Driftin' & Dreamin' Fly Fishing Blog

Fly Fishing the Madison on New Years Day 2020

Fishing Madison on NYD

“The charm of fly fishing is that it is the pursuit of what is elusive but attainable. It is a perpetual series of occasions for hope.”

 ~John Buchan

The calendar flips to a new year and we take time reflect on the past and look to the future. For many it’s a time to resolve to make positive changes in our lives during the coming year. We commit to pursue what is "elusive, yet attainable."

Turkey Talk - Madison Scoping Survey

November 27, 2019 

Right on time for some lively Thanksgiving dinner table conversation Montana FWP has just released a scoping survey allowing everyone a chance to offer input on future Madison River recreation management plans. I encourage you to take the survey. You can find the link at the bottom of this page.

Below are screenshot images of my responses followed by some of my thoughts on each alternative. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Happy Thanksgiving!!
Joe D.     joe@montanatrout.com

Madison Rec. Plan or Wreck Plan?

After the Madison Negotiated Rule Making Committee (NRC) disbanded back in May unable to agree and reach any consensus on how to manage recreational use on the Madison, things quieted down for a while and it was business as usual this season. However, just recently the sleeping dog has woken up again and it sure feels like there is more political pressure right now than ever for FWP to do something!! Current attempts to develop a recreation management plan for the Madison date back to 2010. 
Recently, two separate but basically identical petitions were submitted to the Montana Fish & Wildlife Commission requesting that the FWP April 2018 Draft Management Plans “preferred alternative” be moved forward and adopted into rule for the 2020 season.

Cuba Trip Report - JDR May 2019

Last week a group of 11 of us went on an adventure of a lifetime to The Jardines De La Reina. Also known as “The Garden of the Queens”, these chain of islands sit off the Southeastern coast of Cuba and offer some of the most pristine flats in the world. The 840 square mile marine reserve was established in 1996 and in 2010 was designated as a national park.

Camp Bullwheel - Ennis, MT

Peter Pauwels is a guy with a selfless desire to help disabled individuals enjoy the great outdoors, with trout fishing at the forefront. Peter has been working with disabled individuals and innovating adaptive fishing, shooting and boating equipment for many years as a volunteer at the Craig Hospital in Denver. He worked with Craig Hospital, the Denver Children’s Hospital and other rehab facilities to establish the Accessible Fishing Program at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal near Denver.

Fishing Report - January, 2019

OK, writing regular fishing reports is not our strong suit.  Fishing a lot, and guiding anglers into a good time on the Madison is another story! 
To be honest, I’ve never been a big fan of fishing reports. They are inherently backward looking and if there is one thing I know to be true about fly fishing for trout, it is that what happened yesterday has almost no bearing on what will happen today. In this game, the best thing you can do is get out on the water and fish. Put yourself out there and be open the possibilities of what can happen.
Most all anglers want to stack the odds in their favor as much as possible before heading out, and we can’t blame anyone for that.

Alaska Trip Report - August, 2018

Last week I had the greatest time ever hosting a group of anglers, and fellow members of the #defectivegeneclub (including my dear wife Rikki) on a return trip to Tikchik Narrows Lodge in the Bristol Bay region of S.W. Alaska.

We had a great trip to say the least, but it’s difficult to convey in words just how great it was. Yes, we caught lots of fish and plenty of big ones too. But like all fishing trips, a journey to Tikchik and the Alaskan wilderness is about much more than just catching fish. It’s about the people you are with, the wild places you experience and see, the wildlife, and spectacular timeless beauty of it all. And of course… hopping around Alaska in a 1956 De Havilland Beaver float plane! This trip is truly one of life’s great adventures.

Drift Boat Anchors

Do you have a drift boat and fish the Upper Madison with any regularity? What’s that you say? No and no? Well, we can remedy at least the former with one of our brand new drift boats in stock from RO, which would likely solve the latter.

I digress. Recently, I helped a fellow and his son in law at the shop with their pruchase of a used drift boat. The day finally came when they secured their previously owned and well-loved drifter and were off to McAtee Bridge for their inaugural float on the Upper Madison. The text I got back from them when they reached Varney read “Sweet river. Super fast. How the hell do you stop in the river without bashing your boat?” Great question. My response simply read, “Welcome to the Madison.”