moments on the water. The pure stench of the outhouse started me down that dark path of Madison River permits, 3% of the gross, and the ridiculousness of tubers not paying to support the infrastructure and natural resource impacts. I thought of how good Bob's Shuttle service has always been to me…I hear bad things all the time but in my several hundred trips, I've only had a couple of poorly timed experiences. I wondered why the wind decided to switch and blow so hard. I wondered if my tires were holding pressure as they seemed to be failing me this morning. Sure, I was grateful to be on the water, surrounded by snow-capped peaks, looking for trout with a wonderful human being at the front of the boat…but I didn't think about that at that time. I thought about the other stuff that keeps one from enjoying the moment, yet I still enjoyed the moment. Transcendency was acheived through the smell of organic waste while standing on the boat ramp at Black's Ford in the wind.