Idaho 2011, Day 27—Fishing The Madison, Gibbon Rivers

Madison River, Yellowstone NPA slow morning was followed by lunch at a far out-of-the-way restaurant, Boondocker, in Island Park.  The food was excellent.  We followed lunch with a trip to the Island Park Dam and Lake, the start of Box Canyon, and Henry’s Fork Anglers in Last Chance, ID.  Henry’s Fork Anglers is owned by Mike Lawson, and I had the opportunity to spend some time with him and the late Gary Lafontaine at a Southern Council Conclave in Mountain Home in 1999.  He just happened to be in the store and I said a quick hello.  We found prices in his store, though, exceedingly high compared to Blue Ribbon in West Yellowstone.  We wanted to fish the Henry’s Fork just to say we had, but one of their employees told us that the Henry’s Fork was too warm and we should go north for dry fly action.

We drove back to the RV park for our fishing stuff, then headed north, opting to fish the Madison in Yellowstone National Park.  The water looked benign enough, but the current was very strong, and there were very few hatches and NO rises.  IMG_2481BI struggled with wading, and after a half hour, we drove upstream to water that appeared a bit more quiet.  We again only saw a few hatches, and one rise, though last night about 7:15 PM, caddis were coming off like crazy.  I fished it hard for a half hour or more, fighting the current the whole time.  And, it was much warmer than expected.  Picking up again, we drove further north to the Gibbon which we fished yesterday, and fished it real hard.  Kay had one miss under a cut bank, and I didn’t have so much as a look.  The river, set in a few scattered trees in a large meadow, looked awesome, and late in the afternoon there was a good caddis hatch; perhaps it was the clear sky today, as opposed to an overcast sky yesterday, but we had no significant luck.

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