Hyde and Seek


After two and a half weeks in Montana I am back in Austin and it’s safe to say I am having withdrawal. I fished 15 out of 16 days and am suffering from social whirling disease, off-balance and completely unable to participate in conversations that involve topics other than trout. When I close my eyes I see a rise near a moss bed on the bank. I’m a fish out of water as I can’t seem to catch my breath in this oppressive 104-degree Texas heat. My back hurts, I need a pedicure, and while I see dresses hanging in my closet, I can’t remember where I am suppose to wear them. In the shower my equilibrium is totally off as I am clearly suffering from The Drifties — a lingering and dizzy sensation that I am still swaying on the water in an anchored drift boat.

The Professor and I dragged his Hyde all around Montana — and parts of Idaho — seeking trout and the bugs they might be eating. I’ll be honest, it was hard fishing this year. Grinding over patterns, looking for rises, often resorting to nymphs. On the water until dark, eating dinner after eleven pm (at the earliest), red wine until one am, then up the next morning to hit the road and find new water, all the while with the Hyde rolling right along behind us.

I miss it desperately.

Big Hole, Small Fish

We had several days on the Big Hole and while we caught a number of fish and had a ball with The Professor’s brother, we couldn’t really find any big Big Hole trout.

bh1 bh2 bh3 bh4 bh5 bh6 bh7

There Is No Crying in Fly Fishing

I have returned battered and scarred from the most ridiculous injuries on this trip. I sliced the tip of my finger opening black-eyed pea salsa and it took days to close up. Then I was a backseat victim of a windy backcast and got hooked deep in my ear. Super Nephew Super D had to perform boat surgery with hemostats to remove this impromptu extra piercing.

crying2 And worst of all? After a tough day of windy fishing on the Madison I was urgently wenching up the boat in an effort to escape swarms of mosquitos, and I inadvertently cranked the tip of the Hyde straight into my own skull. Ouuuuuccch!!!! I mean it really really hurt. Like a little kid, there was a delayed reaction. I was stunned for a few seconds and then…started crying like a baby. Ow-eee. When was the last time you cried on a boat ramp? The Professor was very patient at the time and we have laughed about it since, but I don’t think he knows I still have a sore bruise on my skull.

Luckily, just before my Hyde-to-the-Head incident, I caught this fish which numbed the pain for quite awhile.


Should We Just Get Take Out?

We did a late float on the Lower Henry’s Fork and despite decent hatches and a few rising fish, we didn’t produce much. At the very end with the take out in view, we anchored on a pod and moved a few on dries. I missed a great eat, and I think the Professor hooked up here. To tell you the truth I can’t remember…I am already starting to forget! (Perhaps a result of the drift boat head injury?)

takeout1 takeout2

The next day, we did another late evening float, this time on the Madison. Big bugs were out and about, but a lightening storm came out of nowhere and ate up most of our fishing time. Luckily Jack Attack saved the day with a Hail Mary Hook Up about six feet from the take out.

takeout3  takeout4 

Leave It To Beaverhead

Our first day on The Beaverhead, The Professor’s brother pulled out this gorgeous chunky rainbow.

beav1 beav2

It was just the momentum we needed as The Beaverhead started to offer up some much needed dry fly action.


Especially on our next Beaverhead float. Rising fish on the banks pretty much start to finish.


But for some reason I went on a vicious streak of missing fish. The wind was taking hold of my cast, the wheels were coming off. I was ready to quit fishing all together, but The Professor and Jack Attack urged me to stick it out. Not the biggest fish in the river, but a very important game-changer for me.

 beav5 beav6 

It was a great stretch around Idaho and Southwest Montana. Day after day on the road pulling a boat, looking for fish, and loving life. Not a care in the world and nothing to Hyde.

nothin to hyde


More fishing stories to follow….

11 Responses to “Hyde and Seek”
  1. Kentucky Jim says:

    Great pics, great fish, great stories, great trip. Now, what about Lance?

  2. Rodster says:

    Chicky – - Thanks for sharing. Good to know you survived Montana with only a few battle scars. My nephew is a surgeon and he recommends super glue for a sliced digit that want heal as fast as you would like. Tulane Medical School was not wasted on this kid. Best fishes, Rod

  3. Harry says:

    Sounds and looks like you had a great trip, injuries and all. Nice job on the stories and the pictures. Looking forward to your next adventure.

  4. Monty Montana says:

    All is forgiven…now I can get back to work. AH did I just say that…work what the hell.
    great story and I can second the super glue…carry some in my medic bag for dogs and man…and it does work, on most short of bullit holes.
    But…nothing about mom and dad…weren’t they in state?

  5. am definitely going to keep super glue and duct tape on hand for future gashes — thanks for advice!!

    yes, my parents were there but they were on the Blackfoot for a few days and then over on the Missouri. we synced up with them on the Mo –that post is forthcoming.

    and…….once I retrieve Little Chick from summer camp we will be heading BACK to montana for some kid-friendly girl time with my mom

  6. Ron Sorensen says:

    Great to cross paths again, albeit shortly up on the MO, after all these years from your first trip to the Fork! I didn’t see your e-mail anywhere to write directly so thought I would start here on the comment page. Sorry I couldn’t hang the night of the Prof’s b-day, knackered from guiding. Look forward to reconnecting, your blog is great!

  7. Mike Evarts says:

    Did you ever get to the Slide Inn and talk to Kelly Gallup over on the Madison River. He has a nice place there and is a great guy to talk to. Knows the Madison like the back of his hand. Fished with one of his guides last year and had an absolute blast.

  8. Monty Montana says:

    Hey chick…what kind of camera do you use, (carry) on your jaunts around the world?


  9. Jenny says:

    What a nice fishing expedition!!! You’ve definitely had a great time!! Congratulations!

  10. I use the olympus stylus 790 sw in a lovely chartreuse green

    it’s point-click. water proof. shock proof, so it’s a great boat camera. also good for wading. but I don’t think it takes the absolute greatest pictures. that however, might be user error. I know a few people with this camera and they stand right next to me and get awesome shots while mine are weak. I think there are settings…there’s a dial or something….portrait, lanscape…I don’t know.

    but I like the little camera, that’s for sure!!

  11. Ron — it was so great to reconnect. what a funny small world story!!! I’m headed back to the missouri tomorrow with my daughter so wave us down if you see us!! Cheers~

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