From Livingston, I passed Bozeman to Norris, then drove HWY 287 to Ennis and HWY 191 junction above West Yellowstone all along Madison River. I stopped by Three Dollar Bridge and Between Lakes also. Madison below Quake Lake and below were somehow murky for this time of the year, probably not good dry fly actions for baetis and midge. I fished below HWY 191 bridge, which is above Hebgen Lake, but I just saw one fish chased my streamer, spooked a few trout, saw lots of schooling whitefish.
Then I checked into a motel to fish next day as I'd been doing from WA State. Suddenly it was clarified why I'd been feeling weird and skeptical about what I was doing.
- Now I live in Livingston, not in eastern WA
- Why I'm paying for motels in Montana?
- To fish waters in the Park even for a day or a few, I have to pay the entrance fee every time, even if I have an annual fishing permit.
I realized all of these different views since I've just become a MT resident. Of course, I believe even for Bozeman residents, West Yellowstone and Park waters are worth spending for a short period intensely.
But these are ideas that came up to my mind for near future.
- There are more sections of Madison available for a day trip from Livingston.
- Lower Madison and Ennis area are very good and easy to visit.
- Above Hebgen and Between Lake can be done (= Park permit not required).
- Last but not least, look at more waters to fish!!
Over all I felt I was like Tom Cruise's character in The Last Samurai. When he started learning sword fighting, he was beaten easily and quickly and he wasn't sure how to get better. Then one of Japanese samurais told him "you have too many minds". Exactly, I had too many minds just to have fun fishing and ended up no fish.
I am not saying that I wasted my money for the motel, the Park entrance fee, or all about this little trip. I just recognized that I should change my view and planning to fish around and I noticed I can!!
So last night I planned what I would do next day = today. I really planned about strategy, sections, flies, options, and everything based on my experience for the past four years.
I really did and came home. I will post my intense day with pictures.