The "Epic Holiday" adventure takes place on the Beaverhead River, MT. It starts with Maynard and I picking up Ernie and his son, Leroy, about halfway to our destination. A soon to be 18 year old Leroy is a new addition to "Team Trouble" (as the fish call us) and he has no idea what he is in for... or should I say that the fish don't know what they are in for. There is no stopping any of us... even though it is a COLD week...
As this is the third trip out for Leroy in his early fly fishing journey, we sit back and watch his dad, Ernie, give instruction. Young Leroy is a quick study. He learns the lob cast and picks up a quick ten in the net. The first day is a short one, as we only have the late afternoon hours after traveling. But, no worries! We all hook up to a few browns and rainbows. A great way to start the trip.
I'm a little concerned about Leroy and his laid back approach to catching fish. I mean, RD always gives a hoot and holler everytime a fish hooks up! Lol. But, young Leroy is more on the quiet side and very politely says "fish". Papa Ernie brings over the net to bring in the next fish. This goes on over and over again. Almost 20 fish netted in a couple of hours between the three of us with Ernie getting in a few between saying "mend!" and "set!" to Leroy. A good start. Day one ends with a fine dinner at Blacktail Station in Dillon.
On Day 2, Maynard finds some action in a hole that we affectionately name, "Slaughter Alley"... It was originally named "The Crime Scene Hole". I guess you get the message! It was unbelievable. When you thought that maybe it was fished out... And we all had plenty of turns... It just kept delivering up beautiful 16-20 inch browns and rainbows. We did fit in a nice lunch fixed on the bank by ol' RD. Homemade meatloaf sandwiches were on the menu. Mmmmm...
As a group, we pulled out over a dozen fish in that hour and a half in "Slaughter Alley". I went for a triple species with a rainbow, 2 brown and a 5 lb ....whitefish (yeah, it figures). Here's my bow. I had a smile that stretched across my face! This is catching, not fishing! A heck of a lot more fun... This part of the river rocked, needless to say. And Leroy just kept saying, "fish" everytime he caught another 16 inch trout. No "Incoming!", "Fish On", " Oh, Yeah, Baby!"... Just, "fish". (No exclamation point)
At the end of the day, Maynard and I won out on going to the Taco Bus. Ernie always gets out voted... poor guy. We are all tired at the end of Day 2. And macho burritos and enchiladas de crema are a perfect way to satisfy the hunger pangs.
"Incoming" trout for Maynard. He also gave me some very useful tips on casting.
And my favorite catch of the EPIC Holiday!