release writes "What follows is a story from a Flymart customer who landed that fish of a lifetime on the Madison River in Montana.
One common hatch at this time of year though is Baetis. Most of these BWO come in sizes from 16-22. I noticed there was a baetis hatch coming off that morning, so, to take advantage of the fish feeding on large prey and the hatch, I chose to use a double nymph rig.
The first nymph was a size 6 stone fly nymph, with this I hoped to entice those feeding on large prey, as well as act as an attractor for the following nymph. Second, I choose a beatis emerger in a size 18, to match the hatch. After hooking up on a few fish at the tail end of a fast run, I moved up to the hole above the run, at a bend in the river.
Due to the current, I used 10ft of leader from the indicator to the double AB shot, then an additional 4ft to the second fly. After 10 cast, I hit the fish deep in the hole where it stayed for the first 20 seconds. It then proceeded down stream through the fast run, with me in hot pursuit in water above my waist. I called to my two friends, all of us guides, letting them know I had a big fish on.
I fought the fish about 30 yards down stream, where an eddie formed after the run. Due to the lengthy leader, drawing the fish close was nearly impossible. Then, one of my friends showed up, seeing the large fish, positioned himself just down stream of the fish. I led the fish in for my friend, we didn't have a net, where he scooped the fish up with both hands, against his chest.
Unfortunately, this didn't work the first time, and the large fish thrashed out of his grasp back into the water. How the 5X tippet didn't brake, or one of the two fly didn't snag my friend, I don't know. But, we were lucky enough to get a second chance, where we successfully landed the fish. Measuring the fish against my fly rod, and both of us estimating weights, the large Wild Rainbow came out just over 28" and 9-10lbs. After a successful release, and a high five, the three of us spanked another 20+ fish the rest of the afternoon.