"The stories of life are more like rivers than books," wrote Norman Maclean in "A River Runs Through It." And he's right. Life, like a river, is rarely linear, but twists and turns through valleys and tumbles over rocks. Sometimes the waters are deep and still and sometimes quick and turbulent. Sometimes rivers run beautifully clear and sometimes the water is cloudy with sediment and grit. I spent a lot of time on rivers this year, trying to bring trout to the surface and peace to my soul. My success at both endeavors varied widely. Some people say rivers change, but one of the things I like about them is their sameness. This year I fished the stretch of the Madison River between Quake and Hebgen Lakes that I last fished 20 years ago with my friend Scott Pounder. The river is littered with the ruins of the cabins that washed away when Hebgen dam broke in the Yellowstone earthquake in 1959. In one flooded cabin is an old iron bedstead resting crookedly on three legs. Last time I fished this spot I caught a nice 20-inch brown from under that bed. In July I caught what looked like the same fish in the same spot. I guess it's true...monsters DO live under the bed.
Some of the Fish
I suck at taking fish pictures. Too much work. But here's a few.