For me, the end of summer means a return to the lower Madison River adjacent to Red Mountain.
A few years back, perhaps even a decade ago, I decided to fly fish the lower Madison River in the very early morning hours, late into August and early September. My barber had been telling me stories of catching big browns at the crack of dawn…I figured it was worth a shot.
The first time I went out on the water that early, I distinctly remember slapping down a streamer during my first cast and bang!…I caught the first of many browns that day.
Ever since that late August outing many years ago, I have been trying to repeat that magical day each and every year. I’ve usually been pretty successful too, except for the past few years, which haven’t been too kind with the browns.
The other morning, I thought I was getting a repeat performance of my bygone glory year. Twenty minutes into my walk out into the river, I caught a 21 inch trout. It was a rainbow, though. Don’t get me wrong…It’s fun as hell catching a fish that big on a fly rod. In comparison, there’s nothing quite like the unexpected strike of a big brown.
The summer is ending now. I’ll probably put in a few more early morning jaunts over the next two weeks…After, that, I’m hoping for cooler, more seasonal weather, so that I can sleep in and then fish the river later in the day. The big browns are coming…They just have to.