And on into Spring...

I collected a lot of footage over the past month. I wanted to wait to make another video (people seem to be watching them, thanks!) until I had at least one large brown trout. I have been wading all winter, trying to get better at fishing from the banks, as fishing from a boat is just a different game. My streamer technique really improved due to this. In a last-ditch effort to get one large brown, I took my little pontoon out to try and increase my chances on a big river with lots of big fish. I went to the MO, got skunked, lost an oar stop and snapped my eight weight. I was much more upset about the skunking. I didn't let it get to me, though, and my plan for the next trip was to just enjoy myself. I had only my six weight with me, and it was quite nice to have one rod and one mindset: just catch a fish. The wind picked up as soon as I hit the Lower Madison, and the water was muddy. It took me a while to realize that the fish are still not in fast water (despite its depth) but with the mud they seemed to be perfectly happy in shallow frog water. My first strike of the day was a rod's length in front of me and a 20+ inch brown to boot. Before twenty four hours were up, I had two more, each bigger than the last.

The next day I sped to the Upper, was the first to hit the water and jammed a sandwich down my throat as I approached a favorite run (I was too excited to fish to cook breakfast, so I ate my lunch). I like to make a few practice casts before hitting the main run. I remember being ready: I ate my sandwich; I marveled at the clear water; I slowly crept up to within casting distance but stayed far back from the fish; I was rested and alert. One cast, two cast, three and all of a sudden a twenty-three inch brown trout is three feet in the air, looking buttery in the sun. It was all I could do to keep him out of the fast water. He had two of some fisherman's nymphs in him, which I was happy to extract--sucks to be that guy! Later that day, around five thirty, I got another one. At this point I just stopped fishing. I regret this, because those days are so rare, but I really felt like I was being greedy at the time. I went to my truck and cooked my neglected breakfast for dinner. How's that for a life lesson? (Take failure in stride, and prepare for rewarded patience and dedication). Thanks, fishing!

carl beideman
Martin Joergensen
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