Tuesday, August 16, 2016



After a long weekend of hiking and fishing, I sat on the couch icing my sore back while watching the Olympics Sunday. That's the kinda rough life you lead living in Southwest Montana. Thoughts of the weeks work load started racing through my mind but soon got interrupted by my cell phone ringing. It was Modelo. I met the AMR worker at the ranch I work at. This grizzled outdoor lover knows his way around the mountains and rivers out here. I've floated the Yellowstone a few times with him and the guy can maneuver in a phone booth.  I took notice of the clock before I answered, 5 pm mountain time. "What's shaking Modelo?" He proceeded to mumble a few things, all I could understand was "fish, tomorrow, stone." Modelo was hitting the bottle really hard this Sunday afternoon, the poor dude lost his bird dog a few day's earlier. I told him the river was muddy above Yankee Jim, he blew it off and said, "Dude, no freaking way that plug hits the town section by tomorrow morning, meet me at Albertson's by 6am." Right before he hung up he mustered one last sentence, "If the fishing is slow, let's throw a krystal flash bugger mid-river, don't tell anyone I said that." Then he hung up.

In route to Livingston I texted Modelo a few times, no answer. I pulled into Albertson's and started making a plan b. Maybe wade fish 89 bridge? Sheep Mountain doesn't sound bad? Then I heard the Tundra pull up with Modelo's ride. He stumbled out of the truck and smiled, "time to float bitch." We ran into the gas station and chowed down some burritos. I was worried that wouldn't sit well with him, but Modelo has been here before, the burrito was just the right thing to get his head on straight.

Modelo's Ride 
The first part of the float was poor with the meaty streamers. A quick change to chubbies fooled a few small fish, but Modelo didn't wake up this early for 12 inch fish. In a stumped voice he yelled out "Hey, why don't you try a krystal bugger mid-stream?"  I said, "Dude you told me that last night in your drunken state.....WTF" So I decided to listen to Modelo, I rigged a krystal bugger on the 7 weight Recon and went to town. After 1/4 of a mile with no action, the brown came out of nowhere mid-river to inhale my fly. A long battle on 0X tippet and the fish was in the net. I sat back and looked at Modelo as he drank some beers and rowed with one arm. " I told you man, everyone has been pounding the banks, you have to change it up if you want to catch fish right now!"

I didn't argue, why would I? Modelo knows the river and to question him would be idiotic. We proceeded to rake in the fish mid-river. Modelo proceeded to pound beers. We got off the river and he was tanked. I drove back to Albertson's to pick up my truck. I asked Modelo if he was ok to drive, he was already on the phone with someone, talking about mud plugs and buggers mid-river.


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