Swank Jr. and The Lower Madison – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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Swank Jr. and The Lower Madison

My little guy and I just couldn’t shake the feeling that maybe we should spend some time fly fishing around Bozeman yesterday. We definitely debated on whether we should spend the day holed up in a sports bar, watching football or get out and look for a few tugs. In the end, we opted for a quick morning session on the lower Madison and few games on the tube later in the day.

As we headed west from our Bozeman fly shop, the wind picked up and my hopes for a productive few hours diminished rapidly. Matty, on the other hand, was feeling optimistic as the truck was only slightly moving from side to side with intermittent gusts. Whitecaps on the irrigation pond at Blacks Ford and racing ripples across the river did not bode well for the outlook. We found a spot, got rigged up, and made our way to the river with the steady thumping of the wind in our face and ears. Matty made a few steps out, fed some line, and made a nice 25′ cast up and into the wind.

As a father, I was silently overwhelmed with pride as he embraced the wind and threw a loop tight enough to cut through the wind and deliver his fly to the top of a slight, mid-river bucket. He made a mend and we both watched as his indicator headed down and out into the current. I don’t think I ever said a word, I just got the net ready and listened to a 9-year-old tell me about his “mad skills!”

Matty’s gear includes Redington Crosswater Youth Waders, Redington Kids Boots, Redington Hydrogen 590, Sage 2250 Reel, and a Rio Gold WF5. Mine was a Fishpond Guide Net.