Fly Fishing With Bill Saunders

The day started off bright and sunny, but before fishing, we had had cold wind, hail, and heavy rain and snow deposited itself upon the surrounding mountains. Bill picked me up at 10am and we drove 30 miles upstream to Lyons Bridge where we launched the boat.

By 6pm we had drifted some 11 miles down to West Madison. The fishing technique was to fish the “slicks” downstream of rocks and the 15 metre section upstream of the rock. The alternative was to fish the edges looking for slicks and fishing places. Between rocks the riffle was fished (the whole river is a massive riffle).

In fishing the slicks downstream of a rock it was important to get the fly into the middle of the slick – not the edges. The fly used all day was a Royal Wulff.

I had difficulty getting my fly in the right spot particularly when it was windy with an upstream wind blowing. I caught 4 Rainbows – one of 16″ – and missed quite a number. After the hail and drift down river in heavy rain (we had lunch on the bank during hail storm.)

I stopped fishing for about 5 miles until conditions improved. When I restarted fishing I had a couple of rises but caught nothing. Bill was a good guide and a competent fisherman. He would like a job during the Montana Winter guiding in RSA – He would expect about $2000/month.

We drive to Tetonia in Idaho tomorrow. I had a lovely wall chart of the Bighoon posted home from Madison River fishing company when I also bought some DAP, lead strip and the local dry fly floatant claimed by Bill to be better than Gink by a factor of 3. He really put a lot on a fly – seems to work!

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