Catching Brown Trout on Montana’s Madison River

The summer of 2019 had been a very rainy one in the Treasure State, turning many of the rivers into flows of chocolate milk through the middle of June. I was eager to get out on the water as soon as the flows subsided and by the 4th of July the waterways began to look clear. That weekend in particular I planned on bringing my fly rod out and finally popping my fly fishing cherry. I thought my chances would be good since I’d be hitting the water with two seasoned fly anglers.

My future brother in laws, Karl and Kevin, wanted to hit the Madison River, a coveted waterway in southwest Montana. The sun beat down as we loaded the Kevin’s big orange raft into the river. Kevin had me go to the front of the boat and use a the stripping technique to lure the fish out. For the first hour or so I cast into the banks and pulled the large streamer across the water. Then we pulled over near a inlet and Kevin dropped the anchor. I remained at the front of the boat casting across the steady flowing current. Karl was casting off the back of the boat and was talking about the weather. When I turned to look to him when I felt something pull on my rod, hard.

I turned to see a large Brown trout break the surface of the water as my rod arched down with pressure. Kevin jumped to the front of the boat and I told him to bring the net. Carefully, I kept the rod pointed up and guided the large trout towards the boat.

Moments later I was reaching into the net to hold up the beautiful fish for an epic grip and grin photo. The brown trout looked beautiful glistening in the sun and as I gently set it in the water it moved with amazing grace. Fish like that deserve to be caught more than once, I thought.

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