When work is done, it’s time to go fishing! Work gets old fast, but we never get our fill of fishing. There is just something special about relaxing along a riverbank, stream, pond, or beach. Our senses and spirits come alive as we smell, hear, feel, and celebrate nature.
Here in Bozeman, we have several great waters a quick drive away. The lower Madison is always a great choice. Try fishing along the gravel road, on the east side, up from the bridge. Hiking into the Bear Trap Canyon is always fun. This time of the year, use baetis dry flies, and attractor nymphs. Soon the caddis will start to turn on, and after that, the Salmon flies will be abundant.
The West Gallatin is also a great choice. Use Golden Stone and attractor nymphs and be prepared for any Baetis or caddis hatch. This can be great fun. No rafters or floaters this time of year. The traditional San Juan worms and egg flies are also good choices.
Once my jobs were finished the other day, it was “time to tie one on”. There was a chance of rain, but wearing a raincoat is no problem. We need to fish when we can, not just when the weather and everything is just perfect. If you wait to fish or hunt on just perfect days, you will spend most of your time waiting.
It really doesn’t matter where you fish, what you fish for, or how you fish. It could be trout rising to the Mother’s Day Hatch” along the Madison, trolling for trophy “Stripers’ in the Chesapeake Bay, or Paddlefish in the Missouri. The most important thing is to FISH!
It is so much better to “Tie One On” when fishing than anything else. Oh sure, the corner bar has real cold beer, your wife has a long “Honey Do List”, the lawn needs mowed, your dog needs walked, and there is something else to distract you. But you know they will always be there. Do you want to be the “Bar Stool Fat Boy”, “Hen-pecked Husband”, or “Bored and Beached Sofa Whale”? These un-healthy choices will only suck the life out of you. Make a better choice!
If you stay “on the job”, you will always hear the fishing stories that start off; “You should have been here yesterday”! No self -respecting fisherman wants to hear that. You need to be the fisherman telling the story, not hearing it.
Fishing is just fishing. The best thing about it is that nothing else is on your mind except fishing. We don’t think about work or problems. We just think about our presentation or cast. The birds, river, and fresh air attract our attention. For a little while, we are at peace, just fishing.
Several shad later, I found myself smiling. It was raining, cold and windy. Shad fishing is a catch and release fishery and I was “wearing out my forceps”. I call these special fishing times, “Slay Rides”, and I was “ripping lips”, “filling the boat”, and “whackin and stackin” my limit!
Work, what? Honey, who? All that I noticed was the bend of my rod, the screaming drag, and splashing fish! Fish have a way of making us forget about stressful things and reminding us that living life is more important!
Fishing has a way of recharging us and reminding us about what is truly important in life. Sharing this healthy addiction makes it even better. Fishing is about sport, limits, rules, ethics, and FUN! It is amazing how we can so quickly forget important work or stress related things, but can remember the quantity, size, and many fish stories from years ago.
Stressed out, tired, and angry folks need to learn how to fish! I have never seen anyone not enjoy catching a fish. Focusing on fishing may not be the answer for Global Peace and happiness, but it’s a start!
Time for another cast,
For more Montana Grant, visit his blog at www.montanagrantfishing.com.