Editor’s Note: Joe Cermele (in the first photo below) is an associate editor at Salt Water Sportsman, one of our sister publications. He’s writing an article on this trip for Field & Stream’s print magazine, and we conned him into sending us regular updates for this blog from the road.

What do you get when you send two East Coast trout bums to Montana to fish as many rivers as they can for seven days on $300 a day for food, flies, fuel and lodging? I can tell you as I type this at 11 p.m. from a motel room in Wisdom, Montana, that you get the road trip of a lifetime, but for the price of feeling like you haven’t slept in weeks. My good friend Mark Wizeman and I are headed into day three of this trek, and we’ll get up…again…before first light to get on the river and intercept the first risers of the day. Tomorrow it’s the Big Hole, and as we have for the last few days, we’ll end up fishing until dark en route to our next location. Draining, but well worth it.

Day one found us in West Yellowstone, where we fished the Upper Madison in hopes of catching the salmon fly hatch. There weren’t too many of those big bugs around, but a Stimulator did the trick. This 19-inch raibow crushed a Stimi in eight inches of water in a back channel that had been undisrupted by float-boat traffic passing.


Later that day, after watching a couple of hogs rise to our flies and turn away, Mark (below) finally managed to stick this fat brownie on the Madison at Three Dollar Bridge. The fish took on the first cast in a fast riffle. Chalk another one up for the Stimulator. Mark also landed a few tiny rainbows, helping up our numbers and round out day one with sweet success–Joe Cermele