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Fly Fishing On the Gallatin River for “The Monster Brown”

At some point in every angler’s life, he or she encounters an amazing fish that always seems to get away.

“I’m going fishing later on the Gallatin if you wanna come,” my good friend Carson offered one Monday morning.

I took half a day off work, as I loved the idea of getting on the water on such a nice September day. We agreed he would come back to pick me up in an hour, and what seemed like seconds later, we were walking on the banks of the mighty and elegant Gallatin River in Bozeman, Montana.

We walked quite a bit, as the ever-expanding farmland called from the left, and the supple flow of the river called from the right.

“Right here, this is where that big mother hangs out,” Carson said. He told me a strong and sizable brown trout had broken off his fly twice before.

He false casted a few times, then let the line dance above the water, extending its length before gently setting it down into the small flow. I had my phone out and was filming at this point, and suddenly, as I’m staring at my feet trying not to fall, I hear Carson yell, “Did you see him?”

I fumbled around with the camera, making sure I was still pointed at the hole.

“No, I missed it,” I told him.

“Ah man, he was huge,” Carson replied. “He just rolled over on the fly.”

Promising Carson I’d check the footage later, I continued to film the hot spot and he casted a half dozen more times into the dragging current. I looked down at my hopper-nymph setup and then we both walked farther up the river.

As the sun beat down, I practiced my cast into the slow moving waters and eventually traded out my nymph for a dry fly, which was mostly white. Watching the line dance and sway in the air was truly and simply beautiful. The long arcs of the green fly line gently pulled the leader and the flies through the air, forcefully whipping them back and forth just above the water. On our way back, we spotted a few fish in the shallow water near a bank and vowed to come back soon to catch them, along with the monster brown that now supposedly had three nymphs in its lip.

NEXT: TROLLING HYALITE RESERVOIR IN MONTANA, DOES IT GET MUCH BETTER?

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Fly Fishing On the Gallatin River for “The Monster Brown”