Scott's Outdoor Blog

Friday, July 20, 2012

Montana Roadtrip: Madison float

Bad news at the fly shop in Butte.  The Big Hole was probably too low to float.  But when heading to the Madison is plan B you know you're doing something right.  We turned south off 90 and took 287 toward Ennis.  287 does something tricky in Ennis (according to this map reader).  Apparently you have two choices of which 287 you want to continue on through town.  Fortunately we took the correct route, but only after unexpectedly arriving in Virginia City and having to turn back to Ennis.  Cool town, but not what we were after.  I tried to convince the driver and other passenger that this view of the Madison River Valley was something we should feel lucky to see, as it was a pleasant departure from the itinerary. 

It was a tough crowd, but we made it back to Ennis (that's Ennis like tennis, not Ennis like penis according to locals).  After seeing the other sign for 287 going out of town, they agreed it was indeed a no-fault mistake.
Finally heading up the valley to look for a campground.

Here's a few pics from around camp.

Had to go lookin' for bugs! 

We woke up to a chilly morning, packed up camp, and were on the water before 7.  The water was definitely moving a bit faster than the Missouri, and had enough obstacles to get a little practice in behind the oars. 


 The water was great, and it was a lot of fun chuckin' 3" giant stone flies, but we probably should have tried something else.  The fishing was pretty slow.  We all probably had 4 or 5 fish apiece come up and try and eat the thing, but most of the fish were small, and we couldn't get a hook up.  Bayes finally came through with a nicer sized brown.  

 The float went quicker than we anticipated, and we were at the takeout by a little after noon.  The water was great, the scenery was even better, but the fish flat kicked our butts.  We decided to check another river off our list and move on.  Plus, it was the 4th of July and we had to find a beer somewhere.  Lunch in Ennis took care of that.

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