Saturday, July 3, 2010

Day 3: $3 Bridge & Eagle Nest - Sparrow on Fire!!

June 24th, I went to Three Dollar Bridge of Madison below Quake Lake. Arguably one of the most productive, scenic, and popular spots of Madison. I was the first one as always whenever and wherever I fish in the morning. Believe or not, by lunch time, parking lots on both banks were full of people, including recreating people who were not really interested in fishing.

I fished up-stream with nymphs under a strike indicator. My choice was a Rubber Leg.

Like three days ago, I trailed with a black bugger but there was no response on a bugger. A nice healthy 16-inch rainbow took a Rubber Leg and wiped the yesterday's skunk out of my memory!!

Does this count? On a Beadhead Crystal Serendipity.

As I fished up-stream probably a mile, just in the middle of between Raynolds and $3 Bridges, the most mysterious thing of this trip happened. I cast into a seam right in front of me (just about in the middle of two rocks). As my Thingamabobber sank, I set the hook. With one-two head shake before initial run, I felt something very heavy that made me put my line hand to the butt of my rod. Then it snapped off my 2X tippet along with my Rubber Leg and Crystal Dipity. It was the biggest tug I have ever experienced. Could it have been a 10-pounder? Later on as my head cooled down, I thought about it might have been my leader and Rubber Leg went under a rock and that might have been when trout took it regardless of its size.

I fished up for two hours so I decided to fish down to my truck and lunch. I Since I went down, I decided to swing. I simply took off a strike indicator and tied on my own idea of Variegated Chenille Sparrow. This is the one that I was really anxious to try. Since water was high I left split shots on purpose though I would swing flies. I thought some weight would be needed under this condition.

I caught one little one on a caddis soft-hackle that I trailed with. Then I felt a bigger tap-&-tug. It seemed to be on my Sparrow. But I was surprised that it was a whitefish!! Before I was annoyed, I couldn't figure out that how come whitefish took a swinging soft-hackle, especially a large one like mine, on its mouth, not being foul-hooked.

Anyway, I kept going with my Sparrow. I felt another good tap-&-tug. Finally a nice 17-incher came out on Sparrow!!!
After lunch I quickly dropped by Raynolds Pass and saw another crowd of people. So I drove down-stream. Nobody was fishing Pine Butte which I was already familiar with. I saw only one angler in the middle of the river so I decided to cross Kirby Bridge to West Fork and the drove upstream to Eagle Nest, basically the opposite bank from rocks of Pine Butte. I politely talked to two anglers along the bank that I wouldn't fish till rocks and if it was OK with them. I fished up stream so I simply put a strike indicator without changing Sparrow. It did work!! Use as directed by Jack Gartside!!!

I had to self-timer though some winds blew on me.

I walked way up till I thought it was about time to fish down = swing down. To end the day, I caught another whitefish again on swinging my Sparrow, on its mouth, not foul-hooked.

I really felt I was back in track!! I landed eight fish, while I always try to catch 10 to 20 every time I fish the Madison. But the big tug above $3 Bridge and swinging my own designed soft-hackle can be counted two in my book!!
As always, Madison lets me know where I am and if I know what I am doing.

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