Author Archive

My First Flyrod Part One

Posted by on Aug 27 2007 | Family Fishing

Fishing on the Madison

After several hours of painting on a canvas the brown trout head was starting to come alive. Tubes and jars of acrylic paint were all over the place.

As I painted the hologram label on my cd went round and round putting magic sounds in the air seen through the eyes of a hummingbird. Creativity was woven in the air as the clock melted into a puddle of steel.

In the midst of this haze the gallery door opened. My sister Linda and her husband Greg were covered with earthy New Mexico dust. I greeted them and suggested lunch across the street.

Greg was going to a fiddle workshop in central Montana and Linda was staying in Ennis to paint and fish the Madison.

We invited friends over for dinner to meet them. Linda arrived wearing western clothing and huge plate sized silver belt buckle that she called her Power Buckle.

Later in the evening after a glass or two of red wine she became famous for telling a story about her wedding night. Greg turned on the television to find the last episode of The Fugitive airing.

He insisted on watching it and the rest of Linda’s story will be left to your imagination. To this day when I mention my sister people say, “Oh I love that story, she is crazy!”

The next morning we hooked up the boat and loaded the fishing gear. When the dogs saw this activity they went wild.

We drove upriver and stopped at the Beartooth Lodge to get licenses and flies. Nancy supplied us with the latest hot flies and off we went in a cloud of dust.

When we reached Lyons Bridge I strung two rods and tied on a large stone fly nymph as the top fly and Dan’s Lime Juice on the bottom for the first rod. The second rod got a large prince nymph and CDC baby.

We put our waders on and loaded the dogs before we pushed the drift boat into the cool silvery Madison. I took the oars and we were on our way.

As we drifted down the Madisons flylines shot through the air catching sparkly light. We turned into a modern day Winslow Homer framed with laughter and mountains.

Linda was the first to catch a trout, a spunky fourteen inch rainbow. Then Lexi caught a nice brown on the cdc baby.

The air was filled with words like “I’ve got one on!” or “Look at the deer!” and “ I’ve got one on! Oh. It’s a snag.”

After an hour or so we anchored the boat to tie on new flies and let the dogs play. Cosmo, the puppy, had a wonderful time playing with sticks in the water while Plato, the old dog, soaked up the sun with a great dog smile.

I pulled up the anchor and fly lines once again swished through the June sky. It was “Fish On!” instantly. The new flies were on a magic spell.

Linda often cast out twenty feet and looked at the sky or something. Then I would hear her exclaim, “I’ve got another fish on!” Lexi was also catching fish like an osprey.

Too soon we could see our takeout place, Story Ditch, and I anchored the boat. We unloaded the dogs and gear. I put the boat on the trailer.

The road out of Storey Ditch is afflicted with sharp turns and huge boulders. I call it the road from Hell. The black highway was a welcome sight for tired anglers and dogs.

Yellow lines led us straight to the Blue Moon Tavern in the one bunk town of Cameron. After cool drinks we were ready to drive back to Ennis.

Long afternoon shadows silently followed our pickup and boat trailer down the highway. As we drove past our RiverStone Gallery a large trout head and giant flower painting greeted our return to Ennis.

We parked in our driveway and let out our tired dogs and I took all the waders and gear inside the house.

I opened the closet door to put the rods away and noticed an old fiberglass rod in the back corner.

I carefully pulled out the old fly rod to show my sister. It was a faded green South Bend rod with green and red windings, the tip had a bent screw eye for guide and the cork handle was well worn with a scale or two still clinging to it.

The reel was a black Perrine Automatic with a couple of levers on it. The edges of the reel were worn with scratches, dents, and chipped paint. A green level cracked fly line was still in it.

It was my first fly rod.



Bern Sundell’s original paintings and prints are available at RiverStone Gallery.

Anglers and friends are invited to subscribe to Brown Trout Delight.

Copyright © Bern Sundell 2007. All Rights Reserved.

2 comments for now

« Prev - Next »