Thursday, August 14, 2008

More Trout Than I Could Count

Well, OK. Maybe if I'd made more of an effort, I could have tallied the fish tails we landed. So many fish, so little time. Besides, you know how fishermen are. You tell 'em how many you caught and they're right there with the next saber stat question... Rainbow/Brown? Size/Weight? Wet/Dry? Hooked/Boated? Horsed/Nursed? I tell you, it's a never ending quest for information until a weak spot is accidentally revealed. This provides an opening for another (more accomplished, of course) angler to "one up" the proud vacationer. I'll bet that Bill James and his Saber cronies were overachieving fishermen before they becamed obsessed with baseball. That said, here's a brief recap of the Madison River fishing trip with a few other Pearls tossed in:
  • Steady dry fly action all day long. More Rainbows than Browns this trip, due mostly to the stretch of river we fished and our persnickity insistence on "fishing on top" with small dries. Nymphing is a last resort on cold cloudy days for PTownFan. Each of us probably boated close to 15-20 fish per day on average with 4 or 5 in the 15-18 inch range.

  • PTownJunior did exceptionally well. He stuck with the dry flies the entire trip and boated a 17" Brown. That is not easy to do in the swift Madison. A tip of the cap to our guides Randy Brown and Scott Matrinka for getting the kid hooked and keeping him well entertained. If you ever need a guide on the Madison or Yellowstone Rivers, let me know.

  • The Rainbow Valley Motel in Ennis, MT is the place to stay. An immaculate, charming, and reasonable slice of heaven. There's just enough WiFi to induce a little guilt in a faithful blogger with just enough juice left in the casting arm at the end of the day to manage a nice gin and tonic but not enough pop for much keyboard.

  • The Tahoe guzzled gallons and gallons of gas. I still don't get it. How can they make the stuff less than an hour from PTown, truck it all the way to Montana, and charge less for it there than here? A lot less. Like 30 cents a gallon less. Wells, NV is the pinnacle of cheap(er) petrol. If you're headed east, figure on saving a bunch of moola there. And watch out for the gougers. There's a station just off the freeway in Elko that is charging 70 cents more per gallon. Nary a single car at those pumps.

  • We believe in second chances. The Biltoki Basque Restaurant in Elko has been the non-negotiable dinner spot on our trip for nearly 20 years. On the front side of this year's journey, it was absolutely awful. We vowed not to return. They were crabby and the food wasn't the same. But, this is Elko. The alternatives are few. The line outside the runner-up Star Hotel was immense and we were hungry. Warily, we returned to the Biltoki. The A Team was back... pleasant staff, great food and a complimentary container of Basque salad dressing for the PTownPrincess who couldn't make the trip this year.

I'll try to get back on the baseball track ASAP. PTownFan's parents are celebrating their 50th anniversary and the clan is convening in Tahoe for the occasion. What a great way to end another memorable summer vacation!

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