Sometimes it isn’t all about the fishing, it’s all about the “fun”.                                      

   Nap time at Wolf Ck. lunch spot…pro golfer Bruce Devlin is somewhere down there!

                            grilled pork chops on the river…Glenn Law

RB & Kevin Shores

    When I started guiding anglers on the Madison in the late 1970s early 1980s, shore lunches were big. We had lots of corporate “outings” (a bunch of men get drunk and go fishing)…large, multi-boat float trips were the rage. The highlight (or lowlight) of these trips was trout for lunch. It didn’t matter how big or what sex, this was way before “catch and release” so it was “kill ‘em and grill ’em”. Of course most of these guys couldn’t fish that well so the usual scene around the lunch spot was two or three guides frantically beating the water to a froth trying to catch enough trout for the “table”…well, not exactly a table. The fancy fold-out, pop-up tables you see these days didn’t exist…this was BBH…(before bead heads)… a few rocks with a rotten log or two to sit on would be just fine. There was always one DC guide (designated cook). This guy had unique talents…he knew how to butterfly (fillet and flour rainbows) and he knew how to chop (onions and add a half a stick of butter). The whole works got wrapped up like a mummy in aluminum foil and slapped on the charcoal along with corn on the cob. You can picture the scene…two or three guides in the river chucking Bitch Creeks… a chopper and dicer…a fillet expert…a coal blower (the charcoal took at least a half hour)…all this surrounded by a bunch of fat cats swigging beer and guzzling wine until they got so cross-eyed they couldn’t tell a sofa pillow from a yellow sally. After an hour or two the party slowed down and maybe we’d fish some more…maybe not. After the mess got cleaned up it was time to head for Burnt Tree, last one to the ramp was a rotten egg. You had anglers hanging arms and legs over the gunwales of the Lavro or the East Side or the Valco…one or two dudes upchucking as we swung down below Crane Island…a couple passed out…the “serious” anglers trying to fish with their lines crossed, tippets tangled, fly lines mangled…snapping off Royal Trudes in the bushes….backlashing their Pfleuger Medalists into a hopeless mess…guides bobbing and weaving, twitching and ducking as #4 weighted Soufal nymphs came whizzing by their ears. Eventually, the dog and pony show hit the boat ramp with a loud thud. Everybody out! Pile into the Suburban burping and belching …back to the motel…pass out. Do it again tomorrow. Man, these fishing trips are fun!