One of those days where the options for an "ideal Montana fishing trip" was going to be a challenge for many reasons. The forecast was for wind in the 20-30 mph range, the Yellowstone is dirty, the upper Madison ain't been great, the presidential and secretarial rivers are still pretty warm and too low to throw a bunch of boats on. And the anglers were on day two of their fly-fishing careers, pretty much.
So, picked the lesser of all the evils and made it work despite the many things that lie outside the realm of control for a fishing guide.
Little bit of a hopper bite…and I stress a little bit. Nymphing later in the day worked out alright and we ended the day with just a few fish more than we probably needed to have a good day. It did blow hard, the water was warm, and the anglers were better than expected given their experience and the conditions made for.
Worked hard today and I felt like it once we hit the boat ramp. At some point, after a nice fish slowly ate the hopper and was left unhooked, I stopped to think to myself how cool that was though. I thought to myself how lucky I am to spend the day on the water and the biggest stress I had, at that moment, had to do with the fact that the angler missed a hook set. Not such a bad gig, more times than not. I thought to myself that I hope that I never totally lose that sense of wonder that comes with a slow rising fish.
It really is a pretty remarkable event when you stop to think about it. Of all that water and all the stuff going on under it, every once in awhile, a fish decides to leave it's lie and come to the surface in hopes of a bellyful of protein in a purple foam thing with rubberlegs ties to its side, all tied together on a piece of sharply pinter metal, tied to PVC coated line with a piece of clear nylon extruded in some factory in Japan. Actually, when I really stop to think of it, it's a really bizarre thing we do on the water, but I like it.