Fighting Western Trout: Having it Out with the Battlers of Madison River.; Montana Fishing Full of Action and Thrills--Landing a Nine-and-a-Half-Pounder., Daily Racing Form, 1918-10-29


view raw text

FIGHTING WESTERN TROUT Having it Out with the Battlers of Madison River Montana Fishing Full of Action Actionand and Thrills Landing a Nine NineandaHalfPounder andaHalfPounder Let me tell you a real trout story I have been fishing pretty industriously for the past thirty years and have caught all kinds from sea trout in the Gulf of Mexico to the speckled fellows in the Nippegon I have fished many a day along the little brush creeks in Minnesota fighting my way through the willows killing mosquitoes and coming home at night with fifteen or twenty little speckled fellows from nine to twelve inches long and had a bully time I have also tried the other extreme extremeThree Three years ago up in Yellowstone Park at the Lake Hotel I offered a fellow who was fishing for the government 10 to let my son and me go with him for one day He said lie could not do it as lie had a contract with the government to catch 400 pounds of fish a day and it kept him mighty busy I told him he could have all of tiie fish and if we bothered him any we would quit immediately so I at last persuaded him to take us along We fished from the back end of a small power boat in the Yellowstone River from the lake down to the falls and at 12 oclock we had the 400 pounds of trout We caught these fish casting with a small Colorado spinner He would anchor the boat and we would cast down stream picking up three or four one and onehalf to two pound trout Hardly any of them weighed any less and none any more After we had picked up half a dozen they would not bite there any more so we would pull our anchor and drift about fifty feet farther and repeat the operation operationThis This was certainly fishing de luxe and I was quite convinced that I would not care to fish for trout again in the old way However this is not the story that I started to tell tellFor For the past fifteen years I have been interested in a ranch at Whitehall Montana I usually spend two weeks on the ranch every fall and as there are trout and whitcfish in the streams I do con ¬ siderable fishing All of these years I have been hearing of the big rainbow and Loch Levcn trout in the Madison River which is located about sixty miles from Whitehall Like all other fishermen I had always supposed the stories were consider ¬ ably exaggerated but made up my mind this full that I would go and try for some of these big fel ¬ lows lowsIt It is sixty miles from Whitehall to the Madison power dam now called Madison Lake I rented a Ford and accompanied by two friends left White ¬ hall at 8 oclock in the morning After a most beautiful drive down the Jefferson River we crossed the Norris Divide and arrived at Madison Dam about noon Here we found a good little hotel built on the bank of the lake in as pretty a spot as one can find anywhere in the Rocky Mountains MountainsRAINBOWS RAINBOWS PLENTIFUL BUT SMALL SMALLThe The lake looked to be about two miles wide arid ten long and as the power dam was sixty feet high the water ranged from three to sixty feet deep and was as clear as crystal There were only a few boats for rent at the hotel and as they were all out our prospects for fishing the first day did not look good We heard of a camp up the lake some six miles called Dads Place where they had several boats for rent We autocd up there and found Old Dad but his boats were let to a couple of miners from Butte who had been spending a week or two fishing Dad said By the way men these fellows catch more trout than anybody that conies here Maybe you can get them to take you out and show you how As they were get ¬ ting their boats ready to leave for their afternoon fish I went down to the landing to feel them out They both had ordinary bamboo poles and each had a big can of worms They showed us their mornings catch about twenty rainbow trout weigh ¬ ing from two to three pounds and forty to fifty graylings weighing from one to one and onehalf pounds each I was a little disappointed in the size of the trout and asked them if they did not catch any big ones Then to hear them tell it there were big dogs in that lake that no living man could land with an ordinary pole and line Why they would break a pole and line in a sec ¬ ond They had had several experiences with them and all were disastrous By this time we were get ¬ ting quite excited and I offered them 5 each if they would row us for the afternoon They gladly accepted My two friends got in the large rowboat with a redheaded Irishman and I got in a small skiff with Ole the Swede The wind was blowing hard and the waves were rolling twelve to fourteen inulies high It looked a little danger ¬ ous but the Swede did not seem at all alarmed so I kept quiet They rowed us about a mile to where we could see some old tree tops sticking their branches just out of the Avater They said they were the old trees that grew along the banks of the river and that the best fish were in the old channel where the water was deep They tied the boats to some of these tree tops got out their cane fishing jwles baited with a nice bunch of worms and started to fish in the good oldfashioned way wayBIG BIG FISH ON LIGHT TACKLE TACKLEBy By this time I had put together a light sis ounce casting rod with a fine even winding Shakes ¬ peare reel about 175 yards of small silk line of about ten pound test As the wind was blowing hard I put on a medium size sinker and a No 0 Colorado spinner With a dubious eye Olc watched me get my outfit ready saying I bet you dont catch any fish wid dat I told him to go ahead with his cane pole and I would try casting a while About this time Olc caught a fine trout weighing two pounds Ho made short work of it pulling it up and putting it into the boat without any fust or feathers AS he was putting it on the stringei lie says I tell you voii ting If von of dem big dogs get hold you yust want to save all of the K le and line you can cause you cant land dem fellers Here lie says You take my pole Im tired of catching em You see I had made a number of casts and had not had a strike I tolil him to go ahead that I was having a good time just trying Well about the next throw I made Xowie smash bing I thought a tarpon had hit my spinner My line shot out fifty ftet in a second I braked him down and out of the watei he came fully two feet Ole was all excited in a minute Hes a good von but you aint got no show wid him Away lie went to the right liki a streak of lightning I let him go under a good strong pull standing up in the boat and holding my rod da high as Wisibie This brought him oul of the waterabout 150 feet from the boat He cer ¬ tainly was some beauty and fighting hard hardSEVEN SEVEN POUNDS AND A FIGHTER FIGHTERHe He made another rush or two and then down he went I was fearful that lie would come toward the boat and get tangled up in the brush on the other side so I kept taking in line at every op l ortunity I finally got him up to within twenty feet of the boat when he seemed to see us for the first time and away he went again Iir this rush he showed he wils getting tired I stopped him at about thirty feet and soon led him up to within ton feet of the boat again There he sulked and Ole wanted to shoot him with a small pistol he had I said No well get him all right You get the landing net and I will bring him in In a few minutes more he was all in and I brought him in close enough for die to put the net under him and lift him into the boat Ole claimed he would weigh seven pounds if an ounce But lie says I no tink you could do it wid dat outfit That was certainly great sport It took about twenty minutes arid it was snap and go from start to finish finishIn In the meantime Ole had forgotten his cane pole and was all excited By Jimminy he says Bill and me were fishing at a place yesterday and Bill caught von I bet was twice as big as dis fellow Say but I would like to see you hook von like him He took Bills bait and you know he has a good strong line on his pole but he just made von rush and never stopped Snap went the line but just as it broke lie came out of the water about a foot and Ill bet he was three feet long We immediately decided we would start for this place so Ole pulled anchor and we rowed about ii mile up the lake On the way I got a number of two to four pound trout all nice gamey fellows witli plenty of fight Finally Ole says You see the tops of those trees about a hundred yards ahead Well 15111 and me quit that place yesterday because we didnt have afay more lines to spare We had gotten within about 100 feet of the brush when I dropped the little old Colorado spinner within two feet of it It had hardly struck the water when we could see a big fish grab it The line never tightened He came right by us like a flash of light making a wave about four inches high he was so close to the surface I yelled There he goes look at him I didnt hook him Just at that moment my line commenced to tighten and I realized that he had the spoon I was stand ¬ ing up in the boat raised my pole as high as 1 could aiid braked him as hard as I dared when out of the water he went fully three feet in the air airTHE THE NINE AND AHALFPOUNDER AHALFPOUNDERTlen Tlen the fight was on In earnest The fisli seemed to realize that his life was at stake Back lie started for the brush running in a big circle I made the going as hard as I dared for I realized that once in that brush the game was off so just before he got there I nearly overtaxed that pole arid line was afraid it would snap but it held and I stopped him within two feet of the tree tops Out of the water he came again two or three times in right and left hand rushes then down he went All of this tithe I was taking in a little line and I felt now that if I was careful he was our meat meatI I had been so busy up to this time that I had not thought of Ole I glanced up and he was standing in the end of the boat with his mouth open Just then he said Thats him thats him I finally got him on the slurfac6 again and com ¬ menced to lead him in toward the boat He came along like a young bull calf that you are trying to break to lead Then just as I thought he was ready to quit he made a dive for the boat and under it lie went like a mad bull The going was clear on that side of the boat so I let him have plenty of line and I thing he took at least ItiO feet Ole was turning the boat around and lie afterwards claimed that it never took him so long to turn a boat This fish was getting better halterbroken all the time and came into camp without much further trouble He weighed nine and a half pounds and was thirty inches long As it was getting late I told Ole we would pull in for the night I engaged him for next day and that is the day I caught the Grandma and the Grandpa of all of them that is I caught one of them and lost the other But I will tell you about them some other time Mark W Woods in Sports Afield

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1918102901_2_5
Library of Congress Record: