Tuesday, August 5, 2008

And I Followed you, Big River, when you Called

Until Sunday my only true fishing experience on the Yellowstone River involved terms like "setline" and "ling"—never had I done much fly fishing on the "big river" (subtle Johnny Cash pun) though I’m a native Montanan and a most avid fly fisherman.
For me fly fishing is something done on small creeks (and yes, Jay, I do say "crick") and rivers like Rock Creek, the Boulder, the Stillwater, and those wonderful rivers in the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone Park. To me, fishing the "big river" means the Gallatin.
So many fishing stories offer great tales about looking beyond the big rivers for the serenity and charm of the small streams, and that despite the smaller fish there remains something unique about fishing those waters.
For me, the opposite tale is true. For a guy who basically uses the same eight flies fished in a manner of different ways on the same eight rivers, the trip on the Yellowstone with MSJ editor Jay Hanson and advertising guru Will Jordan was an eye-opening experience.
I hooked a number of good fish, even landed some nice ones and enjoyed one of only a handful of floating fishing trips I’ve taken in my many years of fly fishing.
I’ll never abandon my love for the smaller waters, but thanks to a good float and some good fishing, I won’t shy away from the "big river" any more.

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