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...
You know summer in southwest Montana has arrived when you can safely navigate the channels of the Valley Garden fishing access site near Jeffers, Montana. Just getting to your favored stretch of water is summer in a nutshell...fecund sites and smells of wildlife and greenery everywhere. I wouldn't miss this event for the world. :)
You've read the book and seen the movie. Explore the Blackfoot River, the main setting of Norman Maclean's well known Montana fly fishing story. Curious enough, the Gallatin River (near Bozeman, Montana) was filmed during large sections of the Hollywood movie...essentially the Blackfoot River's standin. :)
For the past few years, despite the severity of the winter season, southwest Montana has been fortunate to get an unusually sunny day or two somewhere in the month of February. This year, tomorrow is your day. Get out and enjoy some sun and fun on the Gallatin River. I know where I'll be on the river...Do you? :)