Expanding Horizons with a Guide Trip – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Expanding Horizons with a Guide Trip

Last week I anchored my drift boat at the bottom of an island island on the Yellowstone River. The nymph fishing thus far had been good to really good, but one client had just broke off a fly, so I stopped to tie on a fresh one for him.

While threading tippet through the eye of the beadhead nymph, I noticed a couple fish rising to emerging caddis in the nervous water where the side channel dumps back into the main river.

I grabbed the dry-fly rod, a five weight Orvis Helios 3F, and handed the rod to the client in the back of the boat, who had the best angle at the rising trout. He hesitated.

“No thanks,” the gentleman who’s been coming out here to fish once a year for 30 years said. “I don’t think I can do it. You do it.”

“No, man, this is your trip,” I replied. “Take the rod and cast a few feet above that fish.”

“Nope. You do it. Show me how it’s done.”

“Ok, fine,” I shrugged.

I missed the hookset on a dink on my first cast. There were about a half dozen fish rising so I cast at the next closest fish. He ate the size-16 dry fly on the third cast. I stripped him in and showed the clients the pretty 12-inch Yellowstone Cutthroat trout.

“Your turn,” I said, shoving the rod in the man’s hand and refusing to take no as an answer.

He executed a perfect reach cast. This man is modest about his flycasting abilities.

On his fourth or fifth cast, a fish rose a half second after the fly floated past its head. The boat grimaced.

“Leave it,” I said, knowing more fish were rising at the bottom of the pool.

As the fly drifted past the bottom of the pool, a rainbow turned on it.

Boom. Fish on.

The trout jetted downstream and the man in the back of the boat couldn’t turn its head. I saw it flash once and knew it was a good fish. After the fish made two or three downstream runs, I said, “Screw it. Lets chase it.”

I pulled the anchor and rowed downstream. Eventually we netted the fish, a beautiful 17-inch rainbow.

The veteran in the back was visibly excited.

“That was really cool,” he said.

“Want a picture with it?” I asked.

“No, I’m good,” he said.

I snapped one of the fish in the net anyway.

That fish seemed to make that man’s day. I was stoked. He was stoked. His buddy was excited.

I think the reason this older fellow was so happy because he didn’t expect to catch that big of a fish on that small of a dry fly, especially after trying larger dries in the morning to no avail.

And that’s one of the best parts of going on a guided trip. Regardless of your experience or skill level, booking a guided trip with us should add to your experience, maybe push you a little and teach you something new.